Thirty Seconds To Mars – Manchester Arena – 24/03/18
It’s been almost 5 years since we last witnessed Thirty Seconds To Mars take on Manchester Arena, back then they were touring in support of their 4th full length album ‘Love, Lust, Faith & Dreams’. What was built up to be an incredible show, felt somewhat underwhelming regarding the music. It became more of a performance rather than focusing on the bands musical capabilities. This time around we were hoping for something much stronger which we know they are definitely capable of
A rectangle stage centre of the floor in the arena is covered and boxed up in LED screens as the thousands of 30STM fans eagerly await in anticipation for the start of the show. The lights drop and the intro reveals Frontman Jared Leto and drummer Shannon Leto as the boxed stage opens and hangs above the stage. Kicking off the show on the front foot ‘Up In The Air’ is the perfect opener with its huge chorus sparking the crowd to be bouncing along in seconds. ‘Kings and Queens’ & ‘Search and Destroy’ keep the momentum of the show as Jared Leto soars around the stage looking like some superhero with a cape, sparkly gloves and glasses making sure everyone is involved and singing along.
Guitarist Tomo Milicevic is a noticeable absence from the show having left the ‘Monolith’ tour to deal with personal issues. But brothers Shannon and Jared are determined to make the show as fantastic as possible and deal with the setback incredibly well.
The show is heavily built up of tracks from ‘Love, Lust, Faith and Dreasms’ and 2009’s ‘This is War’. The title track ‘This is War’ was incredible live, and burst into the final chorus with colourful giant balloons springing from the stage across the crowd. As ever Jared is quick to pull out fans from the crowd to the stage to kick off ‘Do Or Die’ before spinning around the stage with a huge England flag waving it along to the sound of thousands singing along to the overwhelming chorus.
‘The Kill’ returned to the setlist in it’s full form for the first time in a while without it being stripped back and acoustic, and it was the perfect decision. The red glowing stage is backed with a live stream video on Instagram showing the world what they are missing out on as they watch in owe of a furious performance of the super hit and fan favourite.
A surprise addition to the set was a cover of Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ which sounded fantastic with over 13,000 fans singing along at the top of their voices, and lighting up the arena with their phones making the stage look like its surrounded with stars.
A prompt break in the set found Jared Leto pull up a fan to tweet from his personal twitter account a message from Manchester. After much debate the over sending a ’Fuck You’ message to Donald Trump or Theresia May, Manchester helped choose the latter to call for the resignation of Theresia May. “Hey @theresa_may please call an election or resign (FUCK YOU), love Manchester”. The same fan then pulled up his girlfriend to the stage for a proposal in front of the band and crowd which kick-started a beautiful performance of ‘City Of Angels’ (and if you are wondering, yes of course she said yes!).
The latter part of the show found Jared armed with his guitar for a riff heavy powerful performance of ‘Conquistador’, before ‘Night Of the Hunter’ and brand new song ‘Rider’ which is much slower moving than the previous for a much more chilling end to the show as Jared boasts his vocals on full display, as the glowing screens cover up the stage once again.
Shannon and Jared return to the stage for an encore with Jared sporting a pink beanie hat (which later ends up in the hands of a lucky fan) for a huge performance of the recent hit single ‘Walk On Water’, and ‘Vox Populi’ by fan request.
“Does anybody wanna come on stage with Thirty Seconds To Mars?” calls the frontman, as he starts hand plucking people from the crowd to line either side of the stage for a massive party to close the night on with the incredible ‘Closer To The Edge’ leaving the stage bouncing with fans beneath a blast of confetti cannons.
Certainly a night to remember for many at the arena, and a show that found Thirty seconds To Mars back at their best. It would have been great to hear a few new tracks from the forthcoming album ‘America’ (due April 6th) but the setlist can’t be faulted too much.
Thirty Seconds To Mars are back, and this is only the beginning.
Check out the full set of live photos of Thirty Seconds to Mars in Manchester here!
(PLEASE DO NOT CROP OR EDIT PHOTOS)