REVIEW: Thirty Seconds to Mars lead charge in Arkansas, play Shoreline July 18

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Thirty Seconds to Mars, 30 Seconds to Mars, Jared Leto

Thirty Seconds to Mars at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers, Ark., on July 8, 2018. Photos: Troy Jackson

ROGERS, ARK. — Ominous sounds pierced through the darkness that filled the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers, a venue in the northwest corner of the state, a few miles away from the Missouri and Oklahoma borders. As the stage lit up and Thirty Seconds to Mars appeared, fans’ eyes snapped to Jared Leto’s appearance.

Thirty Seconds to Mars,
Walk the Moon, K.Flay, Welshly Arms 

6 p.m., Wednesday, July 18
Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View
Tickets: $15-$256.

The frontman resembled a cross between Jesus and an Indian guru more than a seasoned rockstar as the band kicked into “Monolith,” off 2018 album America.

While the stage production was minimal, Thirty Seconds to Mars’ sound was grandiose. Leto’s voice flowed and fluctuated while still remaining cohesive and controlled. Drummer Shannon Leto shined when he broke away from his kit to sing lead on “Remedy” at the edge of a catwalk, backed only by an acoustic guitar. The performance nearly stole the show, with the crowd singing along.

The band’s set consisted primarily of America cuts, including “Dangerous Night” and “Hail to the Victor,” as well as a handful of tracks from its previous four albums since 2002. Bay Area fans should expect a similar setlist when Thirty Seconds to Mars rolls through Shoreline Amphitheatre next week.

As the show went on, it became more and more clear that Jared Leto wanted one thing more than most: to have as many people on stage as possible. It started with a local guitarist named Corey, who won a chance to play “This is War.” That quickly progressed to more and more fans being pulled onto the stage.

“Someone tell security to let those people into the pit; it’s OK, they can come up,” Leto said while inviting the first group of fans on stage. “Just be safe. Be kind.”

Fans looked like they were having the time of their lives dancing on stage during “Rescue Me.”

Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon.

As much dance instructors as musicians, Walk the Moon brought a tangible energy onto the stage. The band entered to “Circle of Life,” from The Lion King, which fit the roaring cheers coming from every corner of the amphitheater.

“We’ve got to meet so many people: different shapes, sizes, colors, styles,” frontman Nicholas Petricca said, introducing the fourth song of Walk the Moon’s set, “Different Colors.” This song is about that. If you like singing along, there’s a part for you.”

“Kamikaze” slowed the pace down and drew the focus to the vocal performance. Shortly after, “Chain Reaction” switched the focus yet again to guitarist Eli Maiman’s and bassist Kevin Ray’s instrumentation. Both musicians shredded like their lives depended on it.

Walk the Moon’s set was nearly as long as that of the headliners, and included popular singles “Tightrope,” “Shut Up and Dance,” and first breakthrough single “Anna Sun.”

K.Flay, K. Flay, Kristine Flaherty

K.Flay.

Former Bay Area artist K.Flay, who started her career writing hip-hop for fun before merging rap with electronica, brought her newer rock-infused sound to the lineup. While there’s more guitars infused into her music now, the hip-hop roots were still heard on her newest album, 2017’s Every Where Is Some Where.

During “Slow March,” the final song of her set, K.Flay stopped and thanked fans for coming early. “It’s been a slow, slow start, but I knew I could be somebody new.”

Welshly Arms

Welshly Arms.

She performed mostly newer material, such as hit “Blood In The Cut,” but threw in three older tracks, “FML,” “Can’t Sleep” and “Make Me Fade,” which the Bay Area supported before Kristine Flaherty was making national waves in the music scene.

Blues rock band Welshly Arms put on an incredibly solid opening performance. As soulful as could be, the Ohio quintet successfully melded gospel with loud and driving guitars. On more than one occasion, the backing singing and in-synced dancing of Bri and Jon Bryant threatened to steal the show. Luckily, the band always managed to reign everyone back in on rockers like “Sanctuary” and “Indestructible.”

Follow writer Samuel Cunningham at Twitter.com/samuelhaden. Follow photographer Troy Jackson at Instagram.com/photocaffe.

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