Thirty Seconds To Mars Cape Town Concert Review – 23/11/2014

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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.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

Thirty Seconds to Mars Setlist GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, Cape Town, South Africa 2014, Love Lust Faith + Dreams

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Beatenberg This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Beatenberg
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Me being stupidly happy. This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Me being stupidly happy.
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5 GREAT Cover Songs by Rock Musicians

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I love listening to great covers of great songs, but hearing it being performed by a rock band that I like is fantastic. Bands do cover songs for various reasons, to prove to their fans that they are versatile, for marketing purposes, to show their talent or to appeal to a different fan base. Whichever the reason I know I’m always interested to see what a band will be able to do with a popular song or a song that is in another genre. It lets the fans see the band in a new light and it captivates fans of other genres of music.

In no particular order here are 5 of my favourite cover songs that I would like to share with my readers.

Number 1 : 30 Seconds To Mars – Where The Streets Have No Name orginally by U2

Jared Leto really impressed me with the quality of his voice on this song and the elegant way in which the band performed the song. I get goosebumps every time I listen to their version. One of my favourite cover songs for sure!

 

 

Number 2: Smith & Myers – Someone Like You originally by Adele

Smith & Myers, vocalist and guitarist for the rock band Shinedown did a variety of cover songs for their fans that are available on iTunes, but this is my favourite one as I was wondering where they would go with a song as big as Adele’s Someone Like You. It’s really interesting to hear the male vocal on this song in particular and they made it their own which is quite difficult to do with such an iconic song.

 

 

Number 3: Halestorm – Get Lucky originally by Daft Punk

When such a radio-freindly mainstream song gets a makeover it is really refreshing.I love the rock version of Get Lucky. Its gives the song new life. Halestorm have released EPs featuring some great covers, but this one stood out to me, because it was in a genre far-removed from what the band normally does.

 

Number 4: Device ft Lzzy Hale – Close My Eyes Forever originally by Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford

What an intimidating song to cover, but no need to worry it was absolutely effortless for David Draiman and Lzzy Hale. They didn’t just do the song justice they dominated it. The combination of Lzzy and David’s voices are impeccable and so is the production of the song.

 

 

Number 5: Santana ft Chris Daughtry – Photograph originally by Def Leppard

In my opinion Chris injects some vigour into the song which some might consider as a classic song that is better left untouched. I truly enjoy the combination of Santana’s flawless guitar solos and Chris’s powerful, belting voice. To me this version catapulted the song into the 21st century.

 

Have your say below, which cover song featured here is your favourite?

 

Have a fantastic week!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

30 Seconds To Mars debut Do or Die Video

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I was awestruck when I saw that 30 Seconds To Mars released the official video for Do or Die, it took me by complete surprise. I can honestly say that I felt quite emotional when I watched the video, because I can identify with every member of The Echelon. I could share their pain and their joy. The band has really cultivated and nurtured a truly unique culture which would be difficult to recreate for any other band. The Echelon is a special breed of family that are tied by a unique bond that renders distance irrelevant. The video is the band’s way of saying thank you to their extended family for their support and what a treat it is (especially seeing a half-naked Jared Leto running through the woods 😉 ) No one can edit a video quite like Bartholomew Cubbins and his team. Its a must-see for everyone who loves their music and all that they stand for. Long live The Echelon!

I leave you with a few screenshots of the video.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Screenshot from the official video for "Do or Die"

Screenshot from the official video for “Do or Die”

Screenshot from the official video for "Do or Die"

Screenshot from the official video for “Do or Die”

Screenshot from the official video for "Do or Die"

Screenshot from the official video for “Do or Die”

Screenshot from the official video for "Do or Die"

Screenshot from the official video for “Do or Die”

Thirty Seconds To Mars Unleash “Conquistador”

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Thirty Seconds To Mars have unleashed the lyric video for a new song from their upcoming album called “Conquistador”. The guitars on the track is really impressive and Jared’s voice gives me the chills while Shannon provides the base for the track with his energetic drum beats. This song has really made me even more excited for Love+Lust+Faith & Dreams which will be released on the 21st of May 2013.

Screenshot from the Short film for Up In The Air.

Screenshot from the Short film for Up In The Air.

The Echelon have already trended #CONQUISTADOR worldwide on Twitter today, so I’m obviously not the only one who is excited! 😀

Conquistadors were soldiers, explorers and adventurers at the service of the Spanish Empire and the Portugese Empire. They colonized much of the world for Spain and Portugal in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Thirty Seconds To Mars debut “Up In The Air” video

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Thirty Seconds To Mars has just released their latest short film for their latest single “Up In The Air“!

A must see!

You can see the video here: http://www.altpress.com/news/entry/thirty_seconds_to_mars_debut_up_in_the_air_video?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=altpress

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Guitarist of the Week – Tomo Miličević

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The Rock Riff has featured 2 of the three members of 30 Seconds To Mars recently and this week its Tomo’s turn, the sometimes underrated, but always quirky and interesting lead guitarist of the band.

Tomislav  “Tomo” Miličević was born on the 3rd of September 1979 in Sarajevo (SRF Yugoslavia), Bosnia to a Croatian family. His first visit to the USA was as a baby and travelled back and forth until his family permanently emigrated to Troy, Michigan when he was about 9 or 10 years old.

When Tomo was a teenager he was hit in the leg by an errant bullet while he was standing in front of his father’s Dunkin Donuts store in Michigan. Tomo wanted to keep the bullet, but the hospital wouldn’t allow it.

By the time Tomo turned 18 his parents Tonka and Damir Miličević had opened a restaurant in Los Angeles. Tomo has a brother named Filip Miličević and a sister called  Ivana Miličević. Ivana was born on the 26th of April 1974 and she worked as a model during her school years. In 1996 she made her film debut in Jerry Maguire as the Former Girlfriend of Tom Cruise’s character. She made a guest appearance in Seinfeld, she played but parts in Vanilla Sky, Love Actually, Head Over Heels, Paycheck, Running Scared and landed a recurring role in the CBS TV series “Love Monkey“.  She appeared in Casino Royale as one of the three Bond Girls. Ivana is currently starring in the TV Series Banshee. Filip Miličević is known in the US as a semi-famous abstract artist and he is a top executive at the AT&T Corporation.

“Tomo’s uncle, Dr. Željko “Bill” Miličević is a virtuoso violinist and orchestra teacher at Farmington High School in Farmington, Michigan.” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Tomo attended Athens High School in Troy, Michigan and he is a certified executive and pastry chef. Tomo spent two years in culinary school. Tomo married his longtime girlfriend Vicki Bosanko, in Crete, Greece on July 4, 2011.

Tomo practiced to become a concert violinist from the ages of 3 to 19 years of age. He started writing his own music at the age of 17. Tomo started to discover heavy metal and asked his dad to help him make a guitar, the guitar they made was used to record the song “A Modern Myth” one of the songs from 30 Seconds To Mars’ second album “A Beautiful Lie“. After graduating from culinary school Tomo decided to sell his musical instruments and to leave the music industry for good, that was until Shannon Leto told him about the auditions that 30 Seconds To Mars was hosting. Tomo was already a fan of the group and he decided to audition. Tomo was selected from a group of 200 musicians for his talent and his easygoing personality.

On the 3rd of February 2003 Tomo played alongside Jared Leto, Shannon Leto and Matt Wachter on The Late Late Show With Craig Killborn. Tomo cites some of his influences which includes Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Metallica, The Who, Alice in Chains and Slayer.

Tomo’s favourite song is “Take On Me” by A-Ha. Tomo is left-handed, but plays guitar right-handed.

If you would like to hear 30 Seconds To Mars’s fantastic new song, you can listen to it here:

http://loudwire.com/30-seconds-to-mars-new-album-title-new-single/

30 Seconds to Mars’ ‘Love Lust Faith + Dreams’ will be released on May 21st 2013 and I can’t wait!!

30 Seconds to Mars, ‘Love Lust Faith + Dreams’ Track Listing:

1. ‘Birth’ 2. ‘Conquistador’ 3. ‘Up In The Air’ 4. ‘City Of Angels’ 5. ‘The Race’ 6. ‘End Of All Days’ 7. ‘Pyres Of Varanasi’ 8. ‘Bright Lights’ 9. ‘Do Or Die’ 10. ‘Convergence’ 11. ‘Northern Lights’ 12. ‘Depuis Le Debut’

Follow Tomo on Twitter in his “ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME” style. 😀

You can follow Tomo on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/tomofromearth

You can Subscribe to Tomo’s updates on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TomoFromEarth?fref=ts

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

30 Seconds To Mars’s New Short Film #MARSisComing

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The Echelon are basically salivating in anticipation of 30 Seconds To Mars‘s new music video and so am I. I have to say the sneak previews Jared has been sharing on Instagram and on his Twitter page is already looking quite impressive. It seems like a lot of colour will be used in the video, but I can’t help but wonder how these seemingly unrelated images will be merged into one film. My favourite shot is that of McKayla Maroney sailing through the air. McKayla Maroney is a gymnast, she is the 2012 Olympic Champion & Vault Silver medalist as well as the 2011 World Champion & Vault Gold medalist.

I can’t wait, hold on to your seats people, because Bart Cubbins has been released!

The Rock Riff does not own any of these images.

All images sourced from http://instagram.com/jaredleto

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Rock Regards,

Lauren K