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  • Live Review: 30 Seconds to Mars & Street Drum Corps — The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

    Mon, 17 May 2010 13:47:09

    Live Review: 30 Seconds to Mars & Street Drum Corps — The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles - 30 Seconds to Mars and Street Drum Corps transform The Greek Theatre into a galaxy all their own and ARTISTdirect.com editor and <i>Dolor</i> author Rick Florino captures all of it in this exclusive live review...

    Thirty Seconds to Mars Photos

    • Thirty Seconds to Mars - LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Actor/musician of 30 Seconds to Mars appears onstage at a press conference to announce their new tour at Milk Studios on March 4, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
    • Thirty Seconds to Mars - LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Actor/musician of 30 Seconds to Mars appears onstage at a press conference to announce their new tour at Milk Studios on March 4, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
    • Thirty Seconds to Mars - LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Actor/musician of 30 Seconds to Mars appears onstage at a press conference to announce their new tour at Milk Studios on March 4, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

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    "Even that fucking cool guy with the shaved head and the tattoos is jumping," announced a smiling Jared Leto midway through 30 Seconds to Mars' often transcendent set at The Greek Theatre this past Saturday night in Los Angeles.

    That's the power that 30 Seconds to Mars possess live though.

    They can get even the most jaded L.A. crowd on its feet with nothing more than a song. Leto, brother Shannon [Drums] and guitarist Tomo Miličević are one of those rare trios that sound like an army on stage. In the tradition of classic power triumvirates like Cream, 30 Seconds to Mars' songs resound like warcries.

    There's a beautiful brilliance to each moment as the band seamlessly shifts from raw, raging riffs to an ethereal electronic hum all the while carried by Leto's pristine vocals. 30 Seconds to Mars immediately grabbed a hold of the sold out crowd from the opening strains of "Night of the Hunter" from the band's latest offering, This Is War, and their clutch never loosened for the next 90 minutes.

    With a gorgeous stream of strobes and an unwavering wall of distortion, 30 Seconds to Mars charged forth on a warm stampede of synths and lead lines. During "Night of the Hunter," Jared sounded heavenly and hypnotic, carrying the chorus to outer space and back as the crowd screamed in unison. "Attack" and "Vox Populi" pulsated with a pummeling energy, as Jared and members of opening act, Street Drum Corps, shone beams of light from gun-style flashlights along with a tribal drum beat. The intergalactic motif seeped through weaving keyboard melodies and a psychedelically entrancing light show synced perfectly with the music.

    Getting incrementally heavier, "Search and Destroy" sounded like U2 with balls, as Jared perfectly fused a Scott Weiland-style stage swagger with dreamy vocals, making for a deadly combo. Stalking the stage with a bat he could've borrowed from Alex DeLarge, Jared was the perfect image of alt rock Blade Runner as the futuristic sonic firestorm surrounded him. Midway through the set, Jared snuck up to the middle of the crowd with nothing more than an acoustic for "The Story." The track resounded with pure power, stripped down and it illuminated just how talented of a songwriter he is. He returned center stage for a quick cover of "Bad Romance" that'd easily put Lady Gaga to shame as it was so damn real and God knows she's anything but…

    A somber piano-driven "Hurricane" gave way to half the crowd on stage for the ultimate fan participation moment of "Kings and Queens." This is the power trio for now and the future—just ask the hipster with the shaved head bouncing up and down non-stop.

    Street Drum Coprs were the perfect band to ignite that bounce early on in the evening. Fusing a syncopated stomp with undeniable punk rock, the Los Angeles band ripped through a sweet set of pure percussive fireworks. Singer Bobby Alt sauntered across the stage with uncontainable panache plucking hand-clapping out of everyone within ear shot. "Marry Me" volleyed between saccharine reggae strumming and bouncy ska. Like Rancid meets Blue Man Group, Street Drum Corps captivated the entire venue with a unique and unforgettable set. "Knock Me Out" capped everything off with a bang.

    The elctro dance pop of Neon Trees and Shiny Toy Guns rounded out an extremely strong bill that'll no doubt be remembered.

    —Rick Florino
    05.17.10


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    Tags: Thirty Seconds to Mars, Street Drum Corps, Neon Trees, Shiny Toy Guns, Jared Leto, Fight Club, Requiem for a Dream

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