30 Seconds To Mars
ASBURY PARK, New Jersey (March 24, 2007) - Many of the young teenagers in attendance at Asbury Park's Convention Hall on Saturday were most likely cornered by their parents before leaving their homes.
It's no doubt that some heard their dad tell a story of catching a glimpse of Keith Richards jumping out of his limo in front of the venue a few decades back.
It wasn't long before 30 Seconds to Mars lead singer/guitarist Jared Leto emerged from the Convention Hall bleachers, when fans were on their cell phones bragging about how close they got to him. So,
in a few decades, it might be a new crop of teenagers telling their kids about the Taste of Chaos tour they saw on Saturday night.
The bond between 30 Seconds to Mars and its fans was clear before Leto entered the crowd. The sold out audience's voices echoed through the venue as they sang many of the band's choruses verbatim. The
band walloped through its set list of intense tracks, building on the staccato power chords supplied by the Leto and guitarist Tomo Milicevic.
While lighting effects added to theatrics, Taste of Chaos focused mainly on the music and fans. 30 Seconds to Mars' songs stretched across a limitless range of emotions from joy to despair, as the band
synchronized itself and delivered its message with a precise attack of chordings, muted single notes, throaty bass lines and dynamic drum beats. Leto's vocals were impressive for a venue that might present
a challenge to some singers. He remained in control of his performance, carrying the audience through the vast emotional spectrum at the core of each song.
30 Seconds to Mars' set preceded that of the Used, a band that refuses to label itself. It's a band that manages to reach across numerous genres from pop to punk to metal, in the same song.
Like its predecessor on the bill, the Orem, Utah-based quartet's music reached out and touched its fans from the inception of its performance. Singer Bert McCraken spoke to the fans as if they were his
best friends. Both 30 Seconds to Mars and the Used held a stage presence worthy of the legends that have graced Convention Hall before them. It was a presence that could be felt either from the front of
the stage or the back of the venue.
During the Used's set, Quinn Allman supplied a sensitive and screechy guitar tone, beside a rhythm section that included Jeph Howard's locked-in-a-box bass lines and Branden Steineckert's gutsy drum
To say the Used comes from humbled beginnings would be an understatement. Its beginnings are marked by both poverty, homelessness and, for McCraken, drug addiction. But success propelled like the top
of a Blackhawk helicopter once the band released its self-titled debut album in 2002. Sales of that album exceeded one million copies and the band has since performed on Ozzfest, the Vans Warped Tour and
Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution tour. The Used's subsequent studio efforts show a band that is not afraid to depict the challenges of its past and will most likely continue to do so for years to come.
30 Seconds to Mars also released a self-titled debut in 2002. The band followed up, three years later, with A Beautiful Lie and most recently were nominated for a 2006 MTV Music Award for best
rock video with "The Kill." Leto is also known for his work as an actor, which began on the 1990s television drama "My So-Called Life" and continued with movies such as "Alexander" and "Fight Club." Next,
he will star as John Lennon's murderer Mark David Chapman in 2007's "Chapter 27."