30 Seconds to Mars just did not do it for me. Maybe it was the late night/early morning assignment combo but I could not even stay to the end of the set at the Mod Club. The music was good, I'll grant that. Straight up, loud, energizing bass, drums and guitar. All in all the vibe was the kind of southern Californian rollicking sound I was hoping to encounter, although with less electronica than I'd wished to witness, given all the hype.
Also, I admit to having a thing for Jared Leto as Jordan on My So-Called Life. He's cute, and he can sing. My problem is that one could sit more comfortably at home and listen to the album, though the people watching might be a tad less trendy. There were ticket holders lined up outside before the doors at opened at 8. But even sold out show keeners were not revved into any kind of frenzy of band appreciation when the headliners did hit the stage. As the set wore on, there was nothing that wafted over me lyrically with any meaning or resonance. And, nothing of value added for being delivered live. I hated the way the lead singer kept espousing clich»s like "this one's for you Toronto" or "How you feelin' tonight Toronto?" As if memorizing the name of the place you are playing somehow personalizes the show and makes it unique for a unique audience. He is more poster boy than front man, for nice notes played accurately, and I came away thinking that they lacked chemistry, and soul. There was no real connection to the fans, to each other or to anything of spiritual depth.
There are a lot of things they are doing right. I like the fact that unmastered advance song versions are available all over the internet. I admire that they've traveled to different continents, countries, and studios, to generate solid tunes. And, just as you'd expect, there are great fashions for sale on the website. But buzz has been opening doors for them for about 3 years now, and it's high time 30 Seconds to Mars blasted off. I suggest a shy younger brother step forward, especially if he is the musical talent and driving force in the band I think he is.
Writer: Kim Logue