Review & photos by Rachel Jablonski
30 Seconds to Mars fanatics were already convening outside The Metro in Chicago, IL when I arrived at the venue. It was only 5pm, the show was not to begin until 11:30 that evening, but time in the minds of The Echelon is negligible.
The Echelon, the 30 Seconds to Mars street team dedicated to promoting the band, was well represented as 65 of its members from all over the country traveled from Boston, Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, and beyond to see the Chicago show. But these tremendous fans were not alone in showing their support. Stretching far around the building a mass of concert goers formed a never-ending line. Outside the venue the eagerness of the sold out crowd was apparent, but immensely grew when 11:30 came and went and no one had entered the building.
Crazy though it was, by the time the crowd filed into the venue and the stage was finally prepared it was 12:30am, meaning many of The Echelon had been waiting in anticipation for a full 7 hours outside the venue. But the weary looks on many faces did not linger for long when 30STM finally hit the stage.
Dressed all in white, 30STM drifted on stage amid a cloud of fog; the crowd went wild. Playing a pretty even mix of songs from their 2002 self-titled release and their latest entitled A Beautiful Lie, the set did not disappoint. The melodic sound of 30STM with its crunchy edge and spacey electronic feel allowed listeners to distance themselves from their surroundings and become immersed in the music. The energy radiating from stage was huge and difficult to contain, particularly for me as I tried to photograph for the first three songs of the show.
A relatively lean Jared Leto (vocalist/guitarist) ventured into the crowd for a portion of a song, walking around and singing among the audience. The 60-some pounds he had gained for his role in the upcoming movie Chapter 27 more or less shed, Leto was focused and in full melodic form. Continuously acknowledging the crowd, Leto pleased the masses by playing the band's first ever single, “Capricorn,” from their self-titled debut and the new singles, “Attack” and “The Kill,” from their latest album. But most pleasing to me was “Fallen,” the oldest 30STM song written, making the set list.
The culmination of the 30STM show found us at 3am, which actually would have been 2am were it not for daylight savings time striking at the same moment. Sixty-five Echelon members and over 1400 other concert goers left The Metro fulfilled and with inevitable exhaustion.