Live review: 30 Seconds to Mars

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30 Seconds to Mars

The Fillmore Charlotte

Nov. 1, 2010

The Deal: After two postponements, 30 Seconds to Mars finally performs its sold-out Charlotte concert.

The Good: The show started off with a high-energy set by The New Politics that got the crowd worked up and ready to go. Of course, after two postponements, the crowd didn't need any more anticipation.

30 Seconds to Mars hit the stage around 9:20, with a delayed entrance by singer Jared Leto. His brother, Shannon, was quite impressive on the drum set for the duration of the show. The band did its best to get the crowd involved — sometimes to a fault — and Leto invited a couple dozen people on stage with them at the encore. Earlier in the night, Leto invited a guy on stage with a prosthetic leg who proceeded to take it off and hop around with Leto.

The Bad: Leto walked out on stage with a black jacket, pants and shoes, with sunglasses on looking like the Terminator and failing to shed any stereotype that he might be a stuck-up actor. It seemed to take him a while to gain comfort up on stage, but even then, many of his actions seemed a bit forced.

I appreciated his efforts in trying to get the crowd involved, but asking everyone to take three steps forward seemed to be a bit of a bad idea considering how many people have been crushed and killed at concerts over the years from fans pushing forward.

The sound quality improved throughout the night, but the problem lay with Leto's vocals. The music was cranked up to a fuzzy overwhelming level and Leto's smoothly toned vocals had trouble competing. It works in the studio, but the music was drowning him out live.

Leto likes to say the word "fuck"... a lot. We get it. You're a rock star. No need to say fuck in every sentence you say. It gets annoying... for fuck's sake.

The band stopped for a two-song break on acoustic guitar — "Alibi" and "Hurricane." He then started off "The Kill" before the band rejoined him. A good effort, but again, Leto doesn't have the vocals for this.

This may have been one of the stinkiest crowds I've ever been around. Seriously. The group around me reeked like ashtrays, beer breath and body odor.

I get it — you think Jared Leto is hot. I could hear many a uterus skip a beat when he walked on stage. That's not enough to make a band great. And I don't need to hear you screaming his name for the entire hour of the band's set.

Leto asked people to get on shoulders... improving the view for a handful of people and ruining for others. Nicely done.

No photos of this one — the band didn't want photographers in the photo pit and I had no chance of getting anything from the middle of the sold out crowd.

The Verdict: Fans of the band, I'm sure, thought it was an amazing show with a charasmatic frontman. For me, who isn't too familiar and hadn't seen them live before, I wasn't impressed and was actually disappointed. I've been to 85 shows so far this year and this was one of the worst.

Leto layered on the cheese and offered up too many dramatic pauses and rock cliches. You postpone the show twice and just offer a 12-song set in return? Why not give it everything you've got for more than a measly hour — especially for those hardcore fans that waited outside all day for the show?

Setlist

Escape

Beautiful Lie

Search and Destroy

Vox Populi

This Is War

Alibi (Acoustic)

Hurricane (Acoustic)

Message in a Bottle tease

The Kill

Closer

From Yesterday

Kings and Queens

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