MUSE: MONSTERS OF THE MIDWAY
If you’re a Muse fan you are probably obsessed with them, so there’s nothing I can add here about the power and majesty that:
If you’re not into them, go see them in concert.
If you don’t like them, go see them in concert.
Simply stated, Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard are monster musicians and their tour productions push the envelope of what is capable in a live setting. They brought that to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center (QRO venue review) on Wednesday, January 27th.
In this era of drastically reduced revenue from CD sales, it is refreshing to see a band still invest serious money into staging a spectacle that fans walk away from trying to process what they’ve just seen.
“It’s our version of The Wall, basically,” Matt Bellamy told BBC Radio 2.
A fleet of drones orbited around the arena during several songs.
At one point the drones hovered above the stage.
“We’ve been able to work with a company in the Netherlands that have written a piece of software that can control a whole swarm of drones,” Lighting designer Oli Metcalfe said, “So we’re programming them in a different way. They’re not manned; they’re controlled by a computer system and tracking system.” – Gigwise
The tour uses the first 3D tracking systems ever deployed; it features 38 infrared cameras. These ensured visual effects, sound, and light followed band members as they move across the stage.
On each side of the stage three curtains/screens were lowered on which moving images/animation were projected.
The most effective use of this came when Bellamy and Wolstenholme stood at opposite ends of the arena and played while a giant hand with marionette strings on each finger appeared to be controlling them.
“The whole circle moves one revolution per hour. The idea is Matt starts there and an hour later he comes back, so in the show everyone sees him [up close] twice.” – Gigwise
Bellamy uses a massive pedal board; he employed two – one on each side of the stage. Both were synchronized so he could trigger the effects.
The stage itself had lighting built into it; above them was an inverted cone that incorporated lighting schemes that were manipulated to enhance the visual onslaught.