Matt Bellamy wears Portuguese flag as Muse headline first day of Lisbon’s Nos Alive festival

Alt-J, James Bay and Metronomy also performed

Muse headlined the opening day of Nos Alive in Lisbon on Thursday (July 9) with a set that saw frontman Matt Bellamy don a Portuguese flag as a cape.

The band’s 17-song set opened at 12.15am, kicking off with recent single ‘Psycho’ from this year’s ‘Drones’ album. The performance also included well-loved tracks from throughout their career.

A rapturously received ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ was followed by another ‘Drones’ track, ‘The Handler’, which ended in a squall of feedback and segued straight into ‘Plug In Baby’. The pace of the set rarely dropped, and the instrumental ‘Munich Jam’ was performed with frenetic energy.

Performing with an impressive light show and striking, mostly monochrome visuals, Bellamy and his band spoke little but for the occasional “Obrigado” (“Thank you” in Portuguese).

The crowd were exceptionally vocal throughout the performance, singing loudly along to ‘Starlight’ and ‘Time Is Running Out’, during which a red countdown clock could be seen on screen. Afterwards, ‘Mercy’ closed the main set and saw a burst of streamers and ticker tape explode over the crowd.

The encore began with a sample of former US president John F Kennedy, with Bellamy returning wearing the Portuguese flag draped over his shoulders. ‘Uprising’ and ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ followed.

Muse played:

‘Supermassive Black Hole’
‘The Handler’
‘Plug In Baby’
‘Dead Inside’
‘Munich Jam’
‘Apocalypse Please’
‘Time Is Running Out’
‘Knights Of Cydonia’

The Lisbon festival opened at 6pm with a Nos stage performance from The Wombats. Frontman Murph introduced ‘The English Summer’ by saying, ‘This song is called ‘The English Summer’, which is just like a Portuguese summer but there’s no sun.” The Liverpool trio strayed off setlist to play ‘Patricia The Stripper’ in response to a fan’s sign in the audience, and the set also included ‘Give Me A Try’ from this year’s ‘Glitterbug’ album and a closing ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’.

On the Heineken stage, Young Fathers performed a set that erred on the side of slow and dubby, and included early track ‘Only Child’ from 2013’s ‘Tape Two’ mixtape. G Hastings asked the crowd, “Do you wanna dance?” before playing ‘Shame’.

Back on the main Nos stage, James Bay seemed overwhelmed by the huge crowd he’d attracted, telling them, “This is insane. This is the first time I’ve been here.” His set concluded with hit ‘Hold Back The River’. Later, Metronomy told the crowd that their first ever show outside of the UK was in Portugal, and frontman Joe Mount told the crowd they were playing “one from the vaults” – ‘A Thing For Me’ from 2008 – to mark the occasion. The set also saw performances of ‘The Bay’, ‘The Look’ and ‘I’m Aquarius’.

The Metronomy crowd thinned towards the end of their sprawling show as Alt-J proved a magnetic attraction on the Nos stage, where they opened with ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ from last year’s album ‘This Is All Yours’. The band’s set was accompanied by a dazzling light show and included their second album’s secret track, a cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’, as well as singles ‘Breezeblocks’, ‘Left Hand Free’ and ‘Every Other Freckle’. The band will play their first festival headline set at Latitude in Suffolk later this month.

Nos Alive continues on Friday (June 10) with performances from Mumford & Sons, The Prodigy, James Blake and Future Islands.