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Originally published Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 3:01 PM

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Muse, Silversun Pickups: Big music, built for KeyArena

Muse and Silversun Pickups team up for a rock blast Friday, April 2, at Seattle's KeyArena.

Special to The Seattle Times

On the Internet

Muse's "Resistance" video: http://muse.mu, click on Media Player.

Silversun Pickup videos: www.silversunpickups.com, click on Media.

Concert preview

Muse, Silversun Pickups

7 p.m. Friday, KeyArena, Seattle Center, Seattle; $39.64-$60.16 (800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com).

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They both have songs on Guitar Hero. And in some circles, that's enough to give you all the cred you need.

Luckily both Muse and Silversun Pickups have more than just video-game bragging rights. Great new albums and a history of relentless touring and fan-building have rightfully earned them spots at the top and on the up and up (respectively).

You can catch Muse headlining and Silversun Pickups doing warm-up duty at KeyArena Friday.

You likely already know something about British rock outfit Muse. Maybe you've tuned into their new, fifth album "The Resistance," a big, dramatic, self-produced glam rock endeavor.

Maybe you, like many other U.S. fans, got Muse fever with their third record "Absolution," the 2003 release flavored with equal parts Radiohead and Queen. That album finally earned the British trio respect across the pond (though they have yet to get recognition from the Grammys).

Maybe you just know that they have a single on the "Twilight" soundtrack (yes, it's true).

Regardless, Muse is flying high. "The Resistance," since its release in September, has topped charts in 19 countries and reached No. 3 here in the U.S. Known for big-spectacle live performances, Muse's current world-arena tour reportedly includes giant columns, mega video screens, lasers and strobes. In short: a show worthy of a band at the top.

Don't expect that sort of grandiose presentation from Los Angeles band Silversun Pickups, but their music is no less robust. With a grunge sensibility that gets them often compared to the Smashing Pumpkins (fair, but it's a subtle flavor, certainly not a direct ripoff), they come out with guitars blazing. Lead singer Brian Aubert can flip from quiet to loud with razored intensity.

With their sophomore release "Swoon" and its hit single "Panic Switch," they've definitely made their presence heard. The album has sold 214,000 copies, perking the ears of critics and fans alike.

When Amazon.com released their "Best 100 Albums of 2009," Swoon was No. 38, and "Panic Switch" topped out Billboard Alternative and Rock charts.

Perhaps their biggest accolade: a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

However, it's a bit of a backhanded compliment since the four-piece is hardly green. They've been together for almost a decade and have been on the road tirelessly since 2005 — you might have caught them at the Crocodile, Neumo's, Chop Suey, the Capitol Hill Block Party, even Fremont Oktoberfest over the years.

When they got the Grammy nod, Aubert told USA Today, "We were so used to being the opening band for the band who was supposed to be 'the next big thing.' "

Now they're opening for a band that really is the next big thing. And guess what? Silversun are too.

Joanna Horowitz: jbhorowitz@gmail.com

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