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Muse play Bilbao ahead of MTV EMA

matt bellemy on stage in bilbao
matt bellemy on stage in bilbao Image credit: 20minutos.es

It’s virtually impossible now for Muse to go anywhere nowadays without being recognised.

Ahead of their concert tonight in Bilbao’s San Mamés Stadium they are snapped standing next to fans captured by @peggygaray1 and @isabella_muse around the city before make their way to venue which was crowned Sports Building of the Year almost exactly three years ago from today.

But it isn’t just the likes of Peggy and Isabella who are excited about Matt, Dom and Chris’ return to Bilbao, where they last played in 2015 as part of the BBK Live festival, there’s those who have verified social media accounts to, such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews.

The actor is in town to present Best Video at tomorrow night’s MTV EMAs, but tonight he’s onstage in front of 50,000 people to introduce the headliners of this year’s pre-awards concert.

“Give it up for my favourites!” he exclaims to the hordes of fans facing the stage and he’s not kidding – Crews also has a role in Muse’s video to Pressure off their new album, which just so happens to be the second number on this evenings one-hour setlist which sees Matt Bellamy clutching the mic as if his life depended on it.

Simulation Theory is their eighth album being released this Thursday. Based on the idea of “fantasy becoming real” one may interpret this as a nod to the Brexit/Trump era but it’s actually a world away from the White House and the possibility Britain may never host another MTV Eurovision Music Award.

Aware that most of their past albums have featured tracks about global news and dystopian future Muse have decided to go where no Devonshire band have gone before and penned lyrics about science fiction and 80’s pop culture which we will no doubt hear live during their recently announced UK summer tour next year.

If you are an alien yourself to the band…Where the hell have you been? Basically, to cut a long story short Matt successfully auditioned for Dominic Howard’s band, Carnage Mayhem in the early eighties. After a while they realised their name wasn’t that great so the renamed themselves to Gothic Plague (yeah, an even worse title!) and asked Chris Wolstenholme to join them on drums. Another they changed their name again, this time to slighter better Rocket Baby Dolls, the Teignmouth trio finally settled with Muse in the mid-nineties.

Despite not making an appearance at tomorrow’s awards – where they have been nominated for Best Rock and Best Live Act – Muse kick off the EMAs weekend in style. There’s an extended into for Plug In Baby and Matt finally opens his supermassive pair of lungs for The 2nd Law sandwiched between flames which flare up from the stage and of course lasers – it wouldn’t be a Muse show without lasers would it?

One gimmick Bellamy introduced on a previous tour which sees the words to Madness scroll across a pair of shades returns tonight…If only Bono thought of that for his world peace messages which no one takes any notice of!

Another track from Simulation Theory – Thought Contagion – rims around the opening to that Supermassive Black Hole before Chris stands on his stool, bangs the drumsticks and takes us Dig Down, a track which was released last year carrying the message that no matter how rubbish the world is at the moment, we can make a difference…So it’s good to know their new record isn’t just based on science fiction and the glory days of pop!

It’s not just state of the art glasses which feature in a Muse performance…Almost every gig unleashes a net of inflatable balls which bounce over the crowd. Tonight is no exception as the huge round white things are catapulted from one head to another through Time Is Running Out.

After Mercy and very short siesta the night is rounded off with Uprising and Knights of Cydonia. It’s another awesome gig for a band which could have seen thousands of people in Bilbao wearing ‘We ♥ Gothic Plague’ T-Shirts!

Muse Setlist - San Mamés, Bilbao, Spain – 3rd November 2018.

Psycho

Pressure

The Dark Side

Plug In Baby

The 2nd Law: Unsustainable

Madness

Thought Contagion

Supermassive Black Hole

The 2nd Law: Isolated System

Dig Down

Starlight

Time Is Running Out

Mercy

Uprising

Knights of Cydonia