Muse World Tour

Muse World Tour

Muse has used technology to their advantage for years, both in their music as well as their live shows.  This remains true for their current world tour "Drones" which introduces a brand new 360-degree "audio/visual sensory experience" stage set up.  Frontman Matt Bellamy compares the set up to Pink Floyd's "The Wall", promising "a whole swarm of drones" and a stage shaped like a double-headed arrow which allows the band to get closer to the fans.  The stage design was inspired by boxing rings, but instead of a small, postage stamp-like set up in the middle of the arena, the stage is a small circle with two runways & a hammerhead on each end, where things pop out of & technology can work its magic.  The whole circular stage is constantly in motion, making a full revolution per hour, which gives the audience a chance to see the band up close throughout the 2-hour performance.  The stage will span the length of the arena & is lower to the ground which gives fans a more intimate experience since the band members can interact with the crowd.  Production designer Oli Metcalfe was interviewed by NME & explained how the drones will operate, "We've been able to work with a company in the Netherlands that have written a piece of software that can control a whole swarm of drones, so we're programming them in a different way.  They're not manned vehicles as in somebody with a controller, they're controlled by a computer & tracking system."  Check out the short teaser video of the stage set up below: Muse has won several awards & has been nominated for even more.  They took home 5 MTV Europe Music Awards (Best UK & Ireland Act twice, Best Alternative twice & Best Live Act), 6 Q Awards (Best Innovation in Sound in 2003, Best Live Act in 2004, 2006 & 2007, Best Act in the World Today in 2009 & 2012) 8 NME Awards (Best New Band in 2000, Best Live Band in 2005, 2008 & 2009, Best British Band in 2007, 2009, 2010 & 2011, Best Website in 2010, Best Guitar Riff in 2010, Most Dedicated fans in 2012, & Best Fan Community in 2013 & 2015) 2 Brit Awards (Best Live Act in 2005 & 2007) an MTV Video Music Award for Uprising in 2010, 4 Kerrang! Awards (Best British Band in 2001, Best British Live Act in 2002, Best Album in 2004 for Absolution & Best Live Act in 2006)  1 American Music Award for Favorite Alternative Artist in 2010 & 1 Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2011 (The Resistance).  Drones was just nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2016.
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Muse at the MTV Europe Awards in 2007 when they won for Best Headliner & Best UK & Irish Act. Image source: virginmedia.com

The term "arena rock" has been around since the mid 70's.  Smoke, pyrotechnics & sophisticated light shows have become synonymous with arena rock shows.  Bands like Queen, Boston, Kiss & Journey helped bring arena rock to the forefront with their anthem-like choruses & more radio-friendly sound compared to the hard rock & heavy metal origins arena rock developed from.  In the 80's, glam metal bands like Aerosmith & Motley Crue began to take over the arena rock world, while alternative bands like Nirvana started phasing out the glam metal groups a decade later.  Muse is like an arena rock hybrid band, incorporating elements of punk rock, disco & electronica into their already classic sound.  They've been compared to bands like Pink Floyd & Queen in terms of live performance and this tour is sure to raise the bar for arena rock bands to come.  Tickets for the upcoming show at the United Center on January 13 can be purchased here.
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Drones navigate around the Toyota Center during Muse's show on December 10. Image source: houstonpress.com

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