Live review: Muse
Venue: London O2 Arena
Epic prog-pomp with visuals to match from Teignmouth’s unassuming mega-rockers.
If the April sky is grey and the thunder above London is loud as we enter the arena, it prepares us nicely for Muse’s cloudbusting sellout gig at the capital’s megadome, where according to Twitter it is the venue’s biggest concert ever, with 21,000 present. Not to mention conceivably its most visually arresting.
The show you are about to enjoy involves video projection of a spectacular kind,” the announcer warns, underselling things somewhat as transparent space-pods circle above our heads like something out of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and the choral, hymnal Drones (the closer to the 2015 album of the same name) plays like music of the spheres.
The band perform for the first time ‘in the round’, from the middle of the arena, allowing fans on all sides to see their favourite prog-pomp rockers. Muse are arguably Britain’s biggest underground stadium band - they can fill out supermassive black holes like the O2 while enjoying a degree of anonymity. That anonymity sometimes makes Messrs Bellamy, Wolstenholme and Howard seem characterless, but then you could probably have said the same thing in 1976 about Pink Floyd. And like the Floyd they let the music - and the visuals - do the talking. They may not dominate critical discourse in the way, say, Radiohead do, but they are the People’s Choice when it comes to sci-fi sturm und drang with a penchant for political message-mongering and conspiracy theories.