If you have not heard of Thirty Seconds To Mars, well at the very least you may have heard of their frontman. Jared Leto can command an audience, but let us hold that thought for a few moments and talk about the whole show. When I applied to cover this show, I was convinced I had a close to zero chance of getting approved. This band is hot. That always makes for some tight competition for a spot in the pit. On the way to the show I was met on the road with a barrage of lightning and torrential rain. Did I mention this show was in an open air venue? It was so bad I thought they might have to cancel the show. It cleared up, but as anyone who has spent time in Florida knows, it then became an outdoor steam room. As one of the Live Nation workers put it, “well it’s a detox day and when I get home I will feel like I’m sixteen again”. He’s was not wrong. My shirt was so drenched with perspiration, my sticky pass fell off. I’m a little bummed about that. Kevin Ray from Walk The Moon shed his hoodie almost instantly. Jared Leto, who came out in a full coat, made it about one song. Bless their hearts, they are better at handling the heat than I am. To be sure most of them were wishing they toured this state in February!
The new album has had some mixed reviews, but you certainly would not know it from the warm reception they received from a nice size crowd. During most of the show, Leto and his larger than life personality had so many fans enraptured in the moment, there were only a few cell phone in the air. That is something that rarely happens at a concert these days. His voice is strong and still amazing. He is the consummate entertainer. He also makes some VERY interesting wardrobe choices, which is alway fun to see. With his brother Shannon on drums, they aren’t doing too bad for a couple of boys from Bossier City, Louisiana. He has been Los Angeles for sixteen years, but if you listen closely his accent is still there every now and then. Especially when he’s particularly exuberant. You can view music videos and interview on the bands official You Tube Channel:
When discussing the set list for Thirty Seconds to Mars, nearly every song was a hit. The set list was a bit short. However, if you factor in the exuberant fan interaction, you barely noticed. Leto likes to talk. A LOT! He brought up a contest winning fan who played guitar and introduced the song War. Another point in the show he invited a young boy onstage who was attending the show with his father and uncle to help determine which side of the audience could cheer louder. He invited three fans onstage to “dance so hard you’ll be embarrassed in the morning”. Fans were brought into the pit to send a multitude of balloons in the air, to the frustration of a few of us photographers. I finally just started batting the balloons around and enjoyed the moment. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the night came when a girl from Jacksonville, Florida was invited on stage. Leto announced that anyone who purchased a CD or t-shirt would be given a ticket to Saturday night’s Tampa, Florida show. They were shocked and delighted. That left me with two questions. How many people would take him up on the offer and make the 206 mile drive from West Palm Beach to Tampa, and how are the merch people going to restock for the next few show? If I had been able to attend, I would have picked up that ticket! Not just for the headliner, but also for Walk The Moon.
Walk the Moon, whose hits include “Shut Up and Dance” which has 284,711,735 views on YouTube and Kamikaze are infectious. Check out their video chanel here:
There was not a single song that I had not heard somewhere. They sound incredible live and I was actually surprised how many songs I knew. Yes, I am the Metallicougar, but my guilty pleasure is a little pop and disco. Do not judge me. They were terrific at getting the crowd involved. Even I was doing my best to dance a little bit.
If you have not gone to a show, you should make the effort. Here are the tour dates. It is well worth the ticket prices and then some.