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Live Recap: Muse at Riviera Theatre • Chicago

| October 15, 2022





Rivera Theatre

Chicago, IL

October 11, 2022

Live Review by Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Muse is accustomed to filling up arenas and stadiums whenever they tour. So, when they change gears and play the rare theater show, you know it’s going to be something special. Touring in support of their new album, Will of the People, Muse played to a sold-out crowd of 2500 lucky fans at the Riviera Theatre on Tuesday night. And it was definitely a night to remember.

For their first show at the Riviera in 18 years, Muse gave us a stripped-back set. No stage projections. No intense light shows. No fancy setups. Just Matt Bellamy, Dom Howard, Chris Wolstenholme, and touring keyboardist Dan Lancaster on stage. It was a rare sight and one that proves Muse doesn’t rely on stage production to make their performances good. The stage production enhances it. Though it’s always cool to see what innovative technology they’re gonna pull out in a live setting, it was still great to see them keep it simple and focus on the music.

If you were expecting Muse to take a page out of Green Day’s book and deliver a night full of deep cuts, you’d be disappointed. The setlist was made up of popular singles like “Plug in Baby,” “Starlight,” Supermassive Black Hole,” and “Knights of Cydonia.” They also played some of their new cuts, like “Won’t Stand Down,” the seasonally appropriate “You Make Me Feel Like It’s Halloween,” “Compliance,” and “Kill Or Be Killed,” which got a huge reaction from the crowd. While they peppered in a few deep cuts like “Space Dementia,” “Assassin,” “Niche,” and “Minimum,” they mostly played it safe. Muse has a plentiful catalog, so it’s a shame they still hold back on songs fans have been clamoring for, even in such an intimate setting. They could’ve used this rare setting to pull out deep cuts and not worry about trying to please an arena full of people, similar to what Green Day did at the Metro in August. Instead, it feels like the setlist they’ll use when they return to play the United Center in February.

Setlist nitpicking aside, it was still a fantastic show. 20 years on Muse are as tight as ever. They were made to be performers. Even with some brief tech issues, the band never missed a beat. They deliver a memorable show full of energy, thrills, and tons of sing-a-longs. Watching Bellamy lead the crowd in a giant sing-a-along of “Starlight,” it became clear this is what he was born to do. Take away the larger-than-life stage productions and fancy technology, and you’re left with a band that knows how to deliver an unforgettable performance.


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