State-of-the-art approach: Review of "Muse: Drones World Tour" concert film

The British rockers Muse screened for one-night-only their new concert film "Drones World Tour" on July 12 in theaters around the world. Thanks to KyivMusicFilm, the showtimes were also held in Ukraine. Further in the article, Noizr Zine’s editor shares her impressions about this live movie.

On June 5, 2015, Muse released their 7th LP "Drones", which was pretty coolly received by critics, but that did not stop him from winning the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. A couple of weeks before the record’s release, the band went on a big tour, which included more than 130 concerts around the world. During this tour in 2016, the band and its huge team (whose names were listed in the final credits) filmed the footage for a concert movie called "Muse: Drones World Tour".

Muse: Drones World Tour, weeky.es

The directing

The film was directed by Tom Kirk and Jan Willem Schram, two famous British directors and producers, who, besides Muse, have also collaborated with such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, and Metallica. In particular, Kirk has handled the filming for Muse’s music video "Dream No More", as well as concert and documentary movies "H.A.A.R.P. Live at Wembley" (2008) and "Absolution Tour" (2005). And it should be noting that "Muse: Drones World Tour" is directed very well. The film is not documentary or semi-documentary, only at its beginning and at the end one could see the band’s members saying just a couple of words. Instead, the film focuses on the performance itself, the musicians, the interaction of the frontman Matt Bellamy with the crowd, incredible special effects and public reaction to the happening. I haven’t noticed in "Drones World Tour" any special author's style, as it was, for example, in "Rammstein: Paris" (with constant imposition of images, their mirroring, using of a kaleidoscope effect , etc.). But there is nothing to complain about here, "Drones World Tour" is a good concert film that allows you to feel the atmosphere of the show and fully indulge in nostalgia for those who were lucky enough to watch such a technical miracle live.

The show

The whole show in "Drones World Tour" is the embodiment of the album "Drones" concept, focusing on a conflict between a soldier (the lyric hero of the record) and "drones" (insensible beings in human form, who captured world domination). Thanks to this, every detail, every element of the performance has its value. There is no pointlessness and tribute to fashion things, prepared for the momentary fun of the crowd that I once noticed and criticized, for example, in the shows of the Ukrainians The Hardkiss, who release on the stage a girl in Maleficent image just because at that time the same-named movie was at the peak of popularity.

Muse members on scene, soyuz.ru

The theme of submission and technology, in addition to the lyrics and abounding with hi-tech instruments music, is also revealed with the help of a stunning audiovisual series unfolding on the rotating stage in front of the enthusiastic crowd, over which are hang numerous drones. the work of Muse and their teams can be compared with the legendary concerts of Pink Floyd, and in terms of the music component — with any leading representatives of the rock scene of past years, since it's simply pointless to deny that Muse are rock stars of their generation. The band’s music program is a mixture of catching rock, tricky progressive parts, electronics with playing on state-of-the-art instruments (here are the guitars with a touchscreen and various gadgets for creating the effects), a cappella singing and even metal with the performing of tremolo riffs.

If you were at a Muse concert in Kyiv a couple of years ago, you probably saw 60% at best of the whole show of these British guys. An incredible scene that is constantly on the move gave visitors of the "Drones World Tour" an opportunity to enjoy a 360-degree performance, where literally every second the audience could see eye-catching holograms, a skilful laser show that evokes associations with David Gilmour's gig in Pompeii. The work of the technical team is just amazing. The only thing, for one short moment, the light show reached its apogee and started to flash all the lasers and spotlights so intensity that it was quite difficult to look at the screen. But in general, 2 hours of the film passed unnoticed due to the excellent setlist, which includes, in addition to such new tracks as "Dead Inside" and "Psycho", as well as a few old things — "Uprising", "Time Is Running Out", "Plug in Baby" and others, a stunning innovative show, an excellent level of performance and capture of all the happening. Thus, Muse once again have clearly proven that they are indeed one of the best live bands of our time.

As a small gift to their fans, the musicians demonstrated at the end of the film a short teaser of the new video clip "Something Human", the initial footage of which evoked associations with the film "Mad Max" by George Miller. The video is scheduled for release on July 19, 2018.

Read also:

Reviewed by Anastezia
Noizr Zine thanks KyivMusicFilm for the accreditation