Billboard 2006-12-04 – Muse to Rock New Wembley Stadium

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Muse To Rock New Wembley Stadium

By Mark Sutherland

Muse is the first band to announce a gig at London's new Wembley Stadium since last year's aborted attempt to re-open the iconic venue led to shows by Bon Jovi, the Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams and Take That being re-located.

The June 16 gig will be Muse's first stadium show and comes on the back of worldwide success for its latest album, "Black Holes and Revelations" (Warner Bros). Tickets go on sale Dec. 9. The exact capacity for concerts at Wembley has yet to be finalized, but will be in the region of 75,000 people.

The band is currently on a sold out 39-date arena tour across the U.K. and Europe, playing to an average of 12,000 fans per night. Speaking pitchside in the new stadium -- which will primarily be used for sporting events, including international matches for the English national soccer team -- Muse drummer Dominic Howard admitted to the gig was "a huge step up" for the band.

"It's something we've dreamed of in the past," he said, "and now definitely seems the right time to do it. It's going to be amazing, overwhelming." Singer Matt Bellamy jokingly promised "flashing screens, a helicopter balloon drop and maybe a spaceship" for the show and said the band hoped the concert would have the feel of a mini-festival.

"We'll definitely have three other bands [on the bill] and hopefully some of those bands will be pretty well known, and we'll try and make a real summer event out of it," he said. Muse is also planning two other European stadium shows around the same time, with details to be announced.

The original Wembley Stadium played host to dozens of legendary concerts, including the original Live Aid in 1985. It closed in 2000 and the rebuilding process has been hit by huge construction delays. Bon Jovi -- who played the last concert at the old Wembley in 2000 -- had been due to play the first gig at the new stadium on June 10 this year, but had to move the show to Milton Keynes Bowl.

Wembley Stadium's Chief Executive, Michael Cunnah, told there is likely to be one big music event before the Muse concert, and said he was in negotiations with a number of promoters about booking further shows.

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