English rockers Muse stormed Rogers Arena Thursday night for the first time in two years, dazzling Vancouver with a spectacular show that featured drones, holograms, confetti cannons, and lots and lots of hits.
Muse is on the road in support of their seventh studio album “Drones,” which just received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album. The disc was produced by Canadian hitmaker Robert “Mutt” Lange, best known for his work with AC/DC and Def Leppard, and was recorded at Vancouver’s legendary Warehouse Studio in Gastown.
The show was a stunning career retrospective that featured most of Drones, in addition to hits like “Uprising” and “Undisclosed Desires” from 2009’s seminal “The Resistance.” Fans sang and gently headbanged while singer Matt Bellamy and guitarist Chris Wolstenholme worked opposite ends of the arena via two runways that spanned the length of the venue. Smack dab in the middle of the arena was a circular stage that gave fans a spectacular 360-degree view of the action (picture U2’s mammoth 360 Tour but with better songs).
Muse kicked off a smaller version of the tour in May, playing Europe and Asia before the drone concept was introduced in Mexico City last month. A dozen unmanned spherical drones, each equipped with spotlights, circled and danced above the band and the Vancity crowd at various points through out the evening.
With so many bells and whistles, the songs and their sentiments got a little lost in the shuffle at times. About halfway through the show, Bellamy sang a stirring rendition of “Apocalypse Please” while a few dozen fans on the general-admission floor were more content to chase a giant balloon filled with confetti than to pay attention. Their loss.
Muse finished the 90 minute spectacle with a one-two punch of standout Drones track “Mercy” and a rousing take on 2006’s “Knight’s of Cydonia.” To no one’s surprise, both songs sounded even better live than their already-great album versions.
The band brings their rock n’ roll circus to Seattle on Saturday.