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Gig Review: 30 seconds of style with no substance

"THIS is not a Celine Dion concert," announces Jared Leto. Two songs in, and the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman has stopped the gig.

Obviously, the whole thing is staged, but that doesn't make Leto's Hollywood outburst any less entertaining. Basically, he just wants those on the balcony to get out of their seats. Eventually, the show kicks back into gear.

Indeed, Leto's transition from celebrated, pretty-boy movie star to arena-conquering rock idol has surpassed expectations. Half the kids here have probably never seen Requiem for a Dream, but they know all the words to Search and Destroy. And never before has a million- selling rock star showcased such hilarious self-assurance.

With his flowing locks and scraggy beard, Leto could be auditioning for Jesus Christ Superstar. He's certainly got the theatrical side of things worked out. He's also wearing a kilt and a sleeveless Nirvana shirt. Oh, and sunglasses (there are a lot of lights involved). The drummer's wearing a pair, too (Shannon Leto, Jared's brother). Jared seems a nice guy. He invites fans to join him on stage, and he plays the Irish card well (he filmed a movie here once). But he couldn't sing his way out of a paper bag.


Four albums in, you would think the Californian trio would have at least one decent tune to their name, but the group's bloated brand of faux, adolescent angst and spacey, electronically twisted alt-rock is nothing short of embarrassing. The trippy End of All Days is horrendous. City of Angels is what happens when a band with no clue of melody and structure try to be U2.

At 41, Leto should really know better. This staggeringly pompous exercise in transparent, big-budget rock is his pride and joy – and that's just sad. All style and no substance, he arms himself with a flag one minute and a baseball bat the next; silly props to hammer home the band's childish, 'rebellious' musings. There's talk of an Oscar nod for Leto's return to the big screen in the forthcoming Dallas Buyer's Club. We know what he should stick to, so.