It was cold. Newcastle arena screwed up my photo passes and then the security just to get into the queue was slightly ridiculous (I have never been frisked before!) and I promised myself not to get started on what I think of that Arena…so I won’t! The police were telling all the ladies to stick their mobile phones in their bras as there were pickpockets operating in the area. We later heard 86 phones were lifted at a gig in Manchester…I’m not sure how true that was but obviously if you’re attending a concert just be aware that these leaching divs have apparently found a new playground! Eventually, frozen to the bone we got into the arena and it was all worth it!
I have to say, unfortunately I have turned into my Dad as You Me At Six did nothing to impress me. They weren’t awful, it just sounded like one long song! Nothing grabbed me, nothing jumped out that made me think ‘wow’ and for me these days it’s important to be a little bit different from the crowd. I will get slammed for this as I think I was one of probably three people in the entire arena that just didn’t really care. Everyone else seemed to be totally into them and going crazy so it leads me to the conclusion that I’m just old…
Even though the Echelon were out in force and the floor area was packed to the back, there did seem to be quite a few empty seats at the back of the arena which surprised me. You may think those are the crappy seats but trust me, if you ever get chance to see 30 Seconds To Mars and those are the only tickets left then just take them. Jared is quite capable of drawing in even the very furthest away and making them part of the show!
Before 30 Seconds To Mars hit the stage two guys came out wearing what appeared to be gas masks and shining spotlights into the audience, whipping them up into a frenzy ready for the ‘main event’! Birth sounded through the speakers and the place erupted as the curtain fell to reveal the charismatic front man, Jared Leto, on a platform high above the stage wearing a huge, black fur coat and shades and looking every bit the superstar that he is! The sight of him lowering down on that platform actually reminded me of a Jim Morrison or Michael Hutchence type of persona; larger than life and absorbing all the adoration and energy in the building!
From Birth straight into Night Of The Hunter and Search & Destroy, I could hardly take a photograph because Jared just wasn’t still for a second; bounding from one side of the stage to the other in a blur as he involved the audience at every possible moment, making everyone jump or sing on command (which they did so all night! Way to go Newcastle!)
The energetic Conquistador was next and after that a member of the audience was brought up on stage with Jared (Just one of many over the course of the night that got to get up there!) and he was given the mic to introduce the next song, Do Or Die.
Bright Lights and City Of Angels were two songs from the latest CD, Love Lust Faith & Dreams, that Jared said they hadn’t ever performed live before so that was pretty special and if you have seen the video for Up In The Air you will have seen ‘hoop spinning’ guy that they brought out on stage (OK maybe not THE hoop spinning guy I dunno…) to perform along to the instrumental end of Depuis Le Début. Also from that video were the balaclava-clad drummers and we were treated to some acrobats performing to Pyres of Varanasi. Shannon & Tomo also debuted Convergence before Jared came on stage with only his guitar for company and had some hilarious banter with the audience whilst doing acoustic versions of The Kill, Lady Gaga’s Bad romance, Hurricane & Attack.
Fans were brought up on stage on several occasions, including one poor girl who was bleeding after being head-butted by Shannon (we assume whilst trying to get on on the stage or some such accident!) and a young kid who was brave enough to get up there and make the whole place just say awwwww!
The show started it’s homewards stretch with Closer To The Edge and Kings & Queens and then it was the encore and time for one of their newest massive hits, Up In The Air. I can honestly say I didn’t want the show to be over! Almost two hours of singing my head off, dancing, laughing and generally having an awesome time and I wasn’t ready for it to end! It wasn’t just about a band getting on stage performing their hits, it was about the fans feeling like they were part of it. Leto is most definitely a born entertainer, fantastic & enthralling to watch and I’m not just saying that because he’s gorgeous! In a strange sort of way I was having such a good time that after the initial ‘hoooooly s*%$!’ moment it had nothing to do with that at all. Their respect for the fans of the band is second to none and they put 100% into every note they play and every move they make. The whole show was a visual spectacle with lasers, giant balloons, confetti and moving screens showing all kinds of stuff and there aren’t too many rock shows that can have acrobats and get away with it being one of the coolest things you’ve ever seen! The audience was a mixture of all ages and there was probably as many guys there as there was girls; certainly there were a lot on the stage at the end when Jared brought up the entire row in front of me (Boo!) for the Up In The Air finale.
Speaking to one or two fans who attended the show they have all said the same word and I agreed with them; ‘Amazing!’ Never ever pass up the chance to see this band live! I hope they are back in the UK very soon!
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