30 Seconds to Mars wows Pinoy fans
Huddled beneath umbrellas or wrapped in raincoats and ponchos, hundreds flocked to the Trinoma Mall open parking lot last Friday, July 29, to see the band that’s fused space rock and alternative into something cool again.
30 Seconds to Mars is famous for having a movie star front man in Jared Leto, an actor who has starred in Hollywood films like Fight Club, Lord of War, and Requiem for a Dream. In several interviews, however, he has confessed that he considers the band he formed with his brother Shannon Leto (drums) his full-time job. Their current three-piece line-up is rounded out by talented axeman Tomo Milicevic (guitars).
Formed in 1998, 30STM signed early on to Virgin Records and has since crossed over to become a popular music juggernaut. To date the band has sold 3.5 million album units worldwide and won many awards, including three from MTV Video Music Awards.
Their foray into Asia is part of their Into the Wild Tour. While the local organizers certainly didn’t plan well enough to account for the rainy season, or the looming threat of a lightning strike, the concert was a study in spectacle and rock pageantry.
“I think we expect some energy, excitement and passion, and fun and a little bit crazy from our Filipino brothers and sisters," Jared said at the press conference held at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel earlier in the day.
True enough, the energy was present in full force at the concert. The amount of moisture in the air seemed to motivate the audience, and even more, The Echelon themselves, which is what the worldwide 30STM fanbase call their community.
Local group Kjwan, the front act, warmed up the crowd with its blues-fueled brand of modern sleaze rock. By the time 30 Seconds to Mars opened with “Escape," the first cut off their latest album This is War, the standing room only crowd was more than eager to jam to the music.
Jared took the stage in an oversized black poncho and sunglasses, his neon red mohawk gone, replaced by a blonde mullet. The band launched straight into more hits like “A Beautiful Lie", “Attack" and “This is War."
The singer cajoled the crowd to “Jump so high we touch the rainclouds." Stripping to a white undershirt and basking in the rain, he fed on the crowd's vitality and told them to “Put your hands in the air and scream!"
Dozens of huge, red balloons were tossed into the audience in the middle of one song. Bouncing around the concert area, passed hand to hand, sometimes bursting to reveal a filling of silver confetti inscribed with the band’s motto Provehito In Altum.
Acoustic reworkings of “Alibi" and “Hurricane" played solo by Jared set a contrasting mood to the 14-song set. The instrumental “L490" reinforced this with Shannon dropping his sticks and picking up an acoustic to join Tomo for the tune. Although there was nothing from their self-titled debut, the band closed strongly with their current hit “Closer to The Edge."
For the encore Jared made nearly the whole front row come up to sing. As Tomo and Shannon played riffs from Metallica’s “Master of Puppets" and “Sad But True," Jared called audience members to the stage. About 20 to 30 people were, by then, up there with the band as the roadies kept eager fans from grabbing the singer.
“It took two years, we went to hell and back," Jared Leto said on the making of This Is War. “At one point, I thought it was going to be the death of us, but it became a transformative experience."
Indeed, transformative is exactly what it was that night. You couldn’t argue with the results of the audience participation as, for the encore, the chorus of voices raised to sing “Kings and Queens" made the song an anthem of shambolic, rock majesty. - YA, GMA News