For the second time Elizabeth and I went to watch Muse live. The previous time was in Coventry, my home town at the Ricoh arena. It was great then and we expected it to be just as good this time at the Manchester Arena. This time it was the Drones Tour, after their latest album. Expecting a 1984, Big Brother themed experience we were not disappointed. Though to be absolutely honest, without impeccably excited stage act, lighting, sound and majesty, the music alone was utterly breathtaking.
The tickets sold out in the less than 2 minutes to this tour and Elizabeth managed it again, she’s got a knack for this now it seems. The issue we had is that when they were booked, I was doing ok. I was on crutches but not so bad as i am now. So things had changed and we panicked given that we were booked really high up. Luckily, Manchester Arena really pulled through on the disabled friendly front. See the paragraph at the end for a note on this.
The support act
Having just broken into the charts, Nothing but Thieves have a few good tracks. Most notably, Trip Switch and Painkiller. A quick listen to this 5-man band will explain why they might have been chosen to compliment Muse. Vocals as operatic, melodies as otherworldly and a heavy rock vibe, got the crowd warmed up for the main act.
In true fashion, there was grandeur from the start. Large clear spheres that had been perched on a structure near the roof were sent into flight, unaided, floating into a synchronised dance around the arena. They reminded me of the little floaty fairy type things out of the Avatar movie.
When the band started playing, led by the unmistakable guitar of “Psycho” everyone was on their feet and I think the mosh-pit had already started.
The lights and visuals were used to immerse the audience into the occasion and the art of the band. We felt this the last time we saw them, they integrate a lot of art into their shows. Visuals are well thought out, the lighting is on point and obviously the music is crisp and clear – you would be hard pressed to differentiate whether you were listening to the record on really loud speakers if you closed your eyes.
‘visuals were used to immerse the audience into the occasion and the art of the band”
The “360” performance was also a great idea as the band were in the centre of the arena and there were curved screens showing the performance so everyone could see. The platform on centre stage also rotated and everything was wireless so the band could move and dance around freely.
– When they played “The Handler” two giant hands were projected onto screens that draped down from the ceiling. Each finger had a string attached to it and led down to Chris (Bassist) and to Matt (Lead Singer) making it appear that they were being controlled by the hand.
– The Drums vs Bass battle at the end of “The Handler”
– Matt’s piano performance and megaphone of “Feeling Good”
– When the “Light Spheres” did their dance
– A flying “warship” drone flew around the arena
– All of the “Big Brother” and “Post Apocalypse” imagery
– Performance of “Knights of Cydonia”
– Release of balloons that resembled those in the movie “The Island” (also a dystopian story like 1984) into the crowd.
– Performance of “Feeling Good”
– Huge confetti canons, ribbons and air smoke machines at the end.
Muse really are one of those bands that any music lover or performance lover should go and see at least once in their life. While most of their concerts are sold out, some tickets are being released on the day – I highly recommend going to see them.
Review – 10/10
The 2nd Law: Isolated System
Map of the Problematique
Supermassive Black Hole
Time Is Running Out
Knights of Cydonia
0161 950 5229 (10.00am – 5.00pm Mon – Fri, 10.00am – 4.00pm on Saturdays.
When we booked tickets, I didn’t need accessible seating but this changed by the time the concert came about. I called the helpline and chap called Saas was very helpful in suggesting a relocation and to speak to customer services when there. I spoke to Neve and Lee at the desk and they were very accommodating and pleasant. Managed to change our seat to sit in an area with less steps and with other disabled people so they understood when I needed to move and stand up.
Was allowed to bypass the cues and go through a side entrance rather than queue if I was there at 6pm. This was fine by us.
There is a disabled toilet in the normal toilets and separate disabled toilets, though the on the ground staff did’t know where they are.
Call their Disability line for help. They are nice and useful.
Featured Image – Hans Peter
Band Image – Danny Clinch
All others are Copyright Awesome Wave Enterprises Ltd.