Some bands, no matter how popular they get, aren't meant for cavernous arenas or massive amphitheaters. Perhaps their sound is too intimate or their stage presence too introverted.
Muse does not have that problem.
The British three-piece — consisting of singer/guitarist Matt Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard — has spent the past two decades harnessing its rock band into operatic territory on hits such as "Uprising" and "Starlight," each tailor-made to stretch all the way out to the cheap seats.
Incorporating electronic elements to make them sound much fuller than your ordinary trio, they use synthesizers and dancey pop hooks that show a Depeche Mode influence. But what makes them stand out is the songs' über-theatrical storytelling. Their newest record, 2015's Drones, doesn't include the band's strongest tracks, but they went all out with the concept-album idea, a rarity in this era of playlists. Over the course of 12 tracks, the album that went to the top of the Billboard charts and won a Grammy for best rock album spins a tale of a human weapon: a soldier/drone who is militarized to kill and who eventually questions his orders and then rebels.
Bellamy told Rolling Stone the whole thing was inspired by reading the book Predators: The CIA's Drone War on al Qaeda. "I didn't know how prolific drone usage has been. I always perceived Obama as an all-around likable guy. But from reading the book, you find out that most mornings he wakes up, has a breakfast, and then goes down to the war room and makes what they call 'kill decisions.'"
That book inspired Bellamy to explore sonically and lyrically the effects of war on its participants in Drones. "It's about someone having something bad happen to them, but they choose not to feel it [and] become dead inside. Then they go on and become vulnerable to these dark, oppressive forces, which are more than happy to take advantage of people like that."
Those ideas are big enough to reach out to the fan sitting on the patch of grass farthest from the stage at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre, where Muse will play Saturday night.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.