Live Reviews

Live Review: 30 Seconds To Mars at Wembley Arena in London on 23 Feb

By | Published on Monday 1 March 2010

30 Seconds To Mars

I had the following conversation with a fellow journalist as we were exiting Wembley Arena – is Jared Leto the ultimate frontman? Quite possibly. Maybe. Whatever, we came to the conclusion that he is, without a doubt, a brilliant frontman; whether this stems from his background in the performing arts or the genuine love he has for what he does, I’m not really sure, but what I do know is that he’s the heart and soul of 30 Seconds To Mars, and good grief, does that man have lungs.

The atmosphere on Tuesday night at Wembley began as it ended – alive, ever so slightly dramatic, ever so slightly hyper. At the start of the show, a dark grey curtain separated crowd from band during most of ‘Escape’, only to drop down at the fan-sung crescendo of those famous three words: “THIS IS WAR”. What do we have here? Two Letos, a Milicevic, the rest of their band, and some of the biggest LCD screens I’ve ever seen. Yeah – this is quite a show.

Wasting no time and jumping straight into ‘Night Of The Hunter’ – arguably the best track from their latest, very commercial but very excellent LP, ‘This Is War’ – Jared leaps around the stage like an epileptic frog, donning a black knee-length military coat and that infamous new mohawk. The man commands the crowd, commands the stage, and commands his band. Many, I’ve found, have been a little cynical about Mars since their inception, seeing Leto’s band as another case of actor-wants-to-be-a-musician-too. But he’s a born performer – so what’s the harm in that? And his voice is astounding.

Treating the crowd to an excellent mix of old and new – everything from the ear-shattering space-metal of ‘Buddha For Mary’ and ‘ATTACK’ to poppy numbers ‘The Kill’ and ‘Closer To The Edge’, and, a personal favourite ‘From Yesterday’ (to which they played the video on the screens behind them – resulting in a little bit of an inward swooning session on my part – do not judge me, good people, I have eyes). Reminding us how much they love their fans and how often they encourage involvement, the band pulled about thirty of them onstage for the ‘Kings And Queens’ encore, joined by support LostAlone and Street Drum Corps; an encore that, in everyone’s opinion, came way too soon because no one seemed to want this to end.

“Look at you all,” Jared says, addressing the crowd. “This is it right here. This is the Mars fucking Army.” And what a perfect general he is. TW

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