The metal medley is a medley of shortened versions of Muse's heavier songs, played at the end of the main setlist. The songs are likely picked due to sharing a Drop D guitar tuning.
Some songs are shortened to 1-2 minutes in length, while others are only played as guitar riffs. The entire medley is about 15 minutes long, thus being dubbed "15 minutes of metal" by Matt.
Post-Stockholm Syndrome riff section
Following the release of Absolution in 2003, Stockholm Syndrome quickly became a staple in the live setlist, and was often used to close gigs. The song's outro is usually followed by a series of Drop D guitar riffs, where the band continue jamming – sometimes for several minutes – before leaving the stage.
This high-intensity "riff section" was well received by fans, so it has managed to stick around long after the album's release cycle. Sometimes Stockholm Syndrome is replaced with another heavy and progressive song, such as New Born or Unnatural Selection, while keeping the ending riffs.
At the Los Angeles Staples Center in 2010:
- Stockholm Syndrome + School riff + Early Psycho riff + Execution Commentary riff + Township Rebellion riff + Agitated intro riff + Agitated outro riff + War Within a Breath riff + Negative Creep riff + Dead Star riff + Endless Nameless riff
At Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts in Montréal, 2017:
- Reapers intro + Stockholm Syndrome + Micro Cuts outro + Freedom outro + Reapers outro + Agitated outro
The "15 minutes of metal" medley
From the Black Holes And Revelations Tour onwards, Stockholm Syndrome (plus riffs) was used to close the main setlist instead, with Knights of Cydonia closing the encore. During The 2nd Law Tour and The Unsustainable Tour in 2012-13, the band began to rotate Stockholm Syndrome with New Born as the main set closer, sometimes followed by B-sides such as Agitated and Yes Please. The pre-encore riff section was eventually dropped altogether during the Drones World Tour.
Following the Drones World Tour, the band began to discuss reviving the riff section as a "metal medley," where several of Muse's heavier songs are played in shortened forms. The medley made its first appearance in 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall.
It is unknown whether the full versions of Stockholm Syndrome, New Born, or other medley songs will ever be played again.
The following Muse songs formed the medley at Royal Albert Hall:
- Stockholm Syndrome: The intro through to first verse are played, then it skips to the pre-chorus riff. The chorus leads straight into the guitar solo, skipping the third verse. The final chorus and outro are played.
- Assassin: Only the riffs leading up to the first verse are played.
- Reapers: Played as usual until the first pre-chorus riff, then it skips to the guitar solo. Everything after the guitar solo is skipped.
- The Handler: Played as usual until the first post-chorus, then it skips to the final few seconds of the outro.
- Dead Star: Played as usual until the first post-chorus riff, then it skips to Micro Cuts.
- Micro Cuts: Only the outro is played.
- New Born: Played as usual during the intro, with Morgan on piano. The intro riff leads straight to the guitar solo, followed by the final chorus and outro. The second and third verses are both skipped.
- Ashamed: A slower version of the outro riff played in Drop D instead of Standard tuning was played after New Born at the Royal Albert Hall, concluding the medley and the main set.
At The Aragon, Chicago, they played the medley in the same form, but without Dead Star and Micro Cuts. They played a riff from the Smashing Pumpkins' song Zero, and the usual Freedom outro by Rage Against the Machine instead of the Ashamed riff after New Born.