MUSE // ASHTON GATE STADIUM, BRISTOL

MUSE return to Bristol since their last show in 2001, bringing their latest sci-fi experience ‘Simulation Theory’ to Ashton Gate Stadium.

MUSE PERFORMING AT BRISTOL’S ASHTON GATE STADIUM - 05.05.2019
PICTURE BY: CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

★★★★★ (5/5)

Tonight seen Muse return to Bristol for their first live show since their Colston Hall show in 2001. This evening sees Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dom Howard take to the stage once more in Bristol at Ashton Gate Stadium as part of their Simulation Theory: World Tour and Bristol’s Ashton Gate Stadium Summer Series. The tour is in support of Muse’s latest album release ‘Simulation Theory’ released last year.

The first leg of Simulnation Theory: World Tour took place earlier this year in North America and has since now came to Europe kicking off in Prague then onto Budapest, Graz and London. This is first proper UK headline tour since Drones Arena Tour during early 2016 and their headline appearances at Reading and Leeds festivals during 2017 and special intimate shows at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire during 2017 and London’s Royal Albert Hall last year.

Opening up the show were Manchester’s Pale Waves and Rage Against The Machine and also Prophet Of Rage’s Tom Morello.

As the 25,000 capacity stadium filled up for the arrival of MUSE who were due on stage, front-man Matt Bellamy’s voice could be heard in the stadium but wasn’t visible, with all eyes waiting on him appearing as normal on stage, Bellamy appeared from beneath the ground on a catwalk which goes out into the crowd and was surrounded by a neon brass band who were introducing the front-man with a spectacular fanfare.

Kicking off with ‘Algorithm (alternative reality version)’ from their new album Simulation Theory and then straight into ‘Pressure’, was an great way to kick off proceedings at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, although a lot more stuff was about to come during their nearly two-hour set.
Next up was their come back single from The 2nd Law era and the lead single ‘Psycho’ from the Drones era. - As Psycho kicks off with robot head doing the drill sergeant, Bellamy struts down the catwalk into the crowd and starts simultaneously blasting out the massive riffs during the track with his iconic personally designed mason guitar. The track certainly got the crowd going and going in massive frenzy.

As Muse got in their next track from new album ‘Break It To Me’, five people appeared from nowhere wearing five boiler suits and were hoisted up the massive stage screen on harnesses which draws on the chorus of ooh and ahhs, before they are slowly lowered back down at different speeds during the song, shining torches onto the band members below. It was different, weird and something completely different to what i’m used for Muse doing on stage.

Followed by their all time classic ‘Plug In Baby’ which has iconic riff which is always teased tantalisingly by Bellamy before playing the full song and always earns a mass sing-along that must have been heard by people close by to the stadium in South of Bristol. Another classics also stood out as highlights from the night included ‘Uprising’, ‘The Darkside’, ‘Supermassive Black hole’and ‘Thought Contagion’, while ‘Hysteria’, which boasts massive iconic intro before setting off was stand out moment from the set tonight.

Halfway during the gig trio came down to b-stage at end of catwalk to perform few intimate tracks to be closer to their fan. Performing gospel verison of ‘Dig Down’ which was their lead single from new album ‘Simulation Theory’ went down a treat with fans who were singing along and shining torches on their phones which made it a very special moment during the concert. Surprisingly a lot fans prefer gospel version of the track compared to original which was released as single. ‘Dig Down’ was followed by another oldie ‘Undisclosed Desires’ which also delighted by fans.

As Chris and Down were lowered down the catwalk, Matt Bellamy began next track ‘Madness’ wearing his iconic specs which project lyrics to the song and then this was followed by ‘Mercy’ from Drones album era, as expected fans were excited as Bellamy walked down the stairs during the song to meet and greet fans at barrier shaking their hands before massive climax kicked in with confetti cannons and pyro streamers popping out of no where which fans were amazed by.

As set comes to near end, Bellamy and co still have few surprises ahead, playing back-catalogue belters such as ‘Time Is Running Out’, and ‘Take a Bow’. As well adding in ‘Houston Jam’ which sees Chris and Dom play drum and bass together perform an jam which always welcomed by fans. Muse end their set with ‘Starlight’ which sees Matt Bellamy walking down the catwalk wearing jacket which has LCD light lights on shining around to the lyrics of ‘Starlight’ and also sees Bellamy interaction with the crowd getting them singing, jumping throughout parts of the song.

As band leave the stage and another intermission appears on the big screen, the crowd start chanting ‘One More Song’, the intermission sees Bellamy on a giant robo-skeletal frame moving about with some weird 60-80’s theme music playing in the background. Bellamy appears from b-stage with his electronic keyboard performing ‘Algorithm’. It also sees two giant robo-skeletal frames appearing on two sides of the main stage and dancers moving about with light-up poles and designed arcade games console appears at top of catwalk with Simulation pictures of Bellamy appearing on the screen. As song comes to end, Bellamy walks up to arcade games console and pulls plug out of which ends the song and everything on stage.

Next sees biggest surprise of the night. Muse perform a rock medley of some classics and some recent newbees as the crowd begins to starting jumping and probably having the best time of their lives, affectionately dubbed ‘Murph’ among Muse fans - emerges from the back of stage behind Dom on drums.

Murph’s menacing jaws gnashing away as he claws at the crowd and completes with laser which shines out his mouth which makes him abit terrifying to some of the crowd. When Murph first appeared it could be seen some of the crowd were almost stunned into complete silence which made some of the crowd not be able crap along to the songs due to fear of drawing attention to Murph, whereas some crowd were enjoying Murph being on stage which was incredible. The medley included… ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘Assassin’, ‘Reapers’, ‘The Handler’ and ‘New Born’.

As the final song comes to end perfect night, Muse only can pull of stunt like this and finish with probably their biggest known track ‘Knights of Cydonia’. Tonight Muse have shared stadium with almost 25,000 people in attendance who will all agree they’re truly one of the best live bands of all time to see live and can put on a show after 25 years being together being a band and releasing eight albums, Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dom Howard have proven why their one greatest bands this world has seen.

Fans left the stadium on high, chanting lyrics to songs and leaving with great experience memories to remember from a great night. Their performance was worth eight-teen year wait. Muse will end their UK leg of the tour next in Manchester this weekend and then continue back to mainland Europe. We hope Muse will be doing more shows next year.

SETLIST: | MUSE : ASHTON GATE STADIUM, BRISTOL - 05.06.2019

  • Algorithm - (Alternative Reality Version; shortened)

  • Pressure

  • Drill Sergeant - (Murph’s first appearance on screen)

  • Pyscho

  • Break It To Me

  • Uprising - (Extended intro and outro)

  • Propaganda

  • Plug In Baby - (Extended outro)

  • Pray (High Valyrian) - (Matt Bellamy song) - shortened

  • The Dark Side

  • Supermassive Black Hole - (‘Close Encounters’ intro)

  • Thought Contagion

  • Interlude

  • Hysteria - (AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ riff outro)

  • The 2nd Law: Unsustainable

  • Dig Down - (Acoustic Gospel Version

  • Undisclosed Desires

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  • Madness

  • Mercy

  • Time Is Running Out

  • Houston Jam - (‘Futurisim’,’Unnatural Selection’, ‘Micro Cuts’ drum and bass riffs)

  • Take a Bow

  • Prelude

  • Starlight

ENCORE:

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  • Algorithm

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  • Stockholm Syndrome / Assassin / Reapers / The Handler / New Born - (‘Deftones’, ‘Headup’ riff outro)

  • Knights of Cydonia - (Ennio Morricone’s ‘Man With a Harmonica’ intro)

Soundcheck: ‘Break It To Me’, ‘Dig Down - Acoustic Gospel Verision’

MUSE | UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

REVIEW + PHOTOS BY: | CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

The Modern Record