At this point no one questions who Jared Leto is, even if it is hard to remember that the frontman of Thirty Seconds to Mars is the same chilling creepster Joker of Suicide Squad. The man has amassed a huge catalog of works including, TV, movies, and music, of course. But despite dividing his creative efforts among different mediums, Leto doesn't let his performance slack in any of the arts. When the Monolith Tour was announced, I knew this was bound to an incredible night, and I had to be there. Thankfully, on June 29th the tour would be making it's way to South Florida at Coral Sky Amphitheater.
The Monolith Tour has been taking over the US as one of the hottest tours of the summer. With openers like Joywave and Misterwives, that's no surprise. Both of these bands have been performing at music festivals across the country of late, and each time we catch them perform it's always a fun time. Unfortunately due to traffic I was unable to photograph either band, but when I arrived the crowd was singing along with Mandy Lee to Misterwives' first hit “Reflections.” Walk the Moon came to the stage as “The Circle of Life” played overhead, making sure to wave out to the fans in the crowd. I was so excited as Nicholas Petricca took the mic and began singing their mega-hit “One Foot” and the crowd totally was too, jumping up and down from their seats in the stands.
See, I first came across Walk the Moon in November of 2011. I was working merch for a local venue when Fitz and the Tantrums came through, and found myself helping Walk the Moon's crew in addition since they had minimum people to spread between everything they needed. One of their crew, Blake, urged me to go check out their song “Anna Sun” at the end of their set. At the venue, the merch stand is in a completely separate area from the stage, so I popped in to catch a few seconds and see what Blake was going on about. “It's wild, you have to see the video, it's great!” He was right, I was hooked, and spread the song among my friends, loving the upbeat poppy tune with nostalgia laced through the lyrics. To see a band go from a local venue opener to thousands of fans in the amphitheater singing along was awesome, sure it's been a few years since I've had a chance to see them again, and the crowds have been flocking to them since 2014's platinum “Shut Up and Dance,” but it was a treat to see the metamorphosis of Walk the Moon.
Their set was full of intense energy, and their rhythmic retro electronic beats just begged to be danced to live. Kevin Ray (bass) used his spare time being airborne while also playing a drum near his mic stand, while Eli Maiman (guitar) would take to center stage, shredding, and hyping up the front row. Petricca dances along the stage, but never straying too far from his keys, where he throws down explosive catchy tunes, and Sean Waugaman (drums) lays the framework of the beat down in the back. After performing one of their newer songs “Kamikaze” Petricca joked “okay, let's give them the dancing song” as the crowd roared and proudly danced from the seats to the lawn. But of course, for me, the highlight was seeing that same first single, “Anna Sun” as the closer to their set.
One Foot / Lisa Baby / Portugal / Different Colors / Avalanche / Surrender
Tightrope / Kamikaze / Shut Up and Dance / Headphones / Anna Sun
A monolith built of screens lowered blocking off the center of the stage as “Monolith,” an instrumental from the new release AMERICA, played across the amphitheater. The front block of the screen raised, revealing brothers Shannon and Jared; Shannon to the right hacking away at his drumkit, and Jared stalking around the stage in a periwinkle blue jeweled robe to “Up In the Air.” At the “whoa-oa” sing along, Jared pointed behind the crowd and pointed out the full moon in the sky, naturally he had the entire amp howling like wolves at the moon in no time. With Tomo Miličević no longer touring with the band, Jared has full run of the stage, sweeping around the catwalk, and urging the audience to jump and “go crazy.” There was a bass/keyboard/guitar player off to the side of the stage as Jared ditched the guitar for this go around, but he stayed outside of the screened area, in the shadows.
Thirty Seconds to Mars shows are notorious for being fan-friendly, and giving audience members the opportunity to join the band on stage. Jared searched the crowd for “the person that's going to go absolutely crazy for this next song” eventually pulling up a teen girl, two young boys, and two men. The man hoisted the boys up on their shoulders parading them around the stage, as they all danced along to “Rescue Me.” Slowing things down, Jared rose on the upper screen, towering high above the crowd with a haunting performance of “Great Wide Open.”
From his outfits, to his American flag prop, Jared is full of personality and he keeps the crowd entranced and involved with the show. Like I said, Jared isn't lackadaisical when it comes to any of his ventures, and he truly shines on stage performing music.
Monolith / Up in the Air / Kings and Queens / This Is War / Dangerous Night / Do or Die / Hail to the Victor / Rescue Me / Pyres of Varanasi / Great Wide Open / Remedy / The Kill (Bury Me) / Walk on Water / Closer to the Edge
Thirty Seconds to Mars
Walk the Moon