Their first huge show since new album ‘Drones’ was released, all eyes were on Muse at Donnington this weekend as they headlined the Main Stage on Saturday. Here’s how it all went down…
Muse debuted their new 'Drones' live show as they headlined the Saturday night of Download festival at Donington Park, Derbyshire.
Bassist Chris Wolstenhome said the band's 90-minute set would be "scaled back" due to timing issues. It was also skewed towards the band's heavier material, in keeping with the festival's metal focus.
All three members walked onstage dressed head to toe in black, as the record's '[Drill Sergeant]' skit played. They opened with 'Drones' single 'Psycho', the intro to which saw Matt Bellamy slip over while rocking out on the catwalk. He recovered and continued the song with little disruption.
Before 'Plug In Baby', Bellamy initiated a call and response using only sound effects emitted from his guitar. Bellamy is famous for using Manson guitars, and even has his own signature range.
Second track 'The Handler', played live for the first time, climaxed with a series of pyrotechnic blasts in front of the stage, before Bellamy sat at the piano to perform 'New Born'.
He went on to play 'Hysteria', 'Micro Cuts' and a rare airing of non-album single 'Dead Star'. Looking out at the crowd after 'Citizen Erased', he said, "Fuck, there's loads of you out there!"
Bassist Chris Wolstenhome played a harmonica intro to 'Knights of Cydonia' based on Ennio Morricone's 'Man with a Harmonica', before throwing it into the crowd and Matt Bellamy resumed his position centre stage.
The encore began with 'Drones' skit '[JFK]', in which an image of US whistleblower Ed Snowden was flashed onscreen.
Midway into 'Uprising', Bellamy made a comment insinuating that innocent citizens' faces are routinely scanned by overzealous police.
Dominic Howard at the back of the stage. Earlier in the day he had been taking photographs from the side of the stage during Faith No More's set and posting them to his instagram account.
'Drones' opener 'Dead Inside' received a warm welcome from the crowd; the screens depicted fighter plane graphics intercut with images of a bronze woman's topless body. Some big black balloons bounced into the audience before 'Stockholm Syndrome' closed the main set.
A firework display behind the stage accompanied 'Knights Of Cydonia's' finale.