30 Seconds to Mars with support from You Me At Six
Tuesday 26th November 2013 – Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Fresh from Dublin 24 hours earlier I was ready for my second fix of 30STM and YMAS, my only fear was that the Belfast crowd wouldn’t be as crazy as the one the night before. I needn’t have worried as the arena quickly filled and the atmosphere was electric. The Echelon, 30STM’s fan base are not your usual crowd, ranging in age from 7 to 62 at the arena and the aim of the night for most of us was a place at the barrier. I was rewarded for many hours queuing with a spot centre stage and nothing and no one was moving me. Talking at the barrier there was a mix of first timers and mad ones like me. It is only the second time the band have played in Northern Ireland, their previous show being a headliner at Belsonic in 2011. Funnily enough the support for that gig had been YMAS as well.
Speaking of Josh and the guys, they bounced on stage with their usual exuberance and played as if they were the main act. Josh was vocally on fire as usual and it was like the last day at school as he interacted with the guys. They begin their set with ‘Reckless’ and immediately the crowd was bouncing, they continued on with a flurry of their hits including their most recent hit ‘Lived a Lie’ taken from their upcoming release Cavalier Youth. There was a quick break mid set for us all to sing happy birthday to Chris and then straight back into the set which they ended with ‘Underdog’. During the song there was a stage invasion with the crew and Mexican wrestlers, it was one of those WTF moments but it was hilarious.
Waiting for 30STM the atmosphere built up to a frenzy that overflowed with the first chords of ‘Birth’ were heard. Jared appeared up in the gantry with the now familiar flashlight in his hand, everyone in the crowd hoping he would shine that light on them. After Birth came the more familiar sounds of ‘Night of the Hunter’ and ‘Search and Destroy’ both from their previous release This is War. The whole set was a mix of old and new, showcasing their new release Love Lust Faith + Dreams. A 30STM show involves more than just music, between the giant balloons full of MARS confetti and the acrobats you find yourself asking what’s next. With Shannon playing ‘Convergence’ he calmed the audience perfectly for the acoustic set. Beginning with ‘Hurricane’, then Jared asking the crowd what next, knowing how the set works I was first to scream ‘Alibi’ to which he obliged and then finished with ‘The Kill (Bury Me)’ joined by a guy pulled from the crowd.
Back to rock with ‘Vox Populi’, the MARS anthem CTTE and finishing up with the old finale of ‘Kings & Queens’. The guys took their bows and as the lights faded the crowd once again built to frenzy demanding more and in answer the guys returned centre stage for the encore. They preformed an emotional ‘Bright Lights’ before the craziness of a MARS finale and the battle to get up on stage for ‘Up in the Air’. It was the last show of this leg of the tour and along with thanking the crew and YMAS there was a real party atmosphere. If I had to find one fault it would be what songs were dropped from the set list, I know when a band tours with new material there’s always a sacrifice along the way but there was a big gap where A Beautiful Lie should have been. But Jared, Shannon and Tomo were on fire leaving everyone wanting more, Europe 2014 anyone?