Jared Leto is a star in every sense. He was born to be in the arts.
I watched “Thirty Seconds To Mars” last night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Actually, it has been renamed the “Qantas Credit Union Arena”. The beauty of corporate sponsorships.
Leto had the crowd in his grasp from the word go and he manipulated the audience to jump, chant and sing with him throughout the whole performance.
I got into the band from the “A Beautiful Lie” album. It was the song “Attack” that hooked me in. And then after I purchased the album I was blown away by just how strong it was.
I then found out that they had a previous album and I purchased that as well and I really enjoyed the Tool-Pop Rock sound throughout. The song “Fallen” comes to mind immediately as I type this. Also produced by the excellent Bob Ezrin, who of course was a name I was very familiar with from all of the classic rock albums that I had.
So by the time they released “This Is War”, well that was the album that I enjoyed and it also hooked my wife in. When the new album came out, I became hooked on “Conquistador” while my wife became hooked on the whole album.
First let’s get the bad out-of-the-way. If there was a point of criticism it was that stupid white bright light in each corner of the stage. By looking at the stage, the one on the left corner was shining out towards the audience and all I saw from the show was that lovely bright light. For the few sections and songs that it didn’t go on, it was good, otherwise that stupid bright light made it torturous.
The biggest surprise.
“End Of All Days”.
I didn’t rate it when I heard it on the album because after being blown away by “Conquistador” I sort of felt that the album went too soft. However after seeing “End Of All Days” performed live, I was converted. Even thought it is a ballad, the song is powerful and man it resonated with the audience.
And seriously look at their worldwide digital numbers. Yes, that’s right. While stupid executives and mainstream rags focus on sales within a country, the fans of music have shown over and over again that it is a world wide music industry.
“Closer To The Edge” has 46,243,437 views on YouTube and 12,480,144 streams on Spotify.
“This Is War” has 39,320,835 views on YouTube and 13,992,986 streams on Spotify.
“The Kill (Bury Me) has 31,501,058 views on the official channel and 20,922,479 views on a fan channel called mina58 for a total of 52 million plus views. Add to that the 12,303,344 + 5,479,614 = 17,782,958 streams on Spotify.
“Kings And Queens” has 19,382,518 views on YouTube as well as 19,683,580 streams on Spotify.
“Up In The Air” has 19,220,663 views on YouTube and 7,994,167 streams on Spotify.
The point. They are a success story.
Sales on the board. Tick. Streams. Tick. YouTube plays. Tick. Box office score. Tick. Merchandise. Tick. The line ups for the merch store went forever at the gig. Talented front man. Tick. Super talented live performer in the front man. Tick. Social media presence. Tick.
Did that happen off the bat?
Of course not. They worked hard at it. The first album didn’t set the charts alight even though it had a brilliant supporting cast and some real Tool like pop rock gems.
“A Beautiful Lie” became a juggernaut on the backs of four songs, “The Kill”, “From Yesterday”, “Attack” and the title track. This is the album that gave them a career. This is the band rocking out and they should have played these songs with the full band set up instead of bringing a few of them up with the acoustic part of the set.
Remember, it is about the songs and they need to be great.
So I was surprised after I finished reading a few reviews from journalists that write for the Sydney Morning Herald. The review is critical of the songs. First, they say that the band doesn’t have the songs to be a big act. Maybe, they just had the sales from ARIA in front of them, because if they did some digging they would have seen the digital stats.
But then again, this is a mainstream institution that still believes it’s about selling newspapers and locking up news content behind subscription models. Hello, it’s 2014.
While the “New York Times” and all of the other main papers in the US tried these subscription models, the very free Huffington Post came from left field and overtook their online presence. You procrastinate, so prepare to be overtaken by the ones who innovate.
In the end the band is on the road until the end of September. That is the music business. Hit the road and deliver. And with Jared Leto as the front man, Thirty Seconds To Mars do deliver.