At war with 30 seconds to mars

30 Seconds to Mars are no strangers when it comes to South Africa. They first came out in 2005, where they were inspired to write 4 new rocking tracks, then in 2007 for Cokefest. Now they are back with their best show ever!

In a recent interview with VuzuTV, Tom Milicevic says,

” This is our first headlining show (in SA) so we get to do the show how we want. Festivals are fun because you get to play with other bands. You end up playing in front of an audience that may not necessarily be there for your show. This time, it’s all about 30 Seconds to Mars! “

Living up to their mantra “we are not here to do what has already been done” 30 Seconds to Mars had the crowd roaring at the flick of a simple light switch. Let alone the first sightings of these talented rockstars as they prowled their way across the stage, into the spotlight, amidst the sound of beating drums.

Is it any wonder that people were lining up from 1pm (as my sources tell me) just to be the very first to get a glimpse of the infamous world trending 30 Seconds to Mars. Wild does not even begin to describe it. Fans were in hysteria and memorabilia was every where to be seen. It might as well have been something out of a Beatles/ Micheal Jackson documentary….

For some reason, still a mystery, I felt really out of sorts just before the show. Splashing water on my face in defiance, I was not prepared to give up without seeing the highlight attraction. So I joined in the war, and declared that no matter what, I was not going to leave until the bitter end.  They must have heard my finale plea, because not a minute later, the real show began. I kept my promise.

I’ve seen a far share of gigs and concerts, and if anything I wish more local bands could have seen the 30STM gig. They have this simple formula ::  it’s all about the show. It’s not just some guy standing on stage strumming a guitar, or trying to connect with the crowd (Sorry BLK JKS but you guys need to work on that), it’s about the show! Trust a film guy to get it right. I understand that not everyone has the kinda gear lying around to create a big bang, state of the art, trend setting show, but please just do something. Make it special. Make it yours!

Back to the 20th November 2010, Grand West Arena, Cape Town :: After hearing whisperings of awe from the JHB concert the night before, and having seen the promo, I knew this was going to be a good thing. Little did I know just how good that good could be. No one knew just what to expect. Perhaps one of the most spontaneous bands out there, with the biggest scope to work with, they know how to keep a crowd on their toes (it makes me want to go again tonight)

Encircled by 100’s of loved up fans, in the midst of the Arena, you could not help getting drawn into the chants and war cry’s , orchestrated by Jared Leto. In that moment, everyone connected to a greater power: music. Even youngins’ parents could not resist their rebellious teens rock music and found themselves bouncing along. Yes. I saw you!

Playing to the crowds whims, craziness, and love of a good fashioned party, the boys did not disappoint. They were there, full force in bucketloads, converting groupies by the dozen. This is what they call a real Rockshow!

Taking a break from all that jumping around, Jared Leto took centre stage with an acoustic guitar. He stunned the crowd to short lived – lighters in the air – kind of silence.  He bridged together a couple amazing tracks (including my favourite Kings & Queens) with that mesmerizing voice. The acoustic interlude itself is worth ever cent of a concert admission.

Once you caught your breath, and realised just how simple things could be, you became aware of this movement underground. It vibrated at your feet; Like wild animals before a storm, the dance floor inhabitants start to pace, unaware of what was still to come. The thumping grew louder and louder. There was no way to deny it now. Suddenly the ground underneath you, the spaces in between you, were filled with the thumping base, and the order was simple : ‘Jump, Jump, Jump’.

The time for reflection had passed, and the alliance of fans were back in the middle of the war. They were fighting against the light at the end of the tunnel. The end of the evening. The end of the show. The departure of 30 Seconds to Mars.

In a recent radio interview on 5fm, Jared Leto says Thank you to South Africa:

“Without South Africa…, we basically would not have a career. We would not have ‘A Beautiful Lie‘ the record,or that title for the record. We would not have that song. We would not have “The Kill“… and from this record we would not have Kings and Queens. That was written in South Africa.”

I say, No Jared, Thanks to you. Stop by any time.

Originally posted on Overtone Magazine


Thirty Seconds to Mars’ newest album title – This Is War – is more than a just a reference to the band’s personal battles, a commentary on global crises and economic turmoil and homage to their now infamous $30,000,000 lawsuit with Virgin Records.

This Is War also represents the result of an 18-month creative battle, fought ferociously, but privately, inside a studio built into the side of a house tucked away in the Hollywood Hills. The result: a triumphant, sonically epic game-changer that builds on the vision laid out in their 2002 self-titled debut and 2005’s multi-platinum A Beautiful Lie.

PS, I could not resist the chance to share my favourite 30STM track “Kings and Queens”…. Enjoy

To listen to the full 5fm podcast click here::


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