Thirty Seconds To Mars / A Spectacular, Fan-Centric Performance At The O2

Jared Leto loves a crowd. The frontman seemingly spends most of his night either with the audience or inviting them to join the band up on the stage. It’s a winning gesture that breaks down the barrier between the performers and the thousands who came to The O2 to witness the Thirty Seconds To Mars spectacle.

Thirty Seconds To Mars – Jagwar Twin

The O2, London – 4 June 2024

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Antonio Giannattasio

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

The set starts with the trio making their way through the throng, getting to their instruments just ready to kick into the opener, Up In The Air. A propulsive start with its rock meets techno beat, complete with the massive hook of the chorus, Leto, drummer brother Shannon and multi-instrumentalist Steve Aiello seem to be soaking up the energy in the huge room as the place lights up. The feeling is electric as giant confetti cannons shed their load high into the air.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Following that with Kings And Queens is a masterstroke, the anthemic fan favourite keying in perfectly with the flag waving and celebratory feel present, euphoria spurring on a singalong that at times threatened to drown out the band.

Whilst the stage itself may be relatively bare, visually, this is a dazzling show, the giant triangular video screen and smartly designed and used lights enhance with cinematic purpose, the whole everything a Hollywood blockbuster strives to be.

Confetti is everywhere, huge flames blaze, and retinas are blitzed as the audience is assaulted by the grandness of it all.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Amongst the spectacle, there are very human touches as a few lucky people join Leto for Rescue Me, a particularly overwhelmed fan hugging the frontman as if their life depended on it. A fan throwing a cardboard creation onstage led to the band swerving off into an unexpectedly requested game of song roulette.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

“We’ve gone from playing our first show in London for seven people at the Camden Barfly to this,” says the smiling singer as he sweeps his arms around, a seemingly genuine appreciation of all those who changed their fortunes.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

The bounce of Seasons and Aiello’s fiery solo on Crazy show the range of the band. After the skyscraping Hurricane and an incendiary This Is War, it’s time to slow things down a little as an acoustic guitar is brought out. 

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

The pacing works well, and this change in gears throws Map Of The World and a chilled and elegant Stay into the mix before they wind up for the big finish. Night Of The Hunter sees an army of balloons and inflatables thrown into the audience, and A Beautiful Lie has Leto making his way once again through sections of the crowd, randomly stopping momentarily to smile at and squeeze this MetalTalk writers’ arm before heading along again.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

After the tumultuous rock of Attack closes the main set, a sea of phone lights greets City Of Angels for the encore. Any last reserves of strength are drained during the deafening sound of thousands of people as the band tears into The Kill (Bury Me), voices sung until throats are raw.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

With the stage full once more of audience members for Closer To The Edge to conclude, it can’t be denied that Thirty Seconds To Mars have worked hard to deserve all this. The reception they had received all night was a justification of their commitment to their craft.

One of the biggest and best arena shows it is possible to see on the planet right now, there’s no limit to what they are capable of.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Jagwar Twin

Whilst not scaling the same dizzying heights, Jagwar Twin certainly has the feel, ambition and moves to be a real contender, his opening slot providing the Los Angeles musician an ample platform to show what he could do.

Jagwar Twin - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Jagwar Twin – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Starting elegantly, the stripped-back stylings were soon shed for bigger grooves and the kinetic Happy Face and slightly unhinged Feeling Bad (Oompah Loompa) ensured wreaths of smiles all around.

Jagwar Twin - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Jagwar Twin – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Bursting with infectious positivity after years of dabbling with other bands, it seems like he has found his calling, his every move followed by a cameraman recording the event for posterity.

Jagwar Twin - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Jagwar Twin – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Tonight was about creating memories and the warmth will long remain, long after ears have stopped ringing and senses recovered from the barrage of light and sound.

Tonight, we all won.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Thirty Seconds To Mars - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Thirty Seconds To Mars – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Jagwar Twin - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Jagwar Twin – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Jagwar Twin - The O2, London - 4 June 2024
Jagwar Twin – The O2, London – 4 June 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

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