30 Seconds To Mars + The Art - Hordern Pavilion (30.07.10)


Having been a 30 Seconds To Mars fan during my teenybopper days, I was interested to witness the live show as an older and debatably more mature fan who was beyond the stage of declaring an undying love for front-man and Hollywood star Jared Leto. (I wish I could say the same for the majority of the crowd.)

Touring off the release of third album This Is War I can indeed proclaim the band did put on an AMAZING live show. Admittedly when I bought This Is War I wasn’t as impressed with it compared to their previous two releases (Self-titled and A Beautiful Lie) but hearing the songs live I understood the hype behind the CD – This I

s War is made for a live rock show.

Supporting the band was Australian band The Art (formerly known as The Follow.) Having never seen these guys live before, I was originally impressed with their upfront rock style and energetic performance. However towards the end of their set list the songs started to all sound very similar, and I found myself day-dreaming and a few yawns escaped....never a good sign at a live gig. The majority of the audience seemed to share similar feelings with a distinct lack of enthusiasm and a couple raucous yells of ‘Get off stage!’ becoming clear. Having said that though, the band did play a decent show, there was just too much impatience for the headline act to play.

A little after 9, the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived. The lights went down and the silhouette of Jared Leto appeared as the band opened with Escape before launching straight into Night of The Hunter.

Love him or hate him, there is no denying Leto has an amazing stage presence. And if you are one of those people who consider 30 Seconds To Mars an ‘emo’ band based on impressions of songs such as The Kill, you may have misjudged – the band put on a great, solid rock show. Leto’s vocals were right on track all night, and his banter with the crowd was natural and effortless. I have to take a minute to shine the spotlight on his brother, drummer Shannon. That guy is probably one of the most amazing and captivating drummers I have seen in a while and absolutely insane to watch.

The band played a great setlist, and I really enjoyed the selection of acoustic songs played for the night. From Yesterday was stripped down into an acoustic, crowd driven version of the song, with Leto’s amused remarks of ‘You guys are too fucking fast’ coming over the top of the ever enthusiastic fans singing their hearts out.

Definite highlight and crowd pleaser was massive 2006/2007 hit The Kill. My personal favourites also included Attack (always has been one of my absolute favourite songs by the band) and Buddha For Mary – a song from 30 Seconds To Mars first album and one thrown in for the hardcore fans. The band seemed just as impressed with the crowd as the crowd was of them – with Jared expressing excitement at the mosh pit that was getting increasingly hectic throughout the night.  Second single from This Is War,  Closer to The Edge was also a highlight song, with crowd participation the highest of the night.

Closing on Kings and Queens the band hand-picked fans to join them in singing on stage – another indication of how much they do appreciate their fans. Officially announcing that they will be playing Soundwave 2011 at their Australian concerts, it looks like the band does love Australia just as much as we love them.