Muse @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
Muse...they're like a fine wine.  The first time I saw the boys from Devon was way back in 2006 when they performed at the Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie (currently the Theatre at Grand Prairie).  Touring off of their latest release at the time, Black Holes and Revelations, I was absolutely floored at the energy they oozed from the stage, led by the guitar-wielding, piano-playing frontman, Matt Bellamy.  The played the rarity of "Assassin" from Black Holes and classics such as "Apocalypse Please" and "Bliss", all of which I have not heard at one of their shows since.  Their stage setup was fairly simple, just stage lighting and some clear tubes feeding random colors through.  But my, how these guys have grown.  Now this being my sixth time seeing them and the first time in nine years, the production has grown leaps and bounds, the music is still hear and there, but one thing remains, this band will melt your face...and you will love it.

My love for Muse as a live band has never waived but my fan of their music has lost a little of its luster.  I bought The 2nd Law and Drones but I didn't fall in love with those releases, even though they had some solid tracks on them.  I had my doubts about Simulation Theory but I was pleasantly surprised by the synth-driven, arena rock that spewed from it.  The music was as triumphant as it ever was, but with a modern twist of Stranger Things and Tron-inspired sound.  Paired with an over-the-top stage production and out-of-this-world lighting, the Simulation Theory World Tour is easily one of the best shows I will see this year, and it's only February.

Opening with a shortened version of "Algorithm", Bellamy emerged from the middle of the American Airlines Center surrounded by a host of trombone players.  The bombastic entrance set the stage for a performance unlike I had ever seen.  Donning lit-up sunglasses, Bellamy made his way back to the main stage where the band jumped into "Pressure", a fun number that really kicked things into high gear in true Muse fashion.  After following Muse for years, I had always felt that their shows in the States were watered down and I somehow felt jilted by not getting a full Muse experience.  That feeling was washed away at this show.

In shows past, Muse would rarely perform more than fifteen songs at their shows, maxing out at 90 minutes every single time.  I would be surprised again.  This show reached 25 songs, not including the "Metal Medley" which included abbreviated versions of "Stockholm Syndrome", "Assassin", "Reapers", "The Handler", and the always epic, "New Born"; not to mention, a visit by their stage-sized robot, Murph.  Their range is extraordinary, from the Tron-esque Game of Thrones track "Pray (High Valyrian)" to scorching rocks songs "Hysteria" and "Plug In Baby".  No Muse show would be complete without a few improv jams and solos, which this show was full of.  But some of the best moments of this performance were those where the crowd interaction was at its highest, namely with "Mercy" and the set closing "Starlight", where singing and clapping took center stage.  To end the night, the band reached for their ace in the hole, the crushing "Knights of Cydonia".  With as many shows as I've been to, I can't name a better closer than "Knights".  It simply rocks.  And before I knew it, the show was over.  I instantly thought to myself, "if they announce a second leg and they play anywhere close, I am absolutely going".  Yes, that is a fact.

Photos of the show are below:

Muse @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX Muse @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on February 27, 2019 Rating: 5
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