Muse dominates summer concerts with Pittsburgh show

Rock band Muse continues to give fans everything they want out of a live show.

The band is on the road for the summer and stopped by Burgettstown's KeyBank Pavilion, with openers PVRIS and Thirty Seconds to Mars in tow. PVRIS kicked off the night with a strong, fun set of rock music. Frontwoman Lynn Gunn impressed with both her performance and energy, despite a series of tweets the day before apologizing for "navigating some vocal kinks" at recent shows. 

Although Muse was the headliner, it was clear that many in attendance were there for Thirty Seconds to Mars, who proved their own strengths. At one point, live band with frontman Jared Leto ran around the stage and headed into the pavilion's seats. He got fans more amped up than they already were, often calling on them to sing and even bringing plenty onstage to end their set. Because the band hasn't released new music since 2013's LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS, the set relied heavily on older fan favorites like "City of Angels," "Kings and Queens," "This Is War" and an acoustic version of early single "The Kill."  But that isn't to say they didn't have anything new to offer--fans got a preview of a new album in progress, while Leto teased its release and quipped about his perfectionism making it difficult to finish..

While most bands save their newest material for last, Muse went right for it with their latest single, "Dig Down." For the rest of the night, the band thrilled fans with songs spanning many years and albums, from early tracks like "Plug in Baby" to selections from 2015's Drones--including "Psycho" and "Dead Inside"--and everything in between, often playing extended intros and outros or making subtle changes to the sound to avoid an exact duplicate of the album version. Muse fans cannot only bet on hearing their favorite song, but they're also likely to hear it in a new way, keeping the band's shows from getting repetitive or stale. Other highlights of the evening include "Hysteria," "Resistance," "Stockholm Syndrome," "Supermassive Black Hole," "Time Is Running Out," "Mercy," and "Starlight" sung from the middle of the arena. And Muse knows the perfect way to close out their shows, opting for a perfect finale of "Uprising" and "Knights of Cydonia."

Some degree of spectacle is to be expected from a summer arena concert, and Muse provides visual treats without doing too much--you'll find the typical screens showing the band as they play with some added visual effects, but the real fun comes with smaller touches like light-up guitars and frontman Matt Bellamy's glasses during "Madness," which display the song's lyrics as he sings. And although stage banter is a fun part of the concert experience, you won't hear it from Muse. Instead, the band puts on a proper show, focusing on the music with hardly a break in between songs.

The only bad thing about a Muse concert? The fact that the band doesn't come around more often.