As a concert junkie, I’ve experienced shows of all sorts, but Muse’s live show at the Wells Fargo Center Jan. 31 introduced me to a new realm of concerts. Combining their incredible alternative rock songs with out-of-this-world visual effects, the trio comprised of Matthew Bellamy (lead vocals, guitar and keyboard), Chris Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums) killed it.
The show was part of the Drones World Tour that began in May 2015. Beginning in Europe, the English band finally made it to the U.S. in December and luckily, Philadelphia made it onto the list of their stateside stops.
The Wells Fargo Center was the ideal venue for a show of this nature. Walking into the site for the first time was an astounding experience; I was bombarded with pure excitement as adrenaline pumped through my veins, utterly mesmerized with the size of the venue. When the show began promptly at 7:30 p.m., my captivation continued.
X Ambassadors were the perfect opener to compliment Muse’s distinct style. Their high notes blew us all away especially in crowd favorite, “Unsteady.” Dedicating the song “Gorgeous” to the crowd, they belted out even more killer notes while flattering the audience. Ending with the renowned “Jungle,” the lead singer danced wildly, sprinting from the center of the stage into the arms of the platform. Their engaging stage-presence prepared us all for an even more lively Muse, although it was far too short. Unfortunately, X Ambassadors rocked out to only several of their songs for less than a total of 40 minutes, leaving the audience wanting more.
Muse made up for their brief appearance with their nearly two-hour performance. Their concert did not just consist of music performance — it was a was a full-blown show complete with awe-inspiring animations, thoughtfully planned lights and profound themes. In fact, each individual song represented a different idea and the Wells Fargo Center was the perfect place to bring each song to life. Though it was a lot to take in at once, the amount of thought and planning that went into all of the effects is mind-blowing.
“The Handler” was intensified thanks to the special effects of the stage setup. The top of the stage displayed an unforgettable face while pull down screens on either side of the stage depicted powerful arms that followed the members around as if they were puppets. Every step Bellamy and Wolstenholme took, the arms followed, thoughtfully illustrating the lyrics of the beautifully written song.
The infamous “Starlight” was also a hit with an extraordinary ending as giant black balls danced through the general admission section. When the balls were popped, confetti fell out, so as the song concluded, the audience tossed the balls onto the stage. Wolstenholme jumped in all directions using the end of his lit-up bass to instantly pop them evoking impressed roars from the audience.
Perhaps the most outstanding moment of the night was during “The Globalist” when a massive drone flew in the air, making its way around the charismatic stage and reminding us of the entire theme of the tour.
Other classics like “Supermassive Black Hole,” Madness” and “Time is Running Out” also resulted in excited cheers and screams complete with incessant fist pumps and coordinated claps.
Though each song represented a different theme and various stories unfolded throughout the show, in the end, it all came together as endless confetti and streamers poured down onto the crowd.
Although the show was unlike any I’ve seen before, I’m glad I can say my first arena show was Muse’s Drones World Tour. It was incredible to see the songs of my adolescent years filled with life as well as many new songs from the album released last year. With the perfect combination of musical prowess and stupefying visuals, I would recommend a Muse concert to anyone, especially when it takes place at a venue as suitable as the Wells Fargo Center.