Thirty Seconds to Mars @ Budweiser Stage

Budweiser Stage was taken over by four alternative acts this past Wednesday night as both 30 Seconds to Mars played to a crowd of 15,000 lucky fans with a bevy of pals in tow. The venue was a centre of bombast that night as Jared Leto and his buddies spent their time on stage consistently upping the ante.

Up first were alternative act Joywave, who combine a surging wall-of-sound rock technique with electronic touches to great effect. Lead singer Daniel Armbruster had his sardonic quips out in full force on stage, claiming that the band’s one true dream was to be famous in Canada, and that by the end of the show this dream had most definitely come true.

Second up were the colourful Misterwives. With each member in an eclectic outfit, the group brought a bolt of joyful energy to the stage. Mandy Lee and company play a retro brand of indie pop that leans heavily on the rubbery funk of the late 80’s with some modern twists now and then.

Ohio’s Walk the Moon were up third and continued the energy with their glossy new wave pop. They’re touring in support of last year’s What if Nothing. That album’s “One Foot” was one of the many electronic jams the band threw out, followed by “Different Colours”, “Anna Sun”, and of course 2016’s inescapable hit, “Shut Up and Dance”.

It was from the Moon to Mars as Jared Leto and his brother Shannon wrapped up the evening with a whole host of new songs from their new album AMERICA. 30 Seconds to Mars haven’t released anything since 2013’s Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams, with the Hollywood frontman keeping busy with films like Suicide Squad and Blade Runner 2049. They did come into town with Muse last year for an all-too brief set, but it whetted the fan’s appetites sufficiently as they needed no re-introduction. The venue was fully packed by the time the band came on and fans still knew every one of their anthemic tunes. The fans are of course, his “Echelon”, and a huge amount of them waved official flags to greet the band.

It was a set packed full of surprises and Leto’s engaging presence. Ever the showman, he strode out on stage in a flowing red cape for the first few songs, which included 2009’s “This is War” and “Kings & Queens”. He then ventured out into the crowd on the walkway to play massive hit single “The Kill” and brought some audience members up with him at several points throughout the set. A young fan who couldn’t be more than six years old stole the show with his dance moves to new 30STM single “Rescue Me”.

Leto boasts a great affinity for this country, proudly waving around a giant Canadian flag and thanking the crowd profusely for a great evening during nearly every song. Towards the end of the show he promised that he’d be back in 2019, saying “I don’t care if they let me back in or not, I’ll be here”. A bold declaration that his diehard fans took to heart, roaring in appreciation and no doubt looking forward to the official date when they’ll be able to see their idol once again.

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