I saw Thirty Seconds to Mars delight AO Arena with just one letdown during stunning Manchester show

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Jared Leto had the Manchester crowd in the palm of his hands.

Thirty Seconds to Mars returned to Manchester for the first time in six years on Friday night and it was well worth the wait as they put on a strong performance at the AO Arena

The band may have been started as Jared Leto’s side-project away from his career as a Hollywood actor, but as they enter their 26th year as a band, Leto and his brother are seasoned pros and they are damn good at what they do. 

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Jared was a huge highlight on the night as he brought his infectious energy and personality, racing around the stage throughout the night, getting the audience hooked and even made it a night to remember for several fans in attendance. Leto brought a number of fans onto the stage to dance with him whilst he sang ‘Rescue Me’ and then for a second and final time when finishing the evening with ‘Closer to the Edge’. 

Thirty Seconds to Mars in full flow at the AO Arena in Manchester Thirty Seconds to Mars in full flow at the AO Arena in Manchester
Thirty Seconds to Mars in full flow at the AO Arena in Manchester | Manchester World

The audience itself was another major highlight as they responded positively to Leto’s requests of a singalong and participation - whether that be belting out the choruses of fan-favourites such as ‘This is War’ and ‘From Yesterday’ or raising your fists in your air.  

The stage itself was very simplistic, but visually it was spectacular. The triangular video screen behind the Leto brothers, the lighting and the use of pyro, confetti, and balloons during the set gave the show a feel of a Hollywood cinematic experience. 

The overall attendance was one of the few low-points from the evening. The top-tier of the arena was surprisingly closed off entirely - a factor that could possibly be attributed to the fact that the show was changed from mid-April to early June due to Jared Leto’s Hollywood filming schedule. But regardless, the fans in attendance ensured the atmosphere was electric inside the arena from start to finish. 

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As Jared and Shannon prepared to enter the stage, a countdown clock began, counting from 100 to 30 before we were met with deafening screams from members of the audience as the duo entered the arena in a unique way. Jared and Shannon climbed through the sea of fans belting out ‘Closer to the Edge’ in the stands - with the entrance similar to The Shield in WWE - if you don’t get the reference, Google it folks. 

After an energetic response from the crowd, the pair got off to a red-hot start as Jared raced around the stage, belting out fan-favourites ‘Up in the Air’ and ‘Kings and Queens’ in unison with the endearing Mancunian audience.

Halfway through the set, Jared brought out his acoustic guitar and paid tribute to the music scene in the UK and admitted he and his brother were inspired by numerous UK bands including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Who before embarking on a part of the show that included the acoustic debut of ‘Do Or Die’.

As the Leto brothers returned to the stage for the encore, they were met with a thunderous response of appreciation and performed ‘Stuck’ from their latest album before Jared belted out ‘The Kill (Bury Me)’ and the aforementioned ‘Closer to the Edge’ with the audience in unison to close out the night. 

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