The Evolution Of Muse’s Tech-Obsessed Live Shows

The Devon trio have gone from mildly ambitious to mind-blowing over the course of their career; here, we trace the innovations they've made in their stadium rock years.

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Black Holes & Revelations Tour, 2006
What: The stage was designed to look like the H.A.A.R.P. research facility, a high-powered radio transmission research facility jointly operated by the US Navy, Air Force and US universities.
Jaw-dropping moment: When the tubes held by pylons above the stage illuminated the band. The pylons were intended to extend out into the crowd, but those plans were scrapped due to costs.


Black Holes & Revelations Tour, 2007
What: The tour’s Wembley Stadium show saw the stage set-up expanded to include even more impressive props, including giant satellite dishes.
Jaw-dropping moment: In the encore, acrobats floated serenely on white balloons high up in the sky while everyone went mad beneath them.


The Resistance tour, 2009
What: The band played on top of floating cubes that had images and films projected onto them.
Jaw-dropping moment: When the pillars the band were playing on started moving around the stage.
They said: “Everyone’s going to have a great view and get the whole show, even if you’re sitting behind us, not just the back of our heads. Most of our ideas get shot down by health and safety and it starts out much more ambitious than it ends up being but we’re always trying to push it to the limits of the laws.” – Dom Howard

The Resistance tour, 2010
What: Across two nights at Wembley Stadium, the band performed on a triangular stage that took inspiration from George Orwell’s 1984 and had a ball at its middle point that was meant to be the “all seeing eye”.
Jaw-dropping moment: Matt Bellamy’s LED suit. Outrageous.
They said: “I’ve attempted to throw in some references to 1984, in particular The Ministries, which Orwell describes as being pyramid-like office buildings. So we’ve created one of those and are basically playing inside it. There’s this technology called projection mapping that’s been around in advertising for a while, and we open that up on this Ministry building, so it looks like all the windows open and there are people walking around.” – Matt Bellamy, frontman

The 2nd Law tour, 2012-14
What: The stage design featured a giant pyramid of LED screens that gradually descended throughout the show, ‘consuming’ the band.
Jaw-dropping moment: When a big roulette wheel on the screen decided whether the band would play ‘New Born’, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ or another song entirely.
They said:All this stems from a hierarchy of global power and the upside down pyramid is a way of symbolising this inversion and shift. Another significant narrative on the album, the energy scenario and law of thermodynamics, also needed to be explored.” – Oli Metcalfe, production designer


Drones tour, 2016
What: Muse put on their most ambitious show yet on their latest tour, playing in the round beneath an inflatable device made to look like a drone.
Jaw-dropping moment: When they released the real life drones that flew above the crowd.
They said: “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 so we’re programming them in a different way. They’re not manned, they’re not manned vehicles as in somebody with a controller. They’re controlled by a computer system and tracking system.” – Oli Metcalfe, production designer

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