Originally reviewed for Time Out New York.
Decade-straddling heartthrob Jared “So Called” Leto and his electro-rock crew 30 Seconds To Mars hit the Hammerstein Ballroom last night for a record-breaking show—the 300th of their two-year This Is War tour. The band’s fans—most of whom seem to have miraculously gotten younger over the years—screamed Leto’s name relentlessly, squealing in response to his every move (and no doubt to his black cape and shades). Standing out among the teens were a handful of rock and roll parents, plus some heavily tattooed men getting caught up in the moment, and Jackass (and occasional 30 Seconds guest) Bam Margera.
If the trio looked a little jaded after such a long time on the road, it was lost on the crowd, which erupted (seriously, kids were crying) when the band opened with “A Beautiful Lie”, accompanied by futuristic lighting and jumbotrons playing the bands’ videos. Fans who couldn’t make it to the show could watch it (plus a Q&A) as it streamed live via VyRT.net. As inflatable balls and lobsters fell from the sky and wind machines blasted out ticker tape, Leto took a few moments to explain how monumental this night was. Moving to a mini stage at the sound desk, he performed a few solo heartfelt acoustic tracks, including “Alibi,” proving too much for some emotional fans.