Columbus, OH, Promowest Pavilion, October 22, 2006


Written and photos by: Jason Perlman


Although this was the third trip through Columbus touring with its new record A Beautiful Lie, somehow 30 Seconds to Mars has been able to add a few tricks to make each show vary from the last, giving its legions of fans something to cheer about.


On it's first time through Columbus on this album's tour, the band opened for Audioslave, but since that time, the success of both the record and live shows have given 30 Seconds to Mars the confidence of promoters to give the band its due.


No longer is Jared Leto the actor mentioned when talking about this band, but rather the quality of music that is being accepted on both alternative radio as well as hard rock radio is the topic of conversation.


30STM came to Columbus this time headlining the MTV2 Dollar Bill Tour, and played over 75 minutes of music from both records. As the white lights bounced across the stage, the band came out with black bandannas covering much of their faces and waived white flags as if the band was claiming the stage is now owned by the band, much as a country would during a hostile takeover. And that seems to be how Leto and the rest of the band play, as if there is still something to prove to both fans and critics alike. Leto was dressed the part with blue lipstick and an ashen face, but when he straps on his brightly-painted Thunderbird guitar, looks are thrown out the window in lieu of a positive and charismatic live performance.

Opening the night with Beautiful Lie, Leto plays and sings like a band still trying to impress a label for a record deal. Even with the success of this record, Leto and the band still seem to want to prove they are deserving of their success, and play with that same attitude. This was most apparent when the band went to its back catalogue to play songs such as Buddha for Mary and The Mission.


But alas, here is yet another review that focuses mainly on Jared Leto rather that his drumming brother, Shannon, or even guitarist Tomo Milicevic or bassist Matt Wachter. Sure, this could easily be said it is because Jared Leto has been a movie star and of course, would warrant this attention. But the real reason is that Jared Leto puts together a stage presence that commands attention. Everything from his all-black outfit to his blue lips to his bright white guitar force the eyes to him. All of this is fine and dandy. But the face that Leto also backs up his warranted attention is what is so remarkable. Many frontmen to what they can to force the attention to themselves, but very few know how to handle and harness that attention, but Leto does both tremendously. And when he leaps from the stage to the crowd and falls into the open arms like a king being led off the battlefield after a victory, Leto does what he can to become close with those that paid the money to see the band.


But back to the band, as they should not be left out of the loop. Since the recording of this record, 30 STM has kept the same line-up on tour, and that melding of band members has led 30STM to becoming one of the tightest yet liveliest bands touring now. For A Beautiful Lie, the band stripped down much of its sound from the first record and delved deeper into the notion that less is more. That theory of recording has allowed the band to be more open on stage and gives the band the opportunity to skip playing along with track so much and given the band the prospect to become more ad-lib and free on stage. That freedom has turned out to be perhaps the biggest reason this band is becoming such a great live band. No longer is the show being led by music, but rather the band is leading the music and fans down a path of musical divergences which make each show a spectacle all their own.

Jared Leto
Jared Leto
Matt Wachter
Shannon Leto
Shannon Leto & Jared Leto
Shannon Leto