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Hong Kong gigs

British rock trio Muse make welcome return to Hong Kong with explosive show

Trio from Devon bring back-to-basics show to city after five-year absence

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 September, 2015, 11:46am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 September, 2015, 11:38am

It was likely a coincidence that, on the first anniversary of the Occupy Central protests, British rock group Muse took to the stage at Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo and performed Uprising as part of the Asian leg of their Drones tour.

Perhaps it was because that was one of two songs the band dropped from the set list of their first tour of China earlier this month due to political sensitivities.

Watch: Hong Kong fans rock to uncensored Muse show, songs taken off setlist in Beijing and Shanghai says drummer Dominic Howard

Whatever the reason, it was to the delight of the 10,000-strong crowd gathered for the Devon trio’s first performance in Hong Kong for five years.

But this was a stripped back affair rather than the elaborate light show they put on back in 2010 when they were still going through their kings of grandiose phase, which saw giant installations of TV screens adorn the stage.

Drones, the band’s seventh studio album - and a concept album examining the dehumanisation of modern warfare - is a back to basics affair with a tour to match. This gave singer Matt Bellamy, drummer Dominic Howard and bassist Chris Wolstenholme the perfect excuse to belt out some of the band’s most anthemic and rock-heavy classic hits alongside new material like Psycho, Reapers and The Handler.

But it was, of course, the likes of Hysteria, Time Is Running Out and Apocalypse Please - gems from earlier albums - that really got the crowd going. A rare performance of Citizen Erased won ecstatic cheers.

But, then, the crowd must have sensed the set would be astonishing when the band launched into Plug In Baby - the hit from their second album, Origin Of Symmetry, that really put them on the map - as the third song of the night.

An encore of Mercy and Knights Of Cydonia was brought to an end with a crescendo of fireworks and confetti.

With their diverse back catalogue and penchant for experimentation, for some, Muse are an acquired taste. But there’s no getting away from the fact that they are almost certainly the best live band in the world, as last night's explosive performance aptly demonstrated.

Set list

Psycho

Reapers

Plug In Baby

The Handler

Unsustainable

Dead Inside

Interlude

Hysteria

Citizen Erased

Apocalypse Please

Madness

Supermassive Black Hole

Time Is Running Out

Starlight

Uprising

Mercy

Knights Of Cydonia