Muse brought roaring riffs and uncensored rock to Hong Kong [Review]

By Lauren James
By Lauren James |

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Muse brought HK an uncensored set of riffs and redemption.

Muse made headlines for changing their setlist for mainland crowds, leaving out provocative songs. Hong Kong fans didn't need to worry though, as at AsiaWord-Expo on September 28, the British trio delivered an unflinching setlist peppered with the kind of authority-bashing, conspiracy-courting calls to arms that have earned them their eccentric reputation.

After walking onstage to a clip of the demonic drill sergeant from latest album Drones (nope, no less cringe-worthy in the live show), frontman Matt Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dom Howard tore into album opener Psycho with gusto.

If their seventh studio album tried to shake off the dubstep misstep of 2012 predecessor The 2nd Law, the live experience is all about proving that Muse's legendary shows can still make faces melt, with a searing light show and fist-pumping songs of defiance, redemption and love.

Plug in Baby's siren squeals and piercing falsetto arrived early, and old school head-bangers Hysteria to Citizen Erased made up for the inclusion of the Skrillex-style Unsustainable.

A predictable set was lit up by the gloomy, militaristic march of Apocalypse Now. It was a rare gift to the more seasoned fans - Bellamy, the formerly introverted rock musician finally seems comfortable in the spotlight.

Though few and far between, the tender moments arrived amid the futuristic lullaby twinkles of Starlight and Mercy.

A night of crowd-pleasers was signed off in typical style with the triumphant Wild West wailing-meets-Mars metal meltdown, Knights of Cydonia. As the climactic, galloping chorus hit, Bellamy shrieked "No-one's going to take me alive", before exiting the stage to blinding lights and clamorous roars.

Business as usual for the unstoppable overlords of rock, who set the standard for shows more than a decade ago.