After months of anticipation, Muse took to the stage to perform an epic and heavy headline set at Download 2015 last night (Saturday 13 June). Check out our full report, videos and the setlist below.
At first when Muse were announced to headline the hard rock festival alongside Kiss and Slipknot, the news was met with a degree of controversy among many hard rock fans - arguing that the band were not a suitable enough fit for the largely metal event (later to be defended by the likes of Zane Lowe and Fall Out Boy).
However, it's fair to say that Muse more than rose the challenge - using the excuse to drop some harder, heavier and rarer cuts from their back catalogue to win over the Download faithful.
The 'Drill Sargent' military monologue made for the ultimate call to arms to the thousands of people that packed out the field of the main stage, drawing one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, before the band tore into the massive 'Psycho' and then performed Drones highlight 'The Handler' for the first time.
From then on, it was madness among the hardcore Musers at Donington, as Matt, Dom and Chris belted a string of old favourites, scattered with a handful of lesser-played tracks. The mini epic of 'Newborn' welcomed a huge sing-along and a circle pit or two, before 'Hysteria' once again proved to be the ultimate festival anthem. Origin Of Symmetry favourite 'Micro Cuts' brought out Download's falsetto skills, with the outro riff sending all present feral, before seldom-played one-off single 'Dead Star' and twisted Showbiz b-side 'Agitated' convinced all that they'd seen the pinnacle of the madness - just when the band dropped true career highlight 'Citizen Erased', proving to be the pinnacle of the set.
From then on, it was largely business as usual, in the best possible sense, with recent singles 'Dead Inside' and 'Mercy' landing well and finding favour as ideal festival moments, while massive hits 'Supermassive Black Hole', 'Time Is Running Out' and 'Stockholm Syndrome' assured any doubters of the band's legitimacy to headline rock's hallowed ground of Donington - teasing a segment of Rage Against The Machine's 'Township Rebellion' for good measure.
Returning for an encore of modern classics 'Uprising', 'Plug In Baby' and 'Knights Of Cydonia', the band sealed their farewell with a dazzling firework and confetti finale.
The Handler (Live Premiere)
Supermassive Black Hole
Time Is Running Out
(Defector riff played on guitar)
Plug In Baby
Knights of Cydonia
Watch Muse performing 'Citizen Erased' below
Watch Muse performing 'Micro Cuts' below
Watch Muse performing 'New Born' below
Watch Muse performing 'The Handler' below
This week sees the release of Muse's seventh album, Drones. Read our track-by-track guide and review to the record here, and stream Drones here.
Meanwhile, Marilyn Manson headlined the Zippo Encore Stage with cuts from his brilliant 2015 album The Pale Emperor and iconic metal classics such as 'Disposable Teens', 'Rock Is Dead' and 'The Dope Show', as well as his standard covers of Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus' and The Eurythmics 'Sweet Dreams'.
Earlier in the day saw the legendary Faith No More take to the main stage, dressed in all white with the stage decked with flowers, uniting Donington in chorus for the likes of 'Epic' and their cover of 'Easy' by The Commodores. Prior to them, A Day To Remember proved another highlight, inspire sheer love and circle pits, as well playing a rather surprising cover of 'Champagne Supernova' by Oasis.
Download 2015 continues today with performances from Kiss, Motley Crue, Slash, Enter Shikari, L7, Billy Idol and many more.