Review: 30 Seconds To Mars Live In South Africa

30 Seconds to Mars bring it back down to earth.

If you love #Psytrance as much as I do, you will know Itay Eliya, aka White Noise and if you are wondering why this is relevant to this review, then just gimme a minute and let me explain.

I am a psytrance DJ and I am just in love the with this genres remixes of the best pop, rock and commercial EDM tracks. One day, by pure fluke, I bought a rmx of a track called ‘Closer to the Edge’ by White Noise. It has become a staple in my DJ arsenal and it hooked me up with a band called 30 Seconds to Mars, that changed my life.

I think it’s safe to say that every MARS fan was torn when the winter tour date was postponed, but it was so worth it.

The production was outstanding. I love the Grand Arena Grand West. It has some of the best acoustics and being a stickler for sound (and good sound to boot), there is little that I hate more than being at a concert and not being able to hear the lead singer sing or distinguish between the instruments. I have walked out of stadiums, during the main act because of shocking sound, but more the most part, they get it right at Grand West. Acoustically, I am a snob! #EnuffSaid

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It was unfortunate that the drummer, Shannon Leto was ill and unable to perform, but his brother and frontman, Jared made up for it in so many ways. This man has a stage presence that I can only describe as biblical. I missed the first tour of SA (primarily cause I wasn’t a fan), so this was my first #MarsLive experience and it was a game changer for me. It really has set the bar (very high), for me, in terms of future live performances.

When it comes to their fans, Jared is in no way aloof. He embraced the crowd with so much genuine lovin’ and with so much rockin’ affection that you really felt as if you were part of the MARS family. I think this is important, especially in a more intimate concert venue, like Grand West, which really does lend itself to this interaction.

He spoke between tracks and relayed stories of the tour and the emotional impact that our country has had on him, personally, and 30 Seconds and the crowd just rolled in it like pastry being basted with warm butter. I’m getting goosies remembering this!

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They opened with “Up in the Air” from their recent album and the name of the tour, Love Lust Faith Dreams. The crowd hang on his every word, but it was not till he actually spoke and said “who wants to sleep me tonight” that things took on a twist. Jared Leto is without a doubt the iconic rock and roll sex symbol of this decade and he knows it – he worked the girls in the crowd like a fiddler works the bow across the strings of 500 year old violin. The woman melted.

I wasn’t disappointed by the repertoire of songs which included “Conquistador”, “Do or Die”, “City of Angels” (one of my favourites) and “End of all Days”, but it was acoustic performance that hooked me. I think this version of “Alibi” is most definitely my favourite.

The encore was magnified by the sheer amount of personally selected audience members that Jared called on to stage to share the “Closer to the Edge” experience with the band. He hand-picked fans from the golden circle, the seated area and from the stands. It was a truly emotional end to an incredible concert.

I stand to correction here, but 30 Seconds to Mars, could be the only band, in history to stay for a free signing session after the concert. Perhaps this is indicative of just how special a place, South Africa is to them.

Photos by Marc Berman Photography

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