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Concert recap: 30 Seconds to Mars at The Pearl

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30 Seconds to Mars performs Friday, April 9, at The Pearl in the Palms.
Photo: Edison Graff

The Details

30 Seconds to Mars at the Pearl
Four stars
Beyond the Weekly
30 Seconds to Mars

Jared Leto is f—king insane.

As the frontman for 30 Seconds to Mars during their first show of the rock band's current North American tour, Leto did a number of crazy things, including performing in the middle of the mosh pit surrounded by grabby fans and inviting the whole audience to join the band on stage. But it all made for an impressive concert Friday night at the Pearl inside the Palms.

Backing up a moment to the start of the show, Leto, his brother Shannon (on a sick-ass drum kit stage left), and gutarist/keyboard player Tomo Miličević first appeared on stage as mere shadows behind a white curtain, reminiscent of a segment from Blue Man Group. The theatrics continued as the curtain dropped and the band launched into "Escape."

And the girls screamed.

Leto's fresh Manic Panic Red Passion (really more hot pinkish) mohawk couldn't be missed even from the highest rafters of the Pearl. While it was a pretty sweet mohawk, he's got nothing on The Objex's Felony Melony, but that's okay.

Essentially honorary 30 Seconds to Mars band members for the tour, Street Drum Corps played an important role in the show, first opening the night (followed by Neon Trees) and later providing percussion — and floodlights — on select songs throughout 30 Seconds' set.

Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars at The Pearl in the Palms.

Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars at The Pearl in the Palms.

"Let's go fucking crazy!" Leto called out.

More girls screamed.

"There's lots of filthy fucking motherfuckers in here tonight," he added, before asking how many were first-timers at a 30 Seconds to Mars show. The majority raised their hands. "That is a lot of virgins to take care of tonight," joked Leto and pointed at a guy near the cusp of the stage. "You, too, buddy. I'll take care of you — he looks like a good snuggler."

The band's ability to connect with the crowd through both its music and interaction fueled the energy of the night (we'll even forgive Leto for saying Nevada incorrectly).

When 30 Seconds to Mars wants the crowd to jump, they will. When the mic is pointed towards them to sing, they do. And when the band wants to hear screams? Well, that didn't stop the entire night.

Bringing it down a notch halfway through the set, Shannon Leto took center stage with what looked like a giant mortar and pestle, but resonated like someone circling the lip of a wine glass filled with water. Was there an outfit change in progress? Some elaborate set piece being added? No, it was because Leto then magically appeared with more skills than Criss Angel (and a better reception) in the middle section of the venue, guitar in hand.

He tinkered with acoustic versions of "Revenge" and "Hurricane," though never fully completing the songs, preferring to banter with the crowd. The fans didn't seem to mind and the conversational chatter made the gigantic venue feel welcoming and intimate.

"You look so nice I thought I'd come and join you," he said and joked that in 15 years he could totally see 30 Seconds to Mars playing a lounge in the Golden Nugget five nights a week. A nearby fan, who he noticed could be young enough to be his daughter, got the best story to bring to school Monday as he serenaded her. "I guess I should watch my dirty mouth on stage," Leto realized. "This is a family show."

30 Seconds to Mars finale in Vegas - from YouTube.com

After playing a bit of their cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," Leto began "The Kill" solo, then Miličević and Shannon Leto joined the song from their spots on stage.

Preferring to take a more direct route through the crowd to the stage, the singer climbed over fans in their seats, then made it to front and center in the middle of the audience standing in the crowded pit. How he made it back to the stage unmolested it still a mystery.

Of course, the shrieks from the ladies were deafening, only fueled when Leto lifted up his ragged white T-shirt to flash his abs.

Despite auditory impressions, the audience was a mixture of ladies and gents, young and old, and the band even received a resounding "hooah" from just the dudes upon request.

While it would have been nice to hear a little more Leto, a little less audience singing (small sound issues seemed to plague the night), there was an electric connectivity between the band and fans.

We then were collectively inducted to the Mars Army and Leto took a picture of the crowd with his Blackberry to post on Twitter. And if there were any curiosities as to how the band would duplicate the chorus of voices on their hit "Kings and Queens," they had a plan and invited everyone in the crowd on stage — peacefully, calmly and carefully, Leto instructed. Security likely was pissed, but those who chose to climb on stage did so in a orderly fashion and the girls somehow refrained from humping the band, though sound techs in white lab coats did have to step in as a buffer once or twice (plus a failed stage-diving attempt by one chick).

All of 30 Seconds to Mars smiled as they played and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show and performing for their fans, something one doesn't see enough of at concerts these days. All it all, it was a truly epic rock show.

Complete set list:

"Escape"

"Night of the Hunter"

"Attack"

"Vox Populi"

"From Yesterday"

"A Beautiful Lie"

"This is War"

"100 Suns"

"L490"

"Revenge" (Leto solo)

"Hurricane (solo)

"Kings and Queens" (solo)

"Bad Romance" (solo)

"The Kill" (solo)

"The Kill"

"Closer to the Edge"

"Search and Destroy"

"The Fantasy"

"Kings and Queens"

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