Live Review: Thirty Seconds to Mars Bring Monolith To The City Of Hartford
Thirty Seconds to Mars North American Monolith Tour
Alt rock legends Thirty Seconds to Mars embarked on their North American Monolith tour in Canada on June 5th, and now the tour made its first U.S stop in Hartford, CT at XFINITY Theatre; of course I had to attend a night of music courtesy of Jared Leto and the boys in Thirty Seconds to Mars plus the tour lineup consisting of Joywave, WALK THE MOON, and Misterwives.
It was a full line-up of bands that fit perfectly together and have all had their own success throughout the past year or so, each offering their own unique blend of rock, pop, electro, dance and even hints of R&B.
XFINITY Theatre is one of my favorites to catch a show at, especially because the venue staff and security is top notch. As I arrived during the early evening, droves of fans waited in line for doors to open, while a few lucky fans had a VIP meet & greets with Thirty Seconds to Mars and WALK THE MOON.
The opening act for the evening was Rochester, New York’s own Joywave (Cultco Music/Hollywood Records). As the guys took to the stage frontman Daniel Armbruster walked on with a coffee mug and wearing a robe, he then greeted the crowd with a “Good Morning Hartford” which received a round of laughter from the Connecticut crowd. Throughout the performance vocalist Armbruster spent equal time talking to the crowd as he was singing the band’s songs. The band played a 30 minute long set filled with laughter, weirdness, and their blend of chart topping alternative rock which was quite well received by the TSTM crowd.
Seen and heard:
- Tons of green haired people and heart shaped glasses laid on the lawn of the theater during MisterWives
New York City’s Misterwives (Photo Finish Records) were up next; singer Mandy Lee and company sure came to deliver. The band, who has their own unique fusion of soul, dance and pop with some folk elements, is currently out in support of their latest release Connect The Dots. Lee has a beautiful vocal range and even switches up from time to time with a hip hop/R&B lyrical escapade. She maintains a flawless performance all while running back and forth, even high kicking her way on the stage.
Their set included fan favorites like “Reflections” and “Our Own House”. Misterwives is great on their albums but in my opinion the band is best when they can be experienced live. The show is pure passion and the set explodes with upbeat pop songs from the soul.
The well deserved direct support position for the evening came in the form of WALK THE MOON (RCA Records). I was really excited to catch these guys live as they’ve built quite the name for themselves over the past few years. It only took a few moments for singer Nicholas Petriccato to burst onto stage with his one of a kind explosive energy.
Stunning visual effects were on display throughout the bands performance, lighting following the rhythm of the guitar and the drums.
The Ohio outfit really knows how to get a crowd hyped up with their very upbeat rhythmic music with touches of electro and 80s influence, which certainly charmed the fans. It’s also far from a one man show as each member has their own individual energy they bring to the performance.
Bassist Kevin Ray can be seen getting airbourne throughout the set and when he’s not in the air he is delivering backing vocals that fill out the sound completely. The band’s set was overall great from beginning to end, but when they performed their breakout hit “Shut Up and Dance” the crowd immediately left their seats and fans could be seen dancing in the aisles. Hartford loved every minute of their blend of rock and new wave, and so did I. It was the perfect warm up for Thirty Seconds to Mars!
Seen and heard:
- Fans danced like crazy all throughout the set
- A girl hula hooping to the beat of “Shut up and Dance”
The main attraction for the evening would come from the Leto brothers Jared and Shannon in the form of Thirty Seconds to Mars (Interscope Records). The band is out touring in support of their latest album AMERICA, released in April of this year.
The album’s sound brings on a new kind of production, a visual mind bending experience nobody was expecting. The Leto’s were only joined by a guitarist placed behind the drum kit. The show began with the venue pitch black, a large cube shaped screen contraption made its way down from the ceiling of the stage.
When it rose, the music to the track “Monolith” began and Jared and Shannon Leto were revealed with LED screens lit across both their backs. During the third song “This Is War”, a lucky fan who was pre-chosen got to join the brothers on stage to perform the guitar parts for the song and towards the end there was a massive amount of giant silver balloons that made their way everywhere both on the floor and stage.
The performance was well choreographed and non-stop entertaining. Jared proved he is still the energetic charismatic frontman we all remember. If there was any question regarding his focus as a musician because of his acting career, this show will shatter all doubts. The biggest change about the band is that it looks like they’re having a ton of fun performing again, and especially with the new songs.
Jared also is having a blast bringing fans on stage doing it again during songs like “Do Or Die” and “Rescue Me”. The show also features a ton of crowd interaction, American flag waving, balloon tossing, and during the classic TSTM track “The Kill” the stage elevates and Leto is seen high above the crowd singing his heart out with his brother Shannon on drums below.
“The Kill” also featured a stripped version ending allowing the fans to scream the songs chorus in a magical sounding harmony that I believe even touched the guys. Another shocking unexpected moment was when the band performed an ambitious but solid cover of Rihanna’s hit “Stay” which received deafening screams from the Hartford fans. The band’s 13 song set came to a close at around 11pm and was met with a standing ovation from the audience.
Seen and heard:
- During Thirty Seconds to Mars set, the ladies could be heard screaming “show us your abs” to Jared Leto.
- Jared Leto pulled a man dressed as a crocodile up on stage to dance, he also asked why he was dressed like a Crocodile. Still a mystery.
Overall I think the show was a ton of bang for the buck, especially if you’re a fan of the bands newer material. The show was captivating and certainly didn’t have any boredom attached; it moves and flows pretty graciously throughout so it actually feels like it goes by quick. I really enjoyed the fact that he is so open and comfortable with his fan;, many would think a successful movie career would possibly change Jared but he seems to be as humble as ever.
I think out of all the rock tours happening this summer this should absolutely land on your top 5 can’t miss list! The tour is just beginning, so there is plenty of chances to catch the guys live. But do so now because rumor has it Leto maybe filming his stand alone Joker movie soon, so who knows when they will be back. Checkout all the dates below, and the band will be making a stop at PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, North Carolina June 27th! We hope to see you there! Besides supporting the band on tour, you can also support by picking yourself up a copy of Thirty Seconds to Mars latest album AMERICA HERE!
Mon 7 PM CDT613 guests
|Maryland Heights, MO|