NEW YORK, NY—New York City is special, we all know that, but it was even more special when 30 Seconds To Mars came to town. Their performance at Roseland Ballroom promised to be unique among other dates on their Into The Wild tour with things happening that night that won’t happen anywhere else. I wasn’t too sure what those things were and still don’t know, but what happened there was one of the best concert experiences I’ve had.
It’s become sort of a tradition that I catch Street Drum Corps at every 30STM performance. They are like a warm up for the crowd with heart-pounding beats and sights to amaze. The easiest analogy to use is to consider them the punk rock Blue Man Group.
While I’ve mainly just witnessed an intro-type deal with them creating melodies and beats with not only drums, but aluminum barrels, power saws and other random Home Depot finds, it was a fun and dramatic punk rock set with sparks flying all around when they took out the power saw against the barrels on stage. Then they ended with taking apart most of the equipment and their lead singer, who is also a New Jersey native, came out with military helmet and stripped leggings— I don’t know what war he thinks he’s going to.
But alas, it was not then time for 30STM, but rather Neon Trees and Mutemath. I’ve been hearing a lot of hype recently over Neon Trees, but they failed to really impress me. There were quite a few fans on the floor below that got into dancing along with their brand of dance-infused pop rock, but I just nodded my head along and waited for their current single “Animal” to be played.
Mute Math grabbed my attention from the moment they stepped on stage. First their drummer taped his headphones to his head, then the stage lights started flashing and the music exploded into a whirlwind. I was even more charmed by the slight southern accent that came from their singer, as they are from New Orleans. The icing on the cake came at the end when he leaped over keyboards and fully dismantled their equipment while still playing.
It was then time for 30STM and once they started with “Night Of The Hunter” it was one giant intense, dramatic, and crazy show. It wasn’t even the second song in and front man Jared Leto called a long pause during the song, which was filled by the audience cheering. This is how the night went, where every song felt as though it was the band’s last with how the crowd reacted.
Everything sounded perfect with only the best songs from new album, This Is War, and previous release, A Beautiful Lie, being played—and let’s not forget the one older track that Leto made note of before playing. With his brother Shannon on drums and Tomo Milicevic on guitar, their sound was loud and filled the entire venue and had the assistance of the guys from Street Drum Corps aide in extra drums or handheld lights on stage for certain songs.
The evening was for the fans, whether Leto was calling the people seated in the VIP area names or carelessly asking all those in the back take three giants steps forward on the crowded floor. Apparently Leto wanted to be closer to the fans. While “L490” was being played, fans slowly started to turn from the stage to the soundboard in the middle of the floor. Leto moved the show here, playing a few acoustic songs before taking off back to the stage while singing “The Kill.”
He arrived to the stage with shirt completely torn to shreds thanks to fans, luckily his bright, blue studded jacket remained intact. But his desire to endanger himself and his band mates would reach a new height for the encore song, “Kings And Queens.”
Fans were invited on stage, through some VIP package, however, once the crowd quieted down, a handful more of fans were pulled onstage. I’m sure security was thrilled over having to also be the band’s bodyguards for the evening.