Hot off the back of their recent UK arena tour, Thirty Seconds To Mars make their first appearance in the region since 2010 to close out the bill at the inaugural This Is Tomorrow festival in Newcastle.

With a glorious sun-kissed Saturday afternoon, the forecast was certainly looking good for one of the most eagerly anticipated outdoor festivals to hit Tyneside this year. This Is Tomorrow bringing with it in tow some of the most exciting contemporary rock bands on the international touring circuit. 

Local lads Ground Culture and Boy Jumps Ship fly the flag high for the North East music scene whilst also showcasing some of the best hard rock/metal talent in the region to those in attendance early on.

Following a recent appearance at Hit The North Festival earlier this month, the Marmozets make their fifth appearance in the North East of England inside of twelve months in support of their new album Knowing What You Know Now.

With just a short set this afternoon the Marmozets come out with all guns blazing opening with emphatic airings of “Habits” and “Meant To Be”. The band’s high octane set certainly fires up the festival crowd mid-afternoon.

Grasping a vintage style clutch microphone lead vocalist Becca Macintyre covers every inch of the stage, whilst simultaneously engaging their fans. The inclusion of frantic singles such as “Play” and “Move, Shake, Hide” are just a couple of the many standout moments from their 30-minute performance.

Marmozets bring their short but sweet set to a close with a high octane rendition of “Major System Error”. As the song reaches its explosive conclusion the band exit the stage and lead vocalist Becca triumphantly drops the mic – it’s a job well done on Tyneside for this fiery quartet.

Earlier this year Don Broco released their third and highest charting album to date in the shape of Technology. Subsequently, the high flying five-piece return to Tyneside following their recent sold-out show at Northumbria Institute.

Don Broco’s lively performance spurs the crowd with dancing, pogoing and circle pits being prominent throughout. Their energy is infectious and does not subside at any point. Much of their setlist is lifted from their genre-defying latest album Technology; many of these numbers have already firmly established themselves as fan favourites.

Broco’s euphoric anthems like “Pretty”, “Technology”, “Come Out To LA” and “Stay Ignorant” are perfect for summer festivals such as this. The crowd knows every word of every song off by heart and subsequently sing at the tops of their voices throughout. Don Broco closes out their incredible set with “T-Shirt Song” and as has become customary many in the crowd spin their shirts above their heads to great effect.

By the time headliners, Thirty Seconds To Mars hit the stage, a multitude of large flags brandishing the band’s logo fly high above the crowd. Following a somewhat atmospheric intro, drummer Shannon Leto appears from behind his kit and begins to beat out the rhythm to “Monolith” before the band’s Hollywood superstar frontman Jared Leto hits the stage bedecked in a vibrant multicoloured coat and shades.

The band’s opening number is one of a small smattering of tracks from the group’s current album America. Both “Dangerous Night” and “Walk On Water” also features from the release. With these the band’s freshest cuts you can really hear the continued evolution of their sound.

Despite a new album under their belt, there is still plenty of room in the Thirty Seconds To Mars setlist for some of their biggest hits including crowd-pleasers “Kings and Queens” and “The Kill”, which each, in turn, has the fans hanging on every word. Mid-set the group slow things down with their soulful take on Rhianna’s “Stay” along with a beautiful rendition of “City of Angels” that results in a sea of swaying cell phone lights illuminating the night sky.

An aesthetically pleasing stage set featuring a large and colourful video screen on the rear wall and minimal on-stage equipment give the Oscar-winning artist plenty of space to be creative. Leto charms the Geordie audience from the off with his engaging and often witty banter. The Newcastle crowd obeys his every command.

Tonight’s Thirty Seconds To Mars show feels very inclusive with Jared frequently inviting fans to the stage to participate in the proceedings. It doesn’t matter if you are a good or bad dancer, or just want to take a selfie with the man himself, all are welcome onstage. Crowd participation is a prominent feature during both the group’s synth-heavy rendition of new single “Rescue Me” and their confetti fuelled finale “Closer To The Edge”. 

Throughout the course of tonight’s performance, Thirty Seconds To Mars prove to the Newcastle crowd just exactly why they are so widely regarded as one of the best arena rock acts in the world right now and they do not disappoint. Let’s just hope a return date in the city comes sooner rather than later.

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Thirty Seconds To Mars
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Don Broco
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Event Date: 26-May-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.