Review: 30 Seconds to Mars, NIA

Our reviewer Jody Ball checked out the 30 Seconds to Mars gig on Friday night at Birmingham's NIA.

Jared Leto appeared on a raised stage donned in a fur coat, mask and a bit of tartan. 

Fashion left to wagging tongues, Leto commanded his audience with precision, they hung on his every word and the power of the drums for the opening song, Night of the Hunter, really brought the crowd alive.

They went on to play a handful of tracks off their new album, LOVE, LUST, FAITH + DREAMS and some from their 2009 album This is War, including Search and DestroyConquistador, Do or Die as well as both albums title tracks.

The support act You Me At Six really warmed up the crowd and got them jumping, moshing and crowd surfing, ready for 30 Seconds to Mars to burst on and own the stage.

Before the Californian rock band roared their anthems to the thousands of fans the audience were presented with two men in gas masks with searchlights to get everyone screaming. These men turned up in the show, one spinning himself inside a large hoop and then both of them taking up each side of a seesaw and jumping into the air flipping and giving a circus theme to the little interludes.

A solo acoustic section saw Leto’s voice really shine. Attack, From Yesterday, Alibi, and Hurricane were all performed intimately with phone flashes and lighters out to set the mood. He even picked a couple to join him on stage that was dressed in animal onesies including Terry from Wolverhampton who was dressed as a crocodile.

The much anticipated The Kill, loved by so many Mars fans was slightly disappointing as it wasn’t played in all it’s glory, instead it was a stripped back version which the crowd mostly sang.

However, the dancing lights which illuminated Shannon Leto rocking out on the drums and Tomo Milicevic on lead guitar, dancing with his eyes closed really was powerful and got the ‘Cult’ as Leto describes his fans screaming the lyrics and jumping in time to the music.

His encore was pure madness expected from the rockers. Pulling out favourite Kings and Queens as well as shooting a YouTube video involving the Birmingham audience and even bringing out a cover of Rihanna’s Stay, which made the song seem like it was made for the band.

The finale saw Leto choose audience members to join him on stage for the last song Up in the Air and leave the fans in awe and wanting more.

By Jody Ball

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