Date: April 5th, 2016
Venue: The 3Arena, Dublin
Line-up: Muse + Nothing but Thieves
After selling out arenas all over Europe with their acclaimed 360 stage show, English rockers Muse bring their Drones tour to Dublin’s 3Arena for one of the most anticipated rock shows of the year.
Opening the show was London-based group Nothing but Thieves. The band were also making use of Muse’s massive 360 setup with the 5 guys scattered all around the stage. It was clear the guys were used to a more traditional setup but they did try to move around a little. There were cameras following them around the stage in either case, showing their performance on a screen up above. The music itself was bold and catchy with some heavier moments that the crowd really got into. Vocalist Conor Mason showed some serious chops, his soaring vocals really held their own in the huge arena.
After a stern warning for the crowd to avoid using flash photography, anticipation was beginning to grow in the crowd for what was about to happen. Muse had spared no expense in the massive stage show for this tour; the floor spanning 360 stage was just the beginning of things. With the eerie choral album interlude ‘Drones’ playing, the bands now infamous stage drones started to descend from above and were floating around above the crowd with some light effects. The stage production was top notch throughout, there were lights all around the stage timed and synced to key moments on top of the screens already seen previously. There were long screen curtains also used, particularly during tracks from their Drones album, for example the puppet strings following Matt Bellamy and bassist Chris Wolstenholme during ‘The Handler’ or the gorgeous colours and space aesthetics for ‘The Globalist’.
While there was a focus on their newer material, the older songs were also given the spotlight. ‘Bliss’ and ‘Citizen Erased’ from Origin of Symmetry, the latter of which saw the appearance of Matt’s grand piano, and the massive hits ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Time is Running Out’ had the crowd singing along and also gave Chris’ bass its much deserved spotlight. The crowds singing continued for ‘Starlight’ and ‘Uprising’, this is also when the camera’s turned their focus from the band out to the fans. At one point massive balloons filled with confetti were thrown from the seating area down to the crowd, who gladly threw them around until they were sadly popped.
The night finished up with a rousing three song encore beginning with the powerful ‘Take a Bow’, its electronic intro building up to an explosive conclusion. One of the bands newer singles ‘Mercy’ garnered another venue-wide sing along; smoke and confetti were blown out on the crowd before a massive string cannon went off, surprizing everyone. ‘Knights of Cydonia’ was a fitting end to the evening, its heavy groove giving the crowd one last chance to rock out and enjoy the night.