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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 14, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 02
30 Seconds to Mars
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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30 Seconds to Mars

Influential rock group keeps audience screaming

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

30 Seconds to Mars
January 18
Paramount Theatre


Being a fan of the band 30 Seconds to Mars is like being a part of a cult. If the screaming crowd that packed the Paramount Tuesday night is any indication of just how popular the rock band has become, it is easy to see they are poised to take over the music world. 30 Seconds to Mars front man Jared Leto is like a rock 'n' roll Jesus, and his fans are his loyal and loving congregation. This is not a band. This is a happening, a music movement.

Dressed like proper rock stars - Leto oozed sex appeal as he appeared in a leather jacket - the band looks as good as they sound. They performed a number of songs from their 2002 self-titled album and 2005's A Beautiful Life.

When Leto and the boys - Tomo Milicevic (lead guitar, keyboards) and brother Shannon Leto (drums, percussion) - played the title track from their latest studio album, the epic This Is War, every person in the packed theater jumped in the air and clapped their hands along with the music.

'I love you guys!' Leto said as he shined a spotlight on the audience while they sang the lyrics. Large black and blue balloons dropped onto the audience during the song's climax.

When Leto proclaimed, 'I want to take my clothes off in the next song!' the crowd came unglued. 'Let's get so crazy that we're embarrassed in the morning!' he said.

A highlight of the show had to be 'Closer to the Edge.' The rousing rock anthem is a great concert song and when Leto removed his jacket, guys and girls were screaming. The crowd joined the band screaming, 'No! No! No!' when prompted by Leto.

Leto's banter with the audience is a major part of the show. Make no mistake; he is as comfortable as it gets onstage. This is his band, and the stage is his house. At one point, he was sitting while playing guitar and asked if the crowd had any requests. 'You'd think it would be a chick that has a request,' he says. 'But every time I play, I always hear a dude yell 'Take your shirt off.'

The audience ate it up, and you heard men yelling, 'Take your shirt off!'

Leto performed a beautiful acoustic version of a few songs, but it was the stripped-down version of 'Hurricane' that stood out.

The concert had all the ingredients that make a perfect rock show: crowd surfing, hot band members, and showmanship.

Before the encore, Leto told the crowd, 'Welcome to the 30 Seconds to Mars family. I'll never forget you guys.'

After three minutes of tribal drumbeats, the band returns to the stage. He had the house lights turned up so he could take a picture of the audience to share on Twitter. Then, he began to choose members of the audience to join the band onstage. In all, he got about 30 fans to rock out with him.

30 Seconds to Mars ended the show with their gigantic hit 'Kings & Queens.'

The genius of the band is simply that they exist. Once known as 'the band that the actor Jared Leto is in,' they have earned their stripes and awards on the road to become one of rock music's most influential acts. When 30 Seconds to Mars wants the crowd to jump, they will. When the mic is pointed towards them to sing, they do. And when the band wants to hear screams? Well, that didn't stop the entire night.

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