hmv.com reviews... Muse @ Newport Centre
Muse previewed their colossal new album Drones last night (March 19th) in the relatively intimate surroundings of Newport Centre and we were there to review it all...
Stadium rockers Muse stripped back to their roots on an intimate tour to showcase new material from their seventh album Drones (which is up for pre-order here).
What is usually a leisure centre holding aerobics classes is transformed for the night to hold one of the biggest rock acts in the world. It's electrifying to see a band who are used to playing to over 10,000's of fans in a much more enclosed setting.
Any good supports?
After recording one of the greatest albums of last year, the thrilling Marmozets were personally handpicked by Muse to join them on tour and it's clear to see why. Bursting straight into 'Move Shake Hide, the energy from outset is intense. After that it's straight into 'Is It Horrible' and the soaring 'Captivate You', Becca Macintyre's vocals are really on point in both harmonies and screaming growls when needed.
What's exciting about a band like this is the diversity in each of their songs; from pop punk to mathcore, it all feels fresh and invigorating. It must be hard opening for a band known for being one of the best live bands in the world, yet they totally own the occasion and the audience are treated to what almost feels like a headline set in itself before the main act are even on.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The tour was sold out within a minute, therefore every single person who is here is a huge fan and by their appreciation for songs old and new they loved every minute of it all.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The setlist tonight is perfect. Opening with their latest single 'Psycho', it sounds enormous with the crowd bouncing and singing along to its infectious riff from the moment it kicks. This is followed by the surprise addition of 'Futurism', an early B-Side, which draws an enormous roar from devoted fans, as it has not been performed live in the UK for years.
Sticking with the old songs 'Bliss' sounds as exciting today as it did when it was first released, as do classics like 'Plug In Baby' and 'Hysteria'. In such a raw and intimate setting it's extra special to hear heavier material that is rarely played live, especially fans' favourite 'Agitated' and the extended version of their metal-like 'Assassin'. From the inclusion of these harder-hitting songs, this could be a sign of the route they are taking for their new material.
As well as this, we get old favourites like 'Supermassive Black Hole' and 'Stockholm Syndrome', which have the fans with their hands in the air, but it is 'Knights Of Cydonia' that still gets the heart pumping and everybody in the audience moving off of their feet. What's surprising is the lack of any material from their latest effort The 2nd Law, however nobody is the room is complaining as they have been royally treated with the songs chosen tonight.
Any good between song banter?
The band joke between songs about how some of these tracks haven't been played for years and how they almost forget to play them. They're also dedicated to fans in the audience who have requested them which is a nice touch.
Did they put on much of a show?
Muse are known for their extravagant sets and shows, however this is stripped back for the intimate setting and makes you feel as though you are watching them back in their early years. They still put on a hell of a show with Bellamy throwing himself around the stage constantly pushing out every ounce of music from his instrument. There are still more than enough spectacular lights on show and the return of the giant Hullaballoonsinto the crowd are a sight to behold.
What was the highlight of the set?
Whilst 'Knights Of Cydonia' is always a massive high point in a set filled with them, it's new song 'Reapers' which closes the show that sends the audience off on a high. The riffs sound like the Muse of old, which fans have been begging for, for years. It's the fretting on the guitar and explosive chorus which really makes Drones an album to really look forward to.
Where can I catch them next?
Their small tour sees them playing Exeter, Manchester & Brighton for the rest of this week and then it's onto a very busy festival schedule. They are playing a show in almost every European country there is including a headline set at the UK's Download in June. On the basis of the new and old material showcased tonight, this will fit in perfectly with a heavier crowd and is not to be missed.
Muse's new album Drones will be released on June 8th and can be pre-ordered in hmv stores across the UK and here in our digital store.