Ten minutes before Muse come on and we’re worried things are going to take a turn for the Stone Roses. Last year at Coachella Ian Brown and co. played a headline set on the main stage to possibly the smallest festival crowd we’ve ever seen, and the sparse field looks like it might be cursed for British headliners. Yet with five minutes to go – and Pharrell now off the neighbouring stage – things get busy. Fast. Muse are still the world’s favourite dystopian rock and roll circus band. Here’s five things we learned during their set.
The Muse aesthetic is getting even weirder
Tonight, each member of the group looks like they belong to a different band. Matt’s sporting a quilted, floral blazer, that looks like one of Great British Bake Off diva Mary Berry’s cast offs, whilst Dom is in a skellington body suit, complete with silver shiny bones. Chris is in a red leather jacket, looking a bit like Robin Thicke’s security detail. Strong threads all round.
Muse are definitely not stripping things back
Like Devonshire’s own Liberace, Matt is playing a silver grand piano. Still mixing high camp with heavy rock, if anyone though that Muse 2014 would be turning down the lavishness, they’d be very wrong indeed. Chris’s weird touchscreen axe also puts paid to any suggestions that the band will be stripping things back on their current dates and new material, despite Matt’s comments to suggest otherwise.
They can work any crowd on earth
Slow grinding to ‘Madness’, moshing to their cover of ‘Lithium’, waging verbal war against the sandstorm gods during ‘Resistance’ and losing their damn minds during ‘Plug In Baby’, the US crowd lap up Muse’s sci-fi sound. It’s a real cross section of punters too, from shirtless bros and headband wearing hotpants girls to suspicious men smoking massive bifters and glassy eyed hippies, Muse’s fans are across the board.
Muse best Outkast in theatrics
In contrast to Outkast’s almost production-free headline set the previous evening, Muse’s stage show is Broadway worthy. During the opening number an actress in a business suit storms thorough the crowd before hoisting herself up onto a plinth where there just so happens to be a petrol pump. She then proceeds to swallow so much ‘petrol’ that she collapses. Paramedics arrive and cart off her body. Muse don’t even blink. Later, another actor tosses fake cash printed with the band’s name into the audience, before he too is carted off by paramedics. We’re sure there’s supposed to be some kind of a plot here. We’ll let you know when we’ve worked it out.
Muse love Nirvana
What with the 20th anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain and the induction of Nirvana into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, the past few weeks have been pretty Nirvana heavy. Not that anyone’s complaining, and certainly not Muse, who cover ‘Lithium’ with style, grace and a heavy, deep-seated respect. “This next song is from a great singer who died 20 years ago,” says Matt Bellamy, simply. The crowd, predictably, go utterly fucking wild.