(photo credit: )
Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman, Jared Leto, was already a teen idol 15 years
ago when he played the secretly illiterate bad-boy love interest Jordan Catalano
in the teen drama My So-Called Life.
Yet, most of the audience at
Wednesday night’s 30 Seconds to Mars concert was too young to remember Leto in
his original heartthrob incarnation.
The teenagers filling Tel Aviv’s
Exhibition Grounds shrieked and swooned over Leto the angst-ridden rock
with carefully applied eyeliner and Billy Idol bleached hair.
with the adoring crowd, teasing the audience and leaving them wanting
entered the stage slowly, dramatically, singing “this is not a game,”
behind dark wraparound sunglasses.
Three songs later, when the shades
came off to reveal the baby blues Leto is famous for, MDA had to
fainting teenage girl.
That’s not to say that 30 Seconds to Mars gets by
on looks alone – there were plenty of males jumping to the music in the
mosh pit. The hard rockers have been playing since 1998, scoring their
song, “A Beautiful Lie” in 2005, and the hard work has paid off. Shannon
(Jared’s brother) rocked the percussion and Tomo MilliCevic shredded on
guitar as the crowd sang along to every word.
The show went off without a
hitch, and the Leto brothers worked the crowd like pros, with Shannon
drumsticks into the audience and Jared imploring the audience to get on
other's shoulders and wave their hands in the air Throughout the
the band stuck to its melodramatic emo roots.
Emo, for those of you who
aren’t in the know, is a style of expressive rock music. The name comes
“emotional,” and the emotion usually expressed is something between
and anger. 30 Seconds to Mars falls directly into this category, with
lyrics like “let go of the truth, the battles of your youth, ‘cause this
a game, it’s a beautiful lie.”
The band kept its performance
melodramatic, with Leto slowly walking down a runway that stretched deep
the crowd, closing his eyes as he groaned and yelled into the
The audience didn’t stop yelling back. In fact, the lead
singer announced that it was “the loudest I've ever played.”
the day, the band members told Army Radio that they would perform in
despite the controversy, because they saw on Twitter and Facebook that
many fans in Israel, and they continued to express their appreciation
fans throughout the evening.
“What a beautiful country,” Leto told the
crowd, before announcing that he had visited Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv
and tasted “the almighty hummus, falafel and pita bread.”
Shalom. Erev Tov. Toda Raba.
That's all I know,” Leto
Then he draped an Israeli flag over his back and began singing, as
confetti fell all over the stage and the fans.