So the other week I happened to be checking my email at the split second an email from Muse dropped into my inbox announcing that they were going to be playing a string of six intimate shows… the following week.
I have been a Muse fan since the beginning of time, and when I was younger I was definitely a ‘superfan’. It was all a bit embarrassing, but I thought that I had been over that for a good few years now, and just liked the band a regular amount. I was wrong. As soon as I saw the email, the mission to secure myself a ticket was on. I was so elated when I had my confirmation email that I was no good to anybody for a good hour or two.
Then I saw Marmozets tweet that they would be supporting, which I was super happy about because I have been a fan since I heard “Move Shake Hide” probably some time mid 2013, and had been hoping to see the two sets of siblings tear it up live at some point anyway.
Then came Psycho, the title track of this tour, and the first song we would get to hear from Muse’s upcoming album “Drones”. Psycho uses a riff that Muse have been playing at live shows for the past 16 years or so, and it is SUCH a catchy track. I, along with every other Muse fan listened to it on repeat for at least several days, learned all the words and eagerly awaited getting to see it performed.
I had a ticket for Manchester, but had friends who were going to every show, and I kept a close eye on the sets performed at each – thrilled to see plenty of old material and rarer tracks and B sides being performed.
On the night I was a little bit late arriving at Manchester Academy, so I was gutted to miss the first few songs of Marmozets’ set, but I caught the majority and was blown away. They did a fantastic job of kicking off the night, and if you haven’t seem them perform yet you really should make sure you do. They play with real energy, and Becca’s vocals impress me even more in the flesh.
I wish that I had been able to get closer, because the crowd where I was stood was fairly static, with me just moshing away and singing along by myself, but I could see a pretty good reaction a few rows in front, where there were obviously plenty of people who already knew the band.
Hopefully a lot of the people there who were being introduced to them for the first time that night are now on board, I imagine they probably have quite a number of new fans after this tour!Then it was Muse’s turn to make me feel things. I was right in the pit for this. If you’re a Muse superfan, the place to be is right down the front with all the other superfans. Who needs ribs when you have a crowd jumping and singing in unison??
They opened with Psycho, and everybody loved it. It’s a great opener, and we were all singing the riff along with them, as well as all the words, because everybody knew it pretty well by that point.
Psycho was followed by ‘The Groove’ which is a favourite B Side of mine, and I was verrrrry happy. It was the first time they’d performed it since 2004. Bit of a big deal.
Next we got Bliss, which is such a beautiful track, and even better – there were Hullabaloons! If you don’t know what a Hullabaloon is, they are massive black or white balloons filled with confetti which get thrown around the crowd. If you haven’t watched the Hullabaloo DVD from back in the day you really need to.
A great moment was when I shouted ‘play Dead Star’ and Matt appeared to look amused, and then they launched into Dead Star. I would love to say they just went “hey great idea, let’s do that” but I was cheating. I’d seen the setlist.
And what a setlist it was! We got Fury, Dead Star and The Groove as out B Side treats, which was pretty wonderful, as well as plenty of favourite tracks from Origin of Symmetry, which they said they weren’t going to play again after that Reading & Leeds that time. I am so happy they lied. Although we didn’t actually get anything from Showbiz, other dates in the tour did, which I was pretty jealous of, although still very happy with the Manchester set.
We also got to hear Reapers, another one of their new tracks from the Drones album. Plenty of people around me had watched the live videos from previous dates and sung along every word, so it definitely went down well! It was also funny how quite a few people didn’t seem to know Fury, as I guess it is a slightly rare track, and there was some excited mutterings of “is this off the new album?!”. Nope.
I am however getting very excited for the release of Drones now. So far we have heard Psycho, Reapers, and now Dead Inside, all of which I have really liked.
I wish I could relive this show, and I really really hope that this isn’t the last time I get to go to a more ‘intimate’ Muse gig. There were only 2000 people there, and above all, you could tell that the band were really enjoying themselves. I imagine it’s refreshing to go back to a different environment after putting on incredibly impressive and elaborate stadium stage shows for years! I think the fact they also released the first wave of tickets as a fan pre-sale, and combated touts by having paperless tickets (so you just swiped the card you paid with to get in) was a ridiculously good idea, and ensured a fantastic atmosphere!
Top marks, Muse, you well and truly reignited my embarrassingly deep love for you guys!