Just weeks before Muse was to kick off its "Simulation Theory World Tour," the band gave fans a sneak peek via social media at how the stage show would look. The English rock trio has become known for its extravagant shows and use of cutting-edge technology to pull off a variety of over-the-top moments.
With its eighth studio album, "Simulation Theory," which dropped back in November, the band not only tapped into, but fully immersed itself in, the world of science fiction, virtual reality and '80s pop culture. When guitarist-vocalist Matt Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard shared teaser videos for the tour, they were filled with synth music, neon, oversized drums, a gargantuan monster that looks like something straight out of "Alien," and Bellamy in retro wraparound sunglasses and walking around on stilts inside a futuristic-looking robot.
"It's just a big neon extravaganza," Howard said during a recent phone interview.
The jaunt comes to TD Garden on April 10.
"The whole show onstage, the look and everything about it, is really tuned in and matched with the world we've created," Howard added. "It matches the music videos, the artwork and us in the photo shoots we've done ... the whole aesthetic of what we've portrayed this time around. The show is just a huge extension of that, and people can now come and experience it in real life."
Muse worked with director Lance Drake on the '80s-style videos for songs off the album, including "Dig Down," "Something Human," "Pressure," "Algorithm" and "The Dark Side.
Howard said making the videos was some of the most fun the bandmates had in years, since they basically got to act like they were in all of these insane virtual worlds or cameo-filled '80s films.
To further help push the audience into the "Simulation Theory," Muse also created a handful of computer games for which fans can strap on a VR headset at the shows and be transported directly into the various videos.
"What's cool about this whole album so far, at least for us, is that we've been slightly expanding the world of what music ultimately is with all of these different medias and platforms, with the show being the culmination of all of it," he said. "Ultimately, we want to be able to put on the VR headset and we can be playing in your living room or something like that, so we're kind of working towards that kind of experience."
With eight albums and a lot of hits under its belt, there are certain songs Muse consistently keeps in its shows, though this time around it has added seven songs off the new album and even punched up some of the older material, like "New Born," off of its second album, or "Showbiz," the title track of its 1999 debut.
"It's really interesting to play them now," Howard said, "because you remember what it was or what you think you felt back then and you're playing it now with an entirely different and current feeling. It can almost feel like you're playing a cover song and then you realize it's your own, so it is a bit of an odd feeling."
Muse has set the bar so high for itself in terms of production, each tour seemingly outdoing the last, but Howard said the band may shift to something more subtle in the future.
"We're already thinking about what we're going to do next, far beyond this album and this tour," he said. "Playing smaller environments (is) better (for less production) because if you are playing a big arena or a stadium with just musicians, you need to be Bruce Springsteen, basically.
"When we book the stadiums and arenas, we just get excited and want to put all of this crazy stuff in there that ties in with the music, but doing something stripped down and more about the music and less about the big spectacle is something we'll definitively do in the future, maybe even next time around. You can't always keep doing the same thing. You need to mix it up."
Ticket prices for the Muse show at TD Garden on April 10 are $44, $63.50 and $99.49. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.tdgarden.com.
Contact Kelli Skye Fadroski at firstname.lastname@example.org or @KelliSkye on Twitter.