There are few men who can pull off a pink tartan jacket, red gloves, sunglasses and a kilt. Jared Leto is one of them. Or perhaps the only one to try.
The brazen outfit choice reflects the Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman’s personality as a whole. Whether it’s singing, acting, or filmmaking – Leto never holds back and unabashedly creates without fear of judgement. His confidence is enviable.
Tonight at Glasgow’s SECC, it was truly a family affair. Sue to unforeseen circumstances, third band member Tomo Miličević was forced to leave the tour – leaving just Jared as lead and his brother Shannon on drums. What’s more, the tour band was hidden beneath the stage, allowing Shannon and Jared all the space in the world on top.
Mars’ appearance was sudden, due to no support band beforehand. Instead there was a DJ, apparently a member of the tour group. He had a decent taste in music, but didn’t create the same sense of hype a support band would have had.
Mars opened with their most popular single of the last year; Up In The Air. Shannon pounded the drum kit as the arena lights flashed in unison, and Jared span around the stage – his kilt whirling behind him. He even took an opportunity to flash the south side of the arena. He had sweats on underneath however, so was clearly not wearing the kilt in true Scottish style.
This energy continued from song to song, and both brothers were beaming – clearly enjoying the whole experience. Balloons cascaded from the ceiling halfway through Mars’ biggest hit: This Is War. Larger than beach balls, the crowd only got more excited, jumping to hit the balloons around the arena. When cheering for This Is War died down, Jared promised “We will never forget this night.”
Mars moved on to perform Dangerous Night, an intense track representing Leto’s current view of America as a nation. Some of this intensity was lost due to the large balloons still on stage, as Jared weaved to avoid walking into them, or kicked them out of his path.
Throughout each song the brothers made sure to include the crowd. Whether it be starting a Mexican wave in the stands, a singing competition in the arena, or choosing members of the crowd to come on stage – despite the 70,000 attendance – it was easy to feel included. Shannon took time between songs to leave his drum seat and explore the stage, choosing twice to swap his drumsticks and throw the old ones to the crowd.
“You guys are beautiful,” said Jared.
“SO ARE YOU!” replied a thousand voices.
We were then encouraged to put our arms around our friends, and dance to the music together. Then through (my personal favourite) City of Angels, the lights were dimmed and we were instructed to wave our phones in the air. Jared was inspired by the good, bad and ugly side of Los Angeles he saw when he arrived there with nothing but a backpack and $500 dollars at aged 17. It’s a beautiful and inspiring song, and it was amazing to see it live.
When talking to Interview magazine, Jared described the song as “about coming to a place to do something different and something special.”
It was refreshing to have Mars include some of their older tracks when so many artists tend to focus on their new music alone. The sexy and scandalous Hurricane was introduced with a warning by Jared as he grinned at the crowd.
“All under 18s better leave the room now…because this song is called Hurricane.”
As Mars broke into another old classic Bury Me, a familiar face appeared on the screen. The University of Stirling’s own Shanice Dougan had caught the cameras interest due to her homemade sign.
The pink tartan jacket was finally discarded to reveal Jared wearing his own merch – a Thirty Seconds to Mars jumper to complement his kilt. After a resounding performance of Walk On Water, a song about American identity, the Leto’s once again invited people onto the stage.
“I dedicate this next song to all the crazy fuckers who have stayed with us this long. The crazy ones, the wild ones, the misfits – this is for you.” Said Jared, as they prepared to close the show.
Dozens of people danced upon the stage, and in the audience people were climbing on each other’s shoulders and waving their arms. In the stands, barely anyone remained seated.
Jared and Shannon powered through Closer to the Edge as their final song. When a bra found its way into Jared’s hands, he gladly wore it haphazardly around his torso. It’s a bizarre sight. We’re watching a man with flowing brown hair and a fuzzy brown beard, dressed in a kilt and jumper, wearing a beige bra and dancing like a loon. Jared Leto truly is crazy, wild and a misfit. And he’s proud of it.
Thirty Seconds to Mars’ new album ‘America’ is out on April 6th.
Photo credit: Echelon France
Article by Kirsten Robertson