Muse performing their Simulation Theory World Tour at The Arena Birmingham on Tuesday 17th September 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

English rock band Muse was at the Arena Birmingham last night to perform their final UK date of this year’s Simulation Theory World Tour and what a performance they delivered to a packed and enthusiastic crowd.

With an intense light show, staging that comprised of a main stage, two wings, and a catwalk, lead singer and guitarist, Matt Bellamy was in his elements as he strutted his stuff up and down throughout the set.

Donning glowing glasses throughout, they opened with Algorithum from their latest album, Simulation Theory and with Bellamy playing an avatar being hunted through a machine, in no time at all this audience were sucked into Muse’s sci-fi future.

Flanked by neon storm troopers who soon became a choreographed brass band for the bands recent single Pressure, the concert soon began to feel like musical theatre on a blockbuster scale as opposed to a standard stadium gig.

The crowd were soon to get going for Psycho which saw Bellamy blasting out the massive riff on his futuristic guitar, and when the acrobats in isolation suits walked vertically down the back screen during the Arabian inflected Break It to Me, tracking him with flashlights, the crowd simply went wild.

Obviously the set list was peppered with new songs such as Propaganda which saw a twenty third century task force wielding steam throwers invade the stage, and the Dark Side which was very well received. But the classics released over the years were not in short supply last night with the likes of Supermassive Black Hole, Starlight, and Madness all making the album spanning set list.

All time classic Plug In Baby with its iconic riff earned a mass sing along, whilst Hysteria which boasts an equally iconic intro, also stood out as a highlight. Thought Contagion saw space zombies chase Bellamy throughout the synth rock anthem before the plodding gospel Dig Down, slowed the pace right down.

But the tempo was raised again as a confetti canon covered the crowd with coloured tissue paper for Mercy whilst Take A Bow saw Bellamy singing to a sliver skull.

There were countless nods to The Terminator on the huge backdrop screen and with drummer Dominic Howard and bassist Chris Wolstenholme staying quietly in the background, had it not been for their brilliant performances the crowd could have thought that they had been whisked off to a lab in Skynet.

Bringing their show to a rousing end, the band tore into Stockholme Syndrome which mashed magnificently into Reapers and New Born whilst on stage the giant robo skeketal frame of Murph with his menacing jaws gnashing away made an appearance and as he clawed at the crowd complete with a laser which shone out of his mouth, it enhanced the whole terrifying effect.

The grand finale was a cascade of balloons descending from the rafters as the Birmingham crowd howled along to the fist pumping closer of Knights Of Cydonia. And with Muse almost tearing the roof off the Arena with their high octane performance, and producing a show of such technical brilliance, the trio had also showcased their exceptional talents and musical accuracy.

Whilst they may have delivered a concert of pure theatre which was completely bonkers, Muse are truly one of the finest live bands of all time. It’s hard to see how they can possibly beat this performance on their next tour.