Sound Check with Muse

Written by JB—

Sound Check with Muse
“The Drones World Tour”
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
January 14, 2016 – 5/5 Stars

Muse pulled out all the stops expected from one of the world’s most popular rock bands with their new, eye-popping “The Drones World Tour,” with about two hours filled with loud rock music, a surplus of stage theatrics and over-the-top visual effects. From the lasers shooting across the arena, to the jaw-dropping images projected on retracting awning-like screens, to the massive rotating turntable main stage setup, this visually compelling spectacle never fails to grab your attention. Nothing will prepare you for the human-sized, illuminated, spherical shaped “Drones” flying across the audience throughout the evening, synchronized in movement and flashing in colored lights. These beautiful drones were the evening’s real showstopper.

Muse are veterans of the stage, with over twenty years of experience; their set list for the night pulled from their catalog, as well as their 2015 effort Drones. The British trio roared through crowd favorites “Starlight,” “Madness,” “Undisclosed Desires,” “Supermassive Black Hole,” and “Uprising,” while playing seven songs from Drones including singles “Dead Inside” and “Mercy.” With seven albums worth of material under their belts, they effectively took total control of the audience by playing radio hit after radio hit. Lead singer, Matt Bellamy, barely said more than “Hello, Detroit” and “Thank you, Detroit!” to the audience, instead the emphasis and attention was on the musicianship.

We’re barely two weeks into the new year, but Muse may have already put on Detroit’s biggest and best rock spectacle of 2016. It takes a lot of work for a rock band to play an arena show in the round, but Muse pulled it off. The rotating mainstage was connected by catwalks to two satellite stages, which stretched the length of the arena’s main floor. Someone in this band must really like having an impressive stage with many intricate moving parts. Spread across those three stages were 2 long retracting video walls, a huge circular LED display, and a giant chandelier type LED light fixture. Mix in the drones, monstrous rock anthems, streamers and confetti and you have a rock and roll party that you’ll never forget.

On the rise alternative band, X Ambassadors, opened the evening’s festivities with their blend of indie rock and electronic sounds. Their single “Renegades” was one of the biggest hits of summer 2015 and was even featured in a commercial for the Jeep Renegade. They currently have scored a second top ten hit with “Unsteady.” The band seemed to be able to command the Joe Louis Arena audience with ease.

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