Gig review: Muse, Glasgow, SSE Hydro

Muse lead singer Matt Bellamy is no stranger to Scottish performances, having appeared at T in the Park in previous years. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Muse lead singer Matt Bellamy is no stranger to Scottish performances, having appeared at T in the Park in previous years. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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The Hydro arean is often likened to a spaceship, and there can be no better band to exploit this sci-fi environment than the out-of-this-world Muse, a band who think nothing of floating large illuminated orbs over the heads of their audience to the celestial sound of a choir of Matt Bellamy’s singing devotional plainsong. For starters.

Muse | Rating: **** | SSE Hydro, Glasgow

The Drones World Tour is a revolving in-the-round experience replete with stunning CGI visuals. At one point, frontman Bellamy and bassist Chris Wolstenholme appeared connected to puppet strings, manipulated by some sinister golem.

But his most powerful of power trios knew exactly what they were doing, having long settled into a groove which keeps returning to chunky glam metal rhythms, heavy fuzz guitar-shredding, operatic vocals and conspiracy theory-stoking lyrics.

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This set didn’t really take off musically until they excavated their euphoric 2001 single Bliss but from there the dynamic display encompassed the falsetto funk rock of Supermassive Black Hole, the beautiful restraint of Madness, stratospherically pitched rock melodrama of Citizen Erased and cathartic air-punching anthem Time Is Running Out.

Then they really did bring out a Flash Gordon-style spaceship for a quick turn around the arena during The Globalist. This typical Muse dystopia helps itself to the melody of Elgar’s Nimrod, an appropriate juxtaposition for their post-industrial angst.

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But the more totalitarian elements of their presentation were tempered by the sheer entertainment value of their performance, as exemplified by the rip-roaring climax of Knights of Cydonia.

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