Thirty Seconds to Mars | Review
The SSE Arena, Belfast • 29 May 2018
By Emer Dooris • Photos: Tremaine Gregg
Silver Balloons, an amazing light show, and flags all added to the feeling that this was no ordinary gig. This was Thirty Seconds to Mars performance and this was the Monolith Tour.
It got off to an energetic start with support from Dublin Band, Keywest. With charm, wit and a loud set including my personal favourite songs ‘Gypsy Rose’ and ‘I never loved you anyway’ with huge drum beats they did a fantastic job at warming up the audience.
There was, however, a fairly extended break between the support and the main act, but for the production elements alone it was worth the wait. Shannon Leto appeared after a build-up of lights and white noise to start the set with a drum solo and from this point on, the pace and beat continued.
On what was a very hot and sticky summer night, Jared Leto and band brought the positive vibes and festival feel of an outdoor summer gig right to the SSE Arena. Although Leto admitted, it was the smallest crowd of the entire tour (and with some sound issues). That didn’t stop the frontman interacting with the crowd, including dancing with a very young fan who showed Leto how to ‘floss’. We saw Jared Leto bouncing from one side of the stage to the other while belting out some of the bands greatest hits.
Covering hits including ‘Kings and Queens’, ‘This is War’, ‘Walk on Water’ and ‘Rescue Me’, Leto sprang about the stage and encouraged the audience to join in and they did. In fact, Leto rounded up a crowd of bad dancers on stage for ‘Rescue Me’ and got the crowd battling out on ‘This is War’. Before playing new track ‘Hail to the Victor’ from latest album America he asked: “Do you mind if I play a new one?” The anthem which is due to be used by the World Cup rang out throughout the arena and the audience repeated the chorus line with energy.
The closing song of the set was ‘Closer to the Edge’, Leto filled the stage by picking audience members to come up and dance/sing their way through the hit. Leto got up close and personal with fans whilst belting out the well-known hit.
The Monolith Tour was truly one of those gigs where you say you had to be there. It was an intimate production in the SSE Arena, but I can’t help but wonder would it be more suited to an outdoor venue with the large light production, I could see it more situated to Boucher road or Ormeau park. On that note, do not fear if you missed it this time, Leto said he would return sooner rather than later. He did, however, request “could y’all bring some friends so we can really have a party?” I’ll accept my invite now shall I?