Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, April 4, 2006

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

It was only a few months earlier that 30 Seconds to Mars made a trek through Columbus, OH, opening for Seether and Audioslave. With the continuing success of their sophomore record, A Beautiful Lie, Jared Leto and crew came back to Ohio's capital as a headliner, and filled the Newport Music Hall to near capacity.

 

While spending the first few years of the band's existence fighting off talk of the band being yet another actor's side project or ego-laden venture, 30STM have steadily won over both fans and critics. And it was more than noticeable at the Newport as what was expected to be a nearly all-female audience wanting to gaze in Leto's eyes became a mass of music-loving kids wanting to hear music from a band they adore.

 

Beginning the night off on a high note, 30STM came out with guns blazing as the band quickly played the title track of their new record, A Beautiful Lie, and just as quickly took a step backwards with Capricorn (A Brand New Day). From the outset, Leto proved that music is the passion he dotes on in most of his interviews, as his vocal qualities continue to improve with each tour through Ohio.

 

Capricorn not only got to show off some of Leto's vocal talent, but it proved a great lead-in to The Kill, and it was here that the band began to flourish for the rest of the night. It did seem to take a few songs for the band to take control of the stage. Once Leto hopped on the barricade to sing along with the mass of kids upfront, not only did the crowd feed off that energy, so did the band.

 

With Leto being the consummate front man, talent and rocking-good looks, the rest of the band does its job of providing greatly timed music with grisly talent. Although the set list was somewhat short, the time the band had was filled to the brim with music, lighting and rock-and-roll candor. Without much doubt, 30STM ended the night with Attack, but even though that song has garnered much airplay and allowed the band to move past any leftover idiosyncrasies from their self-titled debut record, it really is songs such as Buddha For Mary and Fallen that really show this band is more than a flash-in-the-pan.

 

30STM continue to tour throughout April as headliner, and am sure will be making a return trip to Ohio sometime in the summer. If and when the band does, don't let the stereotypes of actors-turn-singers keep you from seeing this band. Because Leto is not the only attraction to see, as brother Shannon Leto is a pleasure to watch behind the kit as he puts everything into every hit of the skins and guitarist Tom Milicevic and bassist Matt Wachter bring their own sense of ownership in the band. If the progression the band is making continues to more forward, this just may be an arena-headlining band in a few years.

Jared Leto
Jared Leto
Tom Milicevic
Jared Leto
Shannon Leto
Jared Leto