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Muse’s ‘By Request’ show in Paris, February 24th, 2018

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Last saturday, the famous British band Muse performed a special ‘By Request’ show in Paris, France, at La Cigale concerthall, in front of about 1,000 lucky members of their website The showcase followed the release of the band’s new single ‘Thought Contagion’ on February 15th.

The show was streamed live on the band’s social channels (Facebook, Twitter/Periscope and YouTube) but the live broadcasting was not the main attraction. The intimate show included real time fan voting where attendees and ticket holders got the chance to choose their favourite tracks to be played on stage by the band. Some of the tracks were even chosen by online poll because Facebook viewers could also vote on various songs during the set in real time. All the votes submitted were collated and used to curate the set along the night. Muse finally played 8 songs from the popular Top 10 such as ‘Uprising’, ‘Showbiz’, the old one ‘Plug In Baby’, ‘Hysteria’ or ‘Supermassive Black Hole’. ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ was logically chosen over ‘Knights of Cydonia’ via online vote. During the show, the band announced the nominees and the winning songs as if they were on stage for the Oscars! 

French web users approved by a large majority an old song called ‘Eternally Missed’ by surprise for the band. This track, released on 2003 as a hidden b-side from their third album ‘Absolution’, had been played only 3 times on 15 years by Matthew Bellamy and his mates. That rare song was so hard to remember that Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard said in an interview after the concert that they had to check the musical score and tabs on Spotify before the show as a reminder! When they began to play ‘New Born’, the audience started a mosh pit in the crowd. At the end of the show, Muse warmly thanked the public who acted as a tracklist planner with frenzy during this exceptional show.

It was not the first time Muse performed with a voting system within the show. They already did it in London on August, 2017 for a charity. The Rolling Stones did the same for their ‘Olé‘ tour in Latin America on 2016. The band also allowed their fans to choose one song they added to their setlist. For their appearance at The Meadows festival in NYC on September, 2017, TV On The Radio suggested to their fans to select the entire setlist by a pre-show online vote. I remember I had voted on Facebook whereas I didn’t even attend the festival…

Are the ‘By Request’ shows the future of live concerts? Is it a passing fad or a trend ready to last? Isn’t it a bit risky to accustom the audience to taking part of every lineup? I know we are in a modern era, we are able to give our opinion on everything everywhere and we can chat with famous people on Twitter but I am afraid to be disappointed next time I will see an artist on scene. When I attend a concert, it’s always a huge surprise and a big pleasure when my favourite song comes… I like being impressed by the performance of an artist in real life without any preconceived idea. If you already know (part of) the tracklist before the show, there is no fantasy anymore, you should better start a playlist on your iPod and stay at home! I wonder if I had previously known the setlist of La Cigale show, I would’t perhaps have wanted to go there. I didn’t manage to get tickets anyway…

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