"Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma mad mad". If there was one exaggerated way to describe a Muse concert, that'll be it. It's been five years since their last show at Big Night Out, so upon the June announcement of their return, fans of British rockers Matt Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme turned up at the Singapore Indoor Stadium expecting one thing: Madness. And boy, did Muse deliver.
But of course, good things come to those who wait. Before Muse's 16-track set, fans waited 90 minutes for them to come on, with Los Angeles indie band The Ruse opening the show. After a few crowd-initiated Kallang Waves (that never dies, does it?), the boys came on stage with Psycho. A track off their new record Drones, it wasn't quite enough to rouse an overwhelming response from the crowd — who half consisted of older, middle-aged fans — but it did give us a taste of things to come. An LED screen served as the backdrop, alit with scenes from their music video, band close-ups and the audience — we even spotted a fan sporting a Matt Bellamy mask.
It wasn't until the opening guitar riff in the third song that the audience — all 10,000-strong — stood up. They knew what they were in for: Plug in Baby from the band's second album, Origin of Symmetry, released 15 years ago. They continued sharing the love from their discography quite equally, with Dead Inside (Drones, 2015), Resistance (The Resistance, 2009) and Hysteria (Absolution, 2003).
After guitar riffs, string scrapes and solos, Bellamy took to the piano for Feeling Good — proving that he is in fact, the jack of all trades and master of all, too. Sure, the Nina Simone version is great, but once a band such as Muse takes over the reins on covering it, the song isn't really yours anymore, is it?
Always great at pacing themselves and their fans, the trio slowed things down with Madness. Allegedly inspired by a tiff with Bellamy's ex-beau Kate Hudson, the track off The 2nd Law's notably one of their most stripped down. Revving up the adrenaline right after, they churned out hit after hit: Supermassive Black Hole, Time is Running Out, Starlight and Uprising.
Mercy and Knights of Cydonia (featuring the famed harmonica intro) formed the encore and end to a stellar show. The boys aren't all that personable on stage but were polite enough to say hello and end with a "you rock, Singapore". That was more than enough to thrill the crowd — when your songs are that good and coupled with an LED show, giant balloons and confetti, words aren't needed. Wham, bam, and thank you, ma'am.
Muse performed live in Singapore as part of a tour presented by AEG Live. All videos taken with the new Apple iPhone 6S.