Concert Reviews

Concert Review and Photos: MUSE with THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS at PNC Music Pavilion


PNC Music Pavilion – Charlotte, NC – 15 June 2017

If you have been keeping up with my concert reviews, you know that the weather in Charlotte and I have a love/hate relationship. Every show I have photographed and attended this year, so far, has been a battle between the elements, from Carolina Rebellion to Sabaton. I have gotten accustomed to covering the shows with wet socks and water seeping out of my shoes as I walk. This show was no different.

Due to traffic, I made it to the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, minutes before 30 Seconds To Mars took the stage. I had just enough time to find my spot and click my lens on before the lights dimmed for 30 Seconds To Mars’ performance. When I heard that they were coming back to North Carolina for the first time since 2014, I knew I had to make the show. This band always delivers when it comes to their live performances. As soon as the band walked out onto the stage the crowd erupted into cheers and screams, starting their set with one of their bigger hits, “Up In The Air”.

Thirty Seconds To Mars
Thirty Seconds To Mars
Photo: James Geiser

Now what 30 Seconds To Mars lacks in set design, they make up in fan interaction, which is something that has always made me respect frontman Jared Leto. He seizes every opportunity to make the crowd participate in the show, from pulling large groups of fans onto the stage for most of the band’s set, to even going out into the crowd during “Kings and Queens”. Leto makes the shows memorable for everyone in attendance. On the night of the performance in Charlotte, he made sure that this night would forever be remembered by two special fans, giving one young fan a birthday wish that will surely last a lifetime. Leto brought her onto the stage during the closing song of their set, “Closer To The Edge”, leaving her to erupt into tears of joy. During the band’s performance of “Kings and Queens”, Leto made his usual tour of the crowd, stopping to sing to one paralyzed fan and interacted with him before making his way back to the stage.

After 30 Seconds To Mars wrapped their set, the unpredictable North Carolina weather took hold, delivering strong winds, violent lightning and torrential downpours to PNC Music Pavilion. Fans inside the Pavilion gathered underneath the roof of the Amphitheater for shelter from the heavy rain falls, while fans on the lawn gathered under any shelter they could find. The strong storm delayed Muse’s performance by more than a half hour, as a lightning advisory was in effect.

Photo: James Geiser

Once the powerful storm moved out of the area, attendees made their way back to their seats to prepare for the night’s headlining act, Muse. The one thing that I have noticed recently is that many foreign acts focus on making their live shows spectacular, with their use of stage props and lighting. I had seen Muse live on YouTube videos from their performances in other countries, but I had never seen them in person until now. They delivered exactly what I expected from their over-the-top stage lighting that was perfect for photography, to their custom instruments with light inlays. Every aspect of their show was memorable and the setlist was exactly what the fans wanted, playing all of their hits from their career.

The tour currently has dates across the United States and in the United Kingdom until September. I highly recommend you check this one out. It will be a night that you will remember for a lifetime.      




James Geiser

James Geiser is a former award winning Television News Photojournalist and internationally published photographer, after spending five years in the local television news media being bound by the creative restraints of content based production, he decided to leave his job in television to find his love for photography and video production again. He is a former student at Winston-Salem State University, where he majored in Mass Communications and Digital broadcast operations. He is not only just a journalist but he is also an experienced videographer, delivering a multimedia journalistic addition to Antihero Magazine

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