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Film Review: Muse - Drones: World Tour

I don't know about you, but for me, Muse was one of those bands that have always felt like they've been there. I remember listening to them a lot when I was younger. Yet, I haven't given them as much attention in the last few years. Ever since their 2009 album, The Resistance, I kind of switched off and didn't really listen to them any further. Needless to say though, Muse is one of the biggest rock bands in the world right now and a lot of their singles are considered some of the best rock songs ever. Even if you have never even heard of them, you have probably heard at least a couple of their songs. Which brings me to this "concert film".  Through 2015-16, they embarked on a 130 date world tour in support of their 2015 album, Drones, which was set to be a massive arena show like no other. After watching this film I am now very jealous of the people who attended those shows.

However, for those of us who didn't manage to get a ticket, this film is the next best thing. Mixing footage of multiple shows from the tour into one glorious 100-minute film. This was presented in cinema's for a one night only special event, on 12th July 2018, across cinemas all over. I got myself a ticket and made my way to the cinema. I was genuinely curious as to what this was going to be like. As someone who has been out of the Muse loop for a while, it felt like a good way to get back into their music and check out what a show would be like, without the exuberant price tag of an actual concert.

The augmented reality effects mixed with the live LED lighting well. Creating a surreal and interesting watching experience. The stage set up was unique, for a concert, with a rotating stage in the centre of the venue that connected to podiums either side via a catwalk. It looked incredible and a great way to see a show. I really liked the way everything was set up and presented. There was a grandiose and special feel to the proceedings. The camera work was trippy as well. There were about a dozen different camera angles and the way the footage was cobbled together was a little bit maddening. There were a few hard cameras, a couple of crane cameras and cameras on drones in the arena. The editing was a little crazy and at times I almost got motion sickness. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but there were moments where I just wanted to say, "Editor, calm down, the scene isn't going to eat you, just let it play out!". Other than that, I did like the presentation. The lighting and special effects merged to into a beautiful and imaginative stage show that was a feast for the eyes.

It really goes to show how big Muse is when you can go to a concert without ever buying an album from them and still recognise the majority of the songs played. The big hits were well performed and brought a massive smile to my face. Tunes like "Starlight", "Time is Running Out", "Uprising" and "Hysteria" were the heavy hitters of the set. The surprises of the set for me were "Psycho", "Madness" and "Dead Inside". I had never heard these songs and it made me very interested in looking up the last couple of albums and giving them a spin. The way Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard took such pleasure in warping and manipulating their songs whilst keep them fairly familiar was a treat to see. Not many bands could experiment with their songs live like the way Muse can. The electronic elements to their songs were well executed and integrated flawlessly. The footage of the live crowd they obtained was really good. They were all singing at the right moments and every shot of the crowd showed enthusiasm and energy.

Ending the set on the anthemic, "Knights of Cydonia". Confetti rained down and the film ended with the chorus of cheers from the crowds in the film. This was an interesting experience. I think it was great to watch this at the cinema with the surround sound and the giant screen. This really helped the immersion factor. The three members of Muse are true rock stars and this really proves it. From the excellent set list to the immaculate stage show this was a great time at the cinema. Although, I don't think it's something I would really repeat unless it was for something special. I would say this has re-kindled my liking for Muse's music and I'm interested to hear more (and I won't have to wait long with the new album on the way). Ultimately, I'm glad I went and I felt it worth the trip.



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