Artist In Focus: Muse

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Over the last 20 years Muse have asserted themselves as one of the world’s elite musical acts, selling out countless stadiums across the globe with their ever-evolving musical genius.

Forming in the mid-90s, the trio have developed their progressive rock sound notably with differing records incorporating orchestral and even EDM influences – with the latest record Drones returning to the early, heavier rock sounds they moulded their success with. The sheer diversity of the tracks they play from their large back catalogue, along with the raw talent the trio adorn, is the main reason why the band have such a large and diverse fanbase. They play the classics, the b sides, and songs from their heavy roots – making sure to cater for all.

From the stage presence of frontman Matt Bellamy, to their characteristic bass-led riffs by the underrated Chris Wolstenholme, and Dominic Howard’s eccentric drumming performances, the band have always delivered no matter the size or type of venue, such is their talent at performing live to an audience. They were the first to sell out the new Wembley, and have done so three times since, and interestingly were the first artist to headline Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage on each of its three days, after their performance earlier this year.

Absurdity/uniqueness is their middle name, probably best summed up by their fashion sense – be it Bellamy’s bright red suit or Howard’s spiderman costume, they definitely turn heads and add to the Teignmouth band’s persona. They’re definitely not your conventional rock band, albeit the world record for most guitars smashed on a music tour is held by Bellamy, after demolishing just the 140 guitars during their 2004 tour for their record Absolution.

Not satisfied at being one of the best sounding live bands on the planet, Muse’s second-to-none stage production mean they’re also arguably one of the best visual performers around.

Their music generally centers around technological and political issues that interest them, so it’s no surprise that they take their live shows to the next level in terms of the technology available. Muse have always been revolutionary with their tour ideas – oh how I’d love to be a fly on the wall during their design meetings. Over the years they’ve had giant LED screens that recreate the apocalypse, a TV pyramid that engulfs the band, and even gymnasts performing on balloons 50 feet in the air. Those are all well and good, but what about a massive robot I hear you ask? Fear not, during their Unsustainable world stadium tour in 2013 a 16ft Robot (named Charles, incidentally) appeared on stage, prowling around amongst the frenzy of guitar riffs and pyrotechnics. Don’t exactly get that kind of stage production these days with your Biebers or Beyonces, do you?

Their latest world tour takes stage production to a new level, literally. Numerous autonomous drones fly around the 360degree stage layout, with giant industry-leading projection screens manipulating the band like a puppet. Add to that a rotating stage, menacing cyborg-looking security and a plethora of dazzling lasers, it does beg the question of “what next?”. However, their obsession with topping their previous outings, and seemingly making anything technologically-possible possible, only enhances their universal status as one of the acts to see live.

In conclusion, Muse stand apart from their peers due to their worldwide reputation for using the latest in visual and audio technologies, enhancing their already incredible spectacle showcasing not only their unquestionable live quality but also their on-stage charisma and allure.

 

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Muse-worshiping, F1-career-aiming Aeronautics student.

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