While Liverpool and Tottenham were vying for championship and Mumford & Sons were headlining All Points East, Muse brought their “Simulation Theory” spectacle to London Stadium. The Teignmouth trio held their first large-scale show in the city since 2016’s Drones World Tour on the 1st of June for an audience of almost 80,000 people, and they did not disappoint.
Following opening sets by Manchester indie rockers Pale Waves and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, “Algorithm“’s futuristic harmonies – accompanied by dancers in LED-vests and dramatic background visuals – kicked off the 2-hour-long show. From this point until the very end, the gig showcased an impressive blend of new hits and old fan favourites as well as some surprising rarities. At the same time, while Muse has always been famous for their monumental live production, the LED walls grew bigger, the lighting more colourful, the animations livelier, and the show more choreographed for this tour.
Apart from such party-makers as Pressure and Uprising, rock anthems like Hysteria and Plug in Baby, and slow-tempo melodies like Dig Down’s acoustic version, the ultimate highlights were the surprise addition of 2001’s Bliss to the setlist and the harmony of an entire stadium chanting the chorus of Starlight in perfect synch. And when we thought we’d seen it all, a giant inflatable monster – called Murph – appeared for the encore to accompany a medley of the bands heavier hits including Assassin and New Born. As always, Muse then closed the night with Knights of Cydonia’s madness.
Although it almost goes without saying, we want to dedicate a few sentences to how perfect the band still sounds live. Matt Bellamy (vocals, guitar) is simply a musical genius on stage as well as in the studio, Dom Howard (drums) is a delight to watch, and while Chris Wolstenholme (bass) did sometimes seem bored of performing in the past, he was more enthusiastic than ever to play in West Ham’s home stadium. A further shoutout should definitely go to Morgan Nicholls for providing those instruments the band members didn’t have enough hands to play, and to the trio’s long-time front-of-house engineer Marc Carolan for mixing the entire show simply perfectly.
All in all, while Muse is not an infrequent name in London’s live music scene, they always manage to amaze fans with something new, and are getting better with every tour they put on. Good news is that the band will be back again to the city to play two nights at The O2 in September and frontman Matt Bellamy has already hinted that they would also be recording the tour documentary at those shows.
Author: Balàzs Mihàlyfi