(TRR) – Muse are currently trekking across North America on their Simulation Theory World Tour. The show is quite the sci-fi spectacle, complete with a massive LED screen, lasers, character performers, and a monstrous skeleton robot. Muse are no strangers to elaborate stage shows. The tour for their last album cycle saw them performing in the round as drones flew around the arena. Now, Muse are back on the road in possibly their biggest way ever. They are supporting their new retrograde record Simulation Theory which debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart and #12 on the Billboard Top 200.
Sometimes it seems that long gone are the days of big rock shows. Sure, plenty of bands still have big stages and pyro, but fire seems almost overdone at this point. That’s not to say that bands who use pyro don’t put on great shows. A lot certainly do. However, rock shows used to be Dee Snider popping up out of a sewer grate as Twisted Sister began to play on a set of New York City streets, and Rob Halford riding a motorcycle – a mic’d motorcycle – and reving it up on Judas Priest’s three-tier stage.
Muse are either the last of a dying breed, or the first in a revival of the big rock show. Unpredictable and dangerous, performances bring their songs to life and the crowd really never knows just what’s coming next.
Muse opened the show in dramatic fashion. A troupe of trumpeters marched down to the end of the catwalk, and surrounded frontman Matt Bellamy as he rose from underneath the stage. Bellamy held the mic with a gloved hand as lasers beamed from it to call corners of the arena. Accompanied by trumpets, he sang the Alternative Reality version of “Algorithm” and the band transitioned swiftly into “Pressure” from their latest album.
Next, they wasted no time making sure everyone knew that at the core of it all, Muse is a rock band. They unleashed their ultra-heavy hit “Psycho” and from their another track from their new album “Break It To Me.” The song is much heavier live, with the main riff sounding almost Deftones-esque.
The sci-fi feels remains strong throughout the show, especially before the band’s hit “Supermassive Black Hole.“ Bellamy played the theme song of the classic film Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a searing guitar riff before the band launched into their song.
Muse released their eighth studio LP Simulation Theory last November via Warner Bros. Records. The album was made available for fans in three formats: Standard (11 tracks), Deluxe (16 tracks), and Super Deluxe (21 tracks). The expanded tracklisting features an acoustic gospel version of “Dig Down,” “Pressure” featuring The UCLA Bruin Marching Band, a live version of “Thought Contagion,” as well as acoustic renditions of several tracks including “Something Human,” and “alternate reality” versions of “Algorithm” and “The Dark Side.”
The group’s latest effort is the long-awaited follow up to 2015’s Drones. The disc debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart, the Billboard Top 200, and 19 other countries around the world. It was the band’s first chart-topping album in the U.S. In 2016, Drones garnered Muse the Best Rock Album honor at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards.