UTG PHOTOS: Muse in Newark, New Jersey (01/29/16)

muse feature

Under The Gun Review sent photographer MJ Rawls to The Prudential Center in NJ to shoot Muse on their ‘Drones’ tour.

There are some concerts that feel like your typical night out. You know, the pause, the looking down at your phone, and the waiting for the band to play that favorite song for you to loosen up to. Hopefully a paying customer is there to see more than one song. A little over two years ago, I got to see Muse on their ‘2nd Law’ tour and I was hooked into the grandiose style of the show. There were 3D panels and floors that elevated — hell, I was already a fan of the band, but their showmanship is second to none. This brought me to their current ‘Drones’ tour. There were a few tracks I was interested to hear in particular, because I was curious to see if they sounded as huge in a live setting as they did on the record.

I have to say, I’m extremely proud of X Ambassadors. A year ago, I photographed them on one of the up-and-coming stages at the Radio 104.5 show in New Jersey and they have come a long way since releasing their immaculate 2015 debut, VHS. They are one of those bands that will make new fans wherever they go because they leave everything out on the stage. Although I’m not sure the huge circular stage really suited them this time around (you have to see X Ambassadors on a closer stage to get their energy), they played as well as any opening band could. Often basked in red and blue light, songs like “Hang On” and “Jungle” sounded great. If you get a chance to see this band before they are playing these big arenas regularly, do it.

As I got ready to watch Muse, I noticed some white, orb-like things near the top of their stage. “Holy shit, are these actual drones?” I thought as they all came down and glided through the crowd as the last track from their latest album played. What came after were twenty songs of hits and will-be future favorites. Muse can entertain in a way with three members that some bands can’t do with five. They kicked off with the riff-heavy “Psycho” and electronic-laden “Dead Inside.” Yes, these songs and “Reapers” (which happen to be some of the strongest material off their newest album) are just as good in a live setting. Alas, the night wasn’t done without the old favorites like “Starlight,” “Time Is Running Out,” and “Hysteria.” Matthew Bellamy went back and forth through the catwalk and played it up to the crowd. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard held down the fort on the percussion side playing their “Munich Jam.”

When you go see Muse in concert, it’s more so an event complete with a replica airplane that goes through the crowd at the end. The ‘Drones’ show commands your attention in a atmosphere where attention span is so short.



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