This review was published on the AU review on 29/03/2014 and can be viewed here.
Tonight’s performance at the Hisense Arena was very much ‘The Jared Leto’ show as the other band members (Shannon Leto and Tomo Milicevic) fell to the wayside, as the audience were transfixed to the antics of frontman and hunk Jared Leto.
The band were originally set to tour Australia last year in August but had to reschedule due to medical reasons within the band. The rescheduled performance was originally meant to be at Rod Laver Arena but The Rolling Stones only had one date available to play in Melbourne at that venue, so Thirty Seconds to Mars agreed to shift to a different venue. You can’t say no to the Rolling Stones. Imagine being the band that stopped the Rolling Stones from playing a show? However, unfortunately for the Stones their tour had to be rescheduled due to the recent death of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend. There seems to be a trend going on here…
Londoners supporting act, White Lies were nothing special as each of their songs sounded the same. The mic could have done with a tune down, as the vocals were way too loud and booming with an echo.
The band entered the stage with their lit-up Illuminati at the back of the stage, minus one band member. Lastly, frontman Jared Leto entered the stage with his long hair, sporting sunnies, a long coat and armed with a baseball bat. The sunnies were eventually shed off and even from afar Leto’s mesmerising blue eyes took affect on the audience. He kept spinning around on the stage arms outstretched as he sung, like he was hypnotised by his own voice. Later on he spun around waving an Aussie flag. There was a glimpse of a feminine side to him that hadn’t been shaken off from his recent transvestite method-acting role in Dallas Buyers Club.
It became evident early on that tonight would become more about the entertainment factor and interaction with the audience, and less about the music.
Early into the set the chant-worthy “This Is War” was performed with gusto and had the audience singing along to every word as gigantic coloured balloons were launched into the air, bouncing about the mosh and the seated area throughout the night. A roadie was situated crouching at the front of the stage hitting the balloons away as to not distract the band from their performance, however, some went astray and ending up sitting between the musicians and their instruments, others were popped mid-air.
Leto did all of the interacting with the audience, sometimes in the middle of a song, the rest of the band halting, as he chatted away. He said that the extra time they had to plan for the Australian tour allowed for them to be able to put on a better show. And tonight was one hell of a show. He is such a talented and flawless individual; if you removed the rest of the band and had him performing solo his performance would be just as energetic, full on and audience grabbing. He didn’t win an Oscar for nothing. He took selfies with the audience on the stage and with the band and even made his way to the seated section of the venue to sing from and also ran through the back of the mosh. The crowd followed his every move. Each time a fan went on stage they asked for a selfie with him too.
A lot of insults were thrown at the audience from Leto, yet the fans didn’t care. Leto even told one fan in the seats to “get off his fat ass.” Being in the presence of Leto is just something special.
Before launching into “City of Angels” off their latest release, 2013’s Love, Lust + Faith, a young hip Aussie guitarist, Dave, was introduced to the audience then Leto sincerely thanked Australia for sending people to assist in the search for the Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane.
A four-song acoustic set including” Hurricane”, “Attack”, “The Kill (Bury Me)” and “Closer To The Edge”. During “The Kill” four audience members were brought up onto the stage and Leto retorted the wish everyone in the audience could come onto the stage and for him to be the one in the audience alone. Earlier in the show a four-year-old Hudson, sporting a pink mohawk reminiscent of Leto’s pink one of the past, was invited to the stage with his father and was encouraged by Leto to get the crowd singing. By the end of the night it felt like half the general admission audience had had their limelight on the stage. Seeing Leto perform acoustic was to die for.
The concluding song, “Bright Lights” saw more than thirty fans onto the stage. A special section was set to the side for the bands biggest fans with the best view in the house.
This band is definitely a must see whenever they tour in Australia. Leto let the Mars fans know that they will be coming back again and again and again.