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From dark indie extroverts to supermassive stadium giants

From dark indie extroverts to supermassive stadium giants, the history and evolution of Muse can be told through their performances at Reading and Leeds Festival.

Now, the Teignmouth trio have been announced to return in 2017, marking their sixth R&L appearance and third time headlining. Widely regarded as one of the finest live bands on the planet, each show is more spectacular than the last, continuing to push the boundaries of what can be achieved by just three men and a whole lot of sound.

As we look ahead to what batshit mental spectacle they have in store for us in 2017, revisit each and every R&L appearance they’ve made from 1999 to today.

Muse at Reading & Leeds 1999

Reading & Leeds 1999

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Just one week before they released their critically-acclaimed debut album ‘Showbiz’, the trio lost their R&L virginity in the rather humble setting of the Carling Premiere new bands tent. They’re so low down on the bill in such a small font that you might miss them, so we’ve circled them for you. You’ll also notice this was the year that Reading and Leeds launched the career of fellow future stadium kings Coldplay.

Naturally, this was the pre-smart phone era and the band were far too small to provide TV coverage too, so no footage from their set seems to exist. However, this performance from Rockpalast filmed just days before should give you some indication of the intense energy and promise that they showed in their early days.

Muse’s Reading 1999 setlist:
‘Uno’
‘Cave’
‘Sunburn’
‘Escape’
‘Agitated’
‘Unintended’
‘Muscle Museum’
‘Showbiz’

Muse at Reading & Leeds 2000

Reading 2000

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After the release of ‘Showbiz’, a string of warmly-received indie singles and a stadium tour with Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the band’s reputation as a fierce live act saw their profile experience a meteoric rise in the space of just 12 months – landing them a spot headlining the BBC Radio One Evening Session Stage.

Their set was a sign of things to come; not only showcasing their natural ability to top the bill and fill a tent, but providing a glimpse of their ambitious future sound by playing early versions of ‘Plug In Baby’, ‘New Born’, ‘Bliss’, ‘Feeling Good’ and b-side ‘Futurism’ from the game-changing space rock Odyssey of 2001’s ‘Origin Of Symmetry’.

Check out this interview from the weekend (featuring a story of how frontman Matt Bellamy lost his virginity at Reading…)

Muse’s Reading 2000 setlist:
‘Yes Please’
‘Uno’
‘Sober’
‘Cave’
‘Plug In Baby’
‘New Born’
‘Agitated’
‘Feeling Good’
‘Futurism’ (Live premiere; Presented as ‘Spectrum’)
‘Muscle Museum’
‘Bliss’
‘Sunburn’
‘Showbiz’

Muse at Reading & Leeds 2002

Reading 2002

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After the whirlwind success of ‘Origin Of Symmetry’, Muse finally graduated to the main stage, where they played through a fittingly epic lightning storm.

They also performed early versions of a handful of early versions of tracks that would make it onto ‘Absolution’. It was the work of a band whose ambition could not be contained. Headline status was just around the bend…

Muse’s Reading 2002 setlist:
‘New Born’
‘The Small Print’
‘Space Dementia’
‘Micro Cuts’
‘Dead Star’
‘Citizen Erased’
‘Sunburn’
‘Eternally Missed’
‘Feeling Good’
‘Hyper Music (Stockholm Syndrome outro)’
‘Muscle Museum’
‘Plug In Baby’
‘Bliss’

Muse at Reading & Leeds 2006

Reading 2006

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Their main stage headline debut – few bands could walk out on stage after Arctic Monkeys at the peak of their hype, but Muse made it look so effortless.

Muse’s Reading 2006 setlist:
‘Knights of Cydonia’
‘Hysteria’
‘Supermassive Black Hole’
‘Showbiz’
‘Map of the Problematique’
‘Forced In’
‘Bliss’
‘Butterflies & Hurricanes’
‘Feeling Good’
‘Invincible’
‘Starlight’
‘Plug In Baby’
‘New Born’
Encore:
‘Time Is Running Out’
‘Stockholm Syndrome’
‘Take a Bow’

Muse at Reading & Leeds 2011

Reading 2011

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‘Origin Of Symmetry’ was the album that cemented Muse as the band that could blow all other bands off the stage, on this or any other planet. To celebrate a decade of their second album, the band played it in full from start to finish – then came back with a stellar set of greatest hits as an encore.

Setlist
‘New Born’
‘Bliss’
‘Space Dementia’
‘Hyper Music’
‘Plug In Baby’
‘Citizen Erased’
‘Micro Cuts’
‘Screenager’
‘Darkshines’
‘Feeling Good’
‘Megalomania’

‘Uprising’
‘Supermassive Black Hole’
‘Interlude’
‘Hysteria’
‘Stockholm Syndrome’
‘Helsinki Jam’
‘Undisclosed Desires’
‘Resistance’
‘Starlight’
‘Time Is Running Out’
‘Knights of Cydonia’

Reading & Leeds 2017 festival takes place from 25-27 August over the Bank Holiday weekend. Other confirmed acts include Bastille, Architects, At The Drive In, Danny Brown and many more. Tickets are on sale now.

Reading 2017

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