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I purchased tickets for the concert on the 13th of December 2013. I was super excited about it, because I missed their last concert in Cape Town in 2010 and I was REALLY looking forward to it.
Fast forward to May 2014, when the band announced that they would have to postpone their tour due to medical reasons concerning one of the band members. I was devastated as I had put in leave especially for the concert and I had looked forward to it for so long. I had to wait until the 23rd of November 2014 to see them perform.
On the 21st of November 2014, 30 Seconds to Mars had a scheduled concert in Johannesburg. I found out over social media that Shannon Leto was not present, due to him taking ill. I was really disappointed, because I wanted to witness the chemistry between the band members on stage. The band consists of three members and it made the set-up lopsided if one band member was absent.
On Sunday the 23rd of November 2014 I started preparing for the concert, in a despondent mood. I was sad that Shannon wasn’t going to be there and I was feeling a little ill myself.
My sister and I arrived at the venue and we got a relatively good spot in the golden circle. I sat down waiting for Beatenberg to start their set. Beatenberg consists of Matthew Field (vocalist, guitar), Ross Dorkin (bass guitar) and Robin Brink (drums). The band started at 7:30 sharp, which was pleasant. They opened the set with their hit “Chelsea Blakemore” and continued to play some more songs from their debut album which included “Beauty Like A Tightened Bow”, “Rafael”, “Southern Suburbs” and “Cavendish Square”, closing their set with “Pluto”.
Beatenberg ended their set at 08:00 and then the wait began for the band we have all been waiting for. The lights went down, and the pulse-inducing opening sequence started. It took a few minutes before Tomo appeared and another minute or so before the enigmatic Jared Leto appeared with a crown adorning his captivating locks. My ears started buzzing from all the loud screams that filled the arena. I could barely breathe when Jared Leto appeared. For four years he only existed on my laptop screen, on a television screen or on the silver screen. If there is one thing that Jared Leto knows how to do is market himself. He had the audience in the palm of his hand for the entire show.
Anyone who has been to a concert and bought Golden Circle tickets knows that you have to take ownership of your spot on the floor or the other concert-goers might just take the chance to nab your spot which is located closer to the stage. During Jared Leto’s acoustic set he asked the audience to move closer to where he was standing at the walkway in front of the stage. At first everyone was indecisive, but when he insisted the audience obeyed. We moved closer to him and found ourselves in a better place than before.
It was fascinating the amount of interaction that Jared maintained with the audience throughout the show. The band released colourful balloons which reflects the artwork on their latest album cover and they floated around during the majority of the show, additionally streamers were blown into the air to the crowd’s delight.
The band’s opening song was “Up In The Air” and at first Jared’s voice sounded a bit sharp, but it warmed and softened more with the songs which followed. The crowd chanted along with “This Is War” and I loved their performance of “Conquistador” one of my favourite songs. Jared came up close and personal to the crowd during “Kings and Queens”, by the looks of where I was standing he seemed a bit nervous when the audience started tugging and pulling at him. The crowd bounced and danced through “Do or Die”. Jared gave a beautiful and touching performance of “City of Angels”. Things started heating up when he started to sing “End of all Days”. He pulled and tugged at his clothing suggestively to the delight of the female audience. Besides that distraction he delivered the vocals for the song perfectly.
The frontman then started his acoustic set singing a song which his grandfather used to sing to him called “Save Me”. The audience performed the intro for “Alibi” and Jared sang his heart out. The crowd were delighted when he went into a performance of “The Kill (Bury Me)”. During his acoustic set, the hormones of some ladies’ was at its peak. An indication of this, is the amount of suggestive and daring signs members of the crowd were holding up.
The mood turned romantic when the intro to “Bright Lights” started and everyone got their cellphones and lighters up.
After the song ended Jared started calling audience members up onto the stage, which obviously resulted in a lot of excitement. It was a great end to an amazing night and it went by so quickly.
After the show Jared and Tomo were signing Mars’ shirts and if you paid a fee, they would sign it for you. The queue for their signatures was insane! There were about 600 people if not more who got their merchandise signed. The wait wasn’t long though (no photos allowed) and concert-goers passed the time by chatting about the concert and thinking about what they were going to say to Jared when they got to the front. Most people fantasies’ were never realised as everyone went quiet when they saw him. 😀 I was one of those people, I was wracking my brain trying to think about what I was going to say. When I finally got to the front all I could manage was “Thank you, Tomo” and “Thank you, Jared”. Jared was busy signing when I spoke and he made a point to look up at me with those icy blue eyes and said “Thank you very, very much”. He hardly spoke to me, but the look on his face was one of endless gratitude for his fans and his lifestyle/career. My sister was waiting outside for me and was in a place where she could see Jared, she noticed that he made an effort to look up at each and every person when the alternative was to sign as fast as he could without looking up and finish up earlier.
I stand corrected, but from what I could tell and a few audience members would agree with me, but Thirty Seconds To Mars is the only international band to visit Cape Town thus far to take time out of their schedule to do a signing session.
I was sad that Shannon wasn’t there, but at the end of the night Jared and Tomo as well as the rest of the crew made up for it. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and I enjoyed every second of their concert. When they return I will fight tooth and nail to get a ticket if it comes to that.
Thank you to Thirty Seconds To Mars for making such an effort to come and perform for us as often as you can.