Freed from the shackles of concept, Muse show off just what ‘Drones’ can do. No, not kill you. Their new album has, against all the odds, breathed new life into the band’s already phenomenal live show.
From the opening one-two of ‘Psycho’ and ‘The Handler’, Muse find the big red button marked ‘heavy’ and push it with both palms. From the gunshot drums to the roar of the guitar, this is the most vicious they have ever sounded.
They know Download Festival is one of the few challenges left to overcome – there are crosshairs on the screen for a reason – so they pull out all the stops to conquer it. And they do so in triumphant fashion.’Mercy’ and ‘Reapers’ stand tall like off-kilter cousins to the familiar snap of the hits, while a devastating trio of ‘Micro Cuts, ‘Dead Star’ and ‘Citizen Erased’, with a hunk of ‘Agitated’ for good measure, act as a two-fingered salute to all who doubted their rock credentials.
Muse have headlined festivals around the world, and for good reason. They know exactly what a crowd wants and, despite the naysayers (and Matt falling over within the first few minutes – “let’s hear it for Dave Grohl”) tonight at Donnington is no different. As the explosive conclusion of ‘Knights Of Cydonia’, all fireworks and flames, rings out, Muse can tick Download from the ever shrinking list. ‘Drones’ finally has a place within the Muse universe.