Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars 7/22/17

(i) lineup

1a. 30 Seconds To Mars
2b. Muse

(1a) (30 Seconds To Mars’s) setlist

    1. Up in the Air
    2. Conquistador
    3. This Is War
    4. Kings and Queens
    5. Alibi
    6. The Kill (Bury Me)
    7. City of Angels
    8. Do or Die
    9. The Ocean (Led Zeppelin cover)
    10. Closer to the Edge

(1b) highlights

  • 30 Seconds to Mars are off their rockers, but they’re definitely not boring, that’s for sure
  • Jared Leto is a Character – for lack of better phrasing – and honestly, he was so entertaining despite looking like a hot mess

(1c) lowlights

  • even though there are 10 songs on the setlist…I am nearly positive at least 3-4 of those songs were not played in full; Jared Leto would rather prognosticate and preach for 5 minutes than simply sing his song. “The Kill,” which is normally maybe 4 minutes long, turned into a 12 minute affair of him climbing through the crowd, giving speeches, slowing the melody, turning it acoustic, and basically rewriting it live? Jared, what are you doing bb, what is happening
  • it rained a bit at the show, so there’s quite a bit of sloshing happening in the pit. While it was significantly worse during Muse, it started picking up during 30 STM and it was def too much

(1d) overall thoughts

30 Seconds to Mars came on the scene sometime in 2005 and made very distinctly 2005 music at the time. So, I’m honestly a bit surprised to say these guys are not only still around, but creating work that feels new.

Surprisingly, I’d actually seen 30 STM once before, at Weenie Roast in May 2007. I had enjoyed their debut album enough and was eager to see them join the lineup of great people at the time. Even then, I remembered thinking that their performance was over the top and a bit exaggerated, so there’s so reason why I should’ve assumed they’d be different this time. Because they weren’t.

Jared Leto is such a caricature of a rock star, as opposed to an actual rock star, that his performance comes across as hysterical to me. I actually enjoy him as an actor and don’t mind 30’s music (though I probably wouldn’t purposely seek it out, to be honest), but man, his stage persona brings things to another realm. An…unreal realm. He was wearing bright blue track pants underneath an Asian-inspired, floral Grandma-esque muumuu, a bright silver leather jacket, ridiculous high tops sneakers, orange huge sunglasses, a camo hat, and Jesus beard…need I go on? I appreciate that the dude, as he explains, is at “level 17 of I don’t give a fuck” – but I think it’s pretty notable that I remember more of what Jared Leto was wearing than the music.

Bottom line: 30 Seconds To Mars are never boring, but as a group, they’re a bit bogged down by Jared Leto’s self-admitted antics. I was certainly entertained, but in the same way I’m entertained by a bad movie that I can’t stop watching because it’s so bad.

(2a) (Muse’s) setlist

    1. Dig Down
    2. Psycho
    3. Interlude
    4. Hysteria
    5. Resistance
    6. Plug in Baby
    7. The 2nd Law: Isolated System
    8. Stockholm Syndrome
    9. Supermassive Black Hole
    10. New Kind Of Kick
    11. Madness
    12. Dead Inside
    13. Munich Jam
    14. Starlight
    15. Time is Running Out
    16. Mercy
    17. The Globalist

Encore:

  1. Uprising
  2. Knights of Cydonia

(2b) highlights

  • Muse is fiiiiiiiiireeeeeee, and I will gladly fight anyone who disagrees with me whatsoever.
  • the energy of the crowd, the band, the sound, the lights – everything was so heightened and immersive. Even with Muse holding back from their usual overwhelming set design, I felt their power through this performance
  • setlist was flawless from beginning to end, not a single bad song in there and every moment that needed to feel long and meaningful was certainly so
  • Matt going into the audience in the rain during “Starlight” and having the entire venue sing along was magical

(2c) lowlights

  • did you know that when it rains at Jones Beach, the surrounding water line rises? And then pours over into the GA pit at the amphitheater? We were standing in 8 inches of water for most of the show while it was also raining, so that was….an experience.

(2d) overall thoughts

For me, there’s no band quite like Muse. They elevate everything, everything they do feels richer and livelier, and they’re unabashedly over the top while still remaining themselves. People knock them for seeing inauthentic, unnecessarily garish, and a big cheesy, but I honestly never feel that way experiencing Muse. It’s a sensory experience, yes, but when Matt Bellamy stands onstage in bright red pants and a silk blue bomber jacket, I believe him. (This is the exact opposite feeling I have toward Jared Leto, if that reveals anything.)

Matt, Chris Wolstenholme, and Dom Howard all blend together to create a perfect cacophony; together, they’re true melodic. Their high energy and general happiness onstage together is honestly refreshing and uplifting. Few bands I see nowadays have an unspoken language between the members in such an obvious way.

This show was wet, hot wild, and fun down in the pit, and even though Muse wasn’t playing a new album (only “Dig Down” and their “Some Kind Of Kick” cover were new additions), you never have the feeling like they’re going through the motions. You can tell that each of them enjoy their work and care for each song – it’s refreshing when every member of a band actually gives a shit.

 

Bottom line: Muse stands out as a band for me not only because of their unique voice and all-encompassing performances that feel intentional, precise, and emotional, but their energy and dedication to the crowd and each song is remarkable. How many other bands can say that?

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