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Seconds to Mars brings 'Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams' to Camden
Tomo Milicevic, (left), Jared Leto and Shannon Leto are 30 Seconds to Mars, peforming at the Susquehanna Bank Center on Sept. 29.
Tomo Milicevic, (left), Jared Leto and Shannon Leto are 30 Seconds to Mars,… (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO )
September 27, 2013|By Mary Pickett, Of The Morning Call
30 Seconds to Mars has been called one of the hardest-working musical acts in the business, thanks to a study done by Songkick in which the number of tour dates and miles traveled were calculated at the end of 2010.
Comprising Tomo Milicevic on lead guitar and brothers Jared and Shannon Leto on lead vocals and drums, respectively, the rock band has been together since 2003. And yes, that's Jared Leto, the actor in the casts of "Requiem for a Dream" and "American Psycho" and who played teen heartthrob Jordan Catalano on the cult TV series "My So-Called Life." Jared is the band's primary songwriter.
After the release of its third studio album, "This Is War," in December 2009, Mars embarked on its longest tour yet, playing more than 300 shows in two years. In October 2011, the band entered the Guinness World Records for "Longest Concert Tour by a Rock Band." After taking some time to rest and write new music, Mars released their fourth album "Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams" in May.
In a phone interview earlier this week, Milicevic spoke of the difference between making this album and the band's previous, notably not having to deal with a lawsuit from their prior record company, EMI, which sued the band for $30 million after it broke its contract. (They ultimately resolved their issues with EMI and settled the case. This battle was well-documented in "Artifact," a film the band debuted at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.)
"It definitely was a much more pleasant experience," Milicevic says, "and I think it shows in the music as well, this feeling of celebration. But it's also, in some ways, some of the darkest songs that Jared's ever written, as well. It's really a full experience."
Milicevic says that while his favorite song off the new record is always changing — right now he's thinking "The Race" and "Northern Lights" — "City of Angels" is his favorite to play for audiences.
"['City of Angels'] is very much a musician's song," he says, "It's really soulful and you can really dive into it and get lost in the song while you're playing it on stage."
The track lets the listener in on Jared and Shannon's past, growing up with little money and trying to make it in Los Angeles. Mars is known for their epic rock ballads and "City of Angeles" is no different.
In June, they began their first European leg of the "Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams Tour" and returned this month to tour the States. One of their first stops is Sept. 29 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, where the band last played in April 2011.
30 Seconds to Mars fans can expect the "usual amount of insanity" from the show, Milicevic says. Jared Leto is always asking the crowd to scream and sing along and Sunday's show will be no different.
Milicevic says new fans are likely to "be quite overwhelmed" at the scene during the concert.
"We don't try to create a normal kind of world at our shows," Milicevic says, "We like to push the boundaries of your perception. I think [someone's] first Mars experience would be bizarre, if not scarring, but in a good way."
Mars is known for having some of the craziest and devoted fans, called The Echelon. While they could be compared to Justin Bieber's "Beliebers" or Lady GaGa's "Monsters," to 30 Seconds to Mars, The Echelon are more than just fans — they're family.
"It's our big, crazy family," Milicevic laughs. "They are the true believers and the people who get it."
Milicevic promises that whether you are a newer fan of the band or a full-blown Echelon member, you will enjoy the show, because the band will be enjoying the show. There is nothing that Milicevic loves more, he says, than losing himself with his guitar on stage at a Mars show.
When asked which Mars song is his all-time favorite, without hesitation, Milicevic names "Night of the Hunter," a track off "This Is War."
"To me, it encapsulates everything that is great about 30 Seconds to Mars," he says, "It captures the full vibe: lyrically, musically, the way it comes off live [and] the way it interacts between the audience and the band."
Here's hoping it will be one of the songs on Sunday's set list.
THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS
• What: Rock band begins their "Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams Tour"
• When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
• Where: Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden
• How much: $34-$52
• Info: http://www.livenation.com