Off the back off their freshly released album “Drones”, which has topped the charts in an astonishing 21 countries, Muse graced the top of the bill on Saturday of Download. They were the visual antithesis of preceding act Faith No More , with them and the main stage enveloped in black. Their relationship with the crowd was wholly different as well, adopting the ethos ‘actions speak louder than words’. As such the Devonshire based trio assaulted the huddled masses with ferociously played hits, taking the odd moments respite to holler ‘thank you Download!’.
The risk Andy ‘Cowboy’ Copping took in booking them paid off big time, as their immaculately pumped up hits sent the crowd into a frenzy – the irrepressible ‘Time is Running Out’, ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ and ‘Hysteria’ had tens of thousands eating out the palm of their hands. Any worries that the chart friendly, radio 1 supported band would not quite ‘fit in’ were blown out of the water – they certainly lived up to their reputation. The lead singles from “Drones”, ‘Mercy’ and ‘Dead Inside’ were appreciated just as much as their established numbers, with the ‘Drill Sergeant’ intro to ‘Psycho’ a suitably epic initiation. Muse are found of the overblown and bombastic side of rock, and they saved the best of that till last – with the throbbing bass of ‘Uprising’ filling the nights sky. Not to mention the powerfully melodic ‘Plug in Baby’ and, of course, ‘Knights of Cydonia’.
Their frenetic Donington debut was an unreserved success that won over any potential doubters. and hopefully the first of many trips to come.
Photo Credit: Richard Johnson/Download 2015