Pubs, a watering hole full of opportunity. New relationships formed, long lost friends reunited and standing at the crux of this social hub lies of course the art of conversation. When the beer is free flowing many a question are posed often about music and as the best albums are argued over the other inevitability is whittled down to “Who is the best live band ever?“.
April 15th 2016
Having released their seventh album last June Muse returned with the whirlwind affair that was Drones. Boasting titles of sold out Wembley Stadium’s twice over, Glastonbury headliners and Download Festival main stayers the band are quite possibly one of the biggest there are in the world. A flying visit sees the band take up a week’s residency at London’s O2 culminating in a Friday night extravaganza. As the lights dim the air is crackles with excitement, the ethereal acapella introduction of “Drones” rings out as devoid of emotion as programmed orbs circle the crowd below. An explosion of energy as the world’s most famous trio burst onto stage into “Reapers“. An absolute feast the track is a brilliant opening gambit of what to expect here tonight, extravagant yet refined. Before electro dystopia of “Dead Inside” appears hearing the crowd grow louder than Bellamy.
Ever going against the grain Muse opt instead of a central position of the stage. Planting the band in the centre with extremities complete with glow in the dark pianos. Mirroring the idea of a Drone target, our steadfast drummer Dom Howard hold his ground around the sometimes glowing, often spinning space age blackjack board. Flight footed Bellamy leaps around the stage to renditions of “Psycho” and a surprisingly early “Plug In Baby“. Renown for their nigh on flawless musicianship tracks are rolled out with astonishing accuracy. Owing to their mega star status the stage production tonight is truly a sight to behold. Temporarily seeing silk drapes released for the feast for the eyes that is “The Handler“. Making the stage into a character of it’s own, this all seeing all knowing entity “handling” both Wolthemstowe and Bellamy as digital puppet strings follow the two around.
Returning back to their roots the band belt out “Stockholm Syndrome” along with the classic crowd pleasers of “Starlight”, the somber tone returns as the ten minute post apocalyptic epic “The Globalist” brings the conceptual arc back into the live performance. Where a culmination of dizzying orbs and even a huge black drone circles the crowd before an explosive riff. Saving the best for last the interstellar calling card of “Take A Bow“, pregnant with anticipation makes for a brilliant segue into confetti filled “Mercy“. Signalling the sound of high noon where our space Cowboys take us home in “Knights Of Cydonia“. Butterflies abound one last time do we get that prick of anticipation, hairs standing on end as THAT riff comes in. Malleable to their surroundings Muse simply are live entertainment. Coupling conceptual ideas, blistering song writing and absolutely phenomenal light shows the band simply have to be seen to be believed. And though the pub talks will no doubt continue Muse will most certainly always somehow find their way to the top. Absolutely astonishing.