Live Review: 30 Seconds To Mars – O2 Arena

You Me At Six hide any hint of their pop punk past with a more adult set. The Surrey five piece have come a long way from their All Time Low wannabe first album, frontman Josh Franceschi shows more confidence than ever before. Their more commercial rock newer stuff may suit 30stm’s audience but it’s the material from their first two albums that gets the applause.

30 seconds to mars live 02 london

30stm frontman Jared Leto opens the show perched on the rafters, Jesus like pose and the words used in the Closer To The Edge video that ‘This is a cult’ has never felt more real.

The show itself lacked flow and felt stop-starty throughout despite being visually striking. The big screen that plays montages, lyric videos and their extravagant music videos behind them works but appearances from acrobats during the instrument ‘Depuis Le Début’ and ‘Pyres of Varanasi’ just don’t work as well. The faffing around with men in suits dancing on a see-saw is tiring and makes you wish that the fills in time that could be used to hear the actual songs you came to see.

The band sound great live, Jared’s seductive tone even more sensual in person, his on-stage banter is charming while he channels Jim Morrison with more than the long hair. The musical highlight of the set is the acoustic section where Jared gets to show of a sparkly personality and a foul use of language. ‘Hurricane’, ‘The Kill’ and ‘Attack’ sound great live, most of the crowd would be happy to just have an acoustic set from the Hollywood star.

The crowd participation are the best in rock this side of Green Day, the band try to get as many people as possible on stage during ‘Kings and Queens’ and the final song ‘Up In The Air’. The new kings of covers (see their Radio 1 live lounge appearances as evidence) showcase their talents on an encore cover of Rhianna’s ‘Stay’ which takes the emotion of that song to another level.

Time spent on theatrics, drumming and acrobats is time where hit song ‘From Yesterday’ could have been and anything from their first album is neglected. We are here to see a rock show, this isn’t Lady Gaga so you expect more music than show but it feels like there is too much rely on pretentious gimmicks.

The anthemic feel of their music carries this show more than the band itself.