Muse madness hits Singapore
20 years on, Muse prove they still have it in them to work the crowd, bringing the house down at their sold-out concert
Like true rock stars, Muse can easily work a lively crowd to fever pitch.
And, no, they did not need to dip into the bag of well-worn rocker gimmicks and theatrics.
The sold-out crowd of 10,000 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last Saturday fed off the high of the English alternative rock trio's roaring, pulsating songs and sent the fiery energy through the roof.
It was Madness and it was Hysteria, to borrow from the titles of two hits played by Muse that night.
Frontman Matt Bellamy, bassist Christopher Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard kicked off their-two hour set with Psycho and Reapers, off their latest album Drones.
Muse, which performed here in 2007 and 2010, also threw in the dubstep-heavy electronic track The 2nd Law: Unsustainable, from their least successful work, The 2nd Law (2012).
But it was nostalgia that truly got the audience, who were mostly clad in black Muse T-shirts, pumping their fists in the air and jumping wildly.
Classic favourites like Plug In Baby, Citizen Erased, Supermassive Black Hole, Time Is Running Out and Starlight were met with fan energy that shook the ground and received the loudest singalongs.
Muse is a band that clearly prefer to let their music do all the talking.
Stage banter, if any, was kept to a minimum.
It was only midway through the two-hour set that Bellamy, 37, addressed the audience and led them in swaying their hands from side to side in the air during Madness.
During Uprising, he also told the crowd how great it was to return to our shores, just as giant confetti-filled black balls were released and started bouncing off the crowd.
Fancy stage antics were also few and far between, save for a guitar-and-drum solo and Bellamy singing through a loudhailer during a cover of the Nina Simone blues classic Feeling Good.
The Singapore stopover of their Drones world tour may not have included drones that the band have promised for their tour next year.
But there was a colourful display of lights and impressive visuals to match the songs - think anything from robots and drones in a post-apocalyptic setting to pink sakura flowers and even a spot of 'wayang kulit' (shadow puppet show).
For fans in the mosh pit, who queued for at least six hours before the gig to secure themselves choice spots, the wait was worth it.
Student Nizam Harith, 25, who had also caught Muse at their last two performances here, told The New Paper: "To watch them from this close... nothing beats the feeling. It does not compare to their first gig here.
"This show proved why they are still one of the best rock acts around, even after all these years."
Their Malaysian fans who came to see them in Singapore were also happy. Malaysia was not included in the Asian leg of the Drones world tour.
Lego model builder Mohd Yazid Mohd Yasin, 33, who drove here from Johor Baru with his two friends, said: "I've been a fan for a long time. This is my second time watching them but this one's even more amazing.
"They are incredible performers."