30 Seconds to Mars rocks Toledo

Emily Rippe and Emily Rippe

Last Friday, a wide variety of fans – from guys wearing girl’s pants to rock and roll parents – watched as 30 Seconds rocked out at Headliners.

It was David Wilkins’ third time seeing the band live.

“I first saw them when they opened for Audioslave and they completely blew me away,” Wilkins said. “30 Seconds to Mars ranks as one of my top five opening bands.”

This is an impressive statement, considering that Wilkins has been to over 150 shows throughout his 43-year-old lifetime.

“I’ve seen Queen, The Who, The Stones, Def Leopard and U2, which was a religious experience,” Wilkins said.

Though Wilkins is a proud father, he was not watching 30 Seconds to Mars at the request of his teenage children.

He came to Headliners with a group of co-workers.

“I brought some ’30 Seconds virgins’ with me tonight,” Wilkins said. “And I know they will be impressed.”

Formerly impressed fanatics also came to the show.

Grant Gilsdorf might just be 30 Seconds to Mars’ number one fan.

“I kind of caught the underground buzz about the Leto brothers’ new band before their first album came out,” Gilsdorf said. “I hung up home-made posters around my high school as part of my mission to make 30 Seconds to Mars a household name.”

Gilsdorf’s appreciation did not stop there.

“I once made a drawing of Jared Leto for an art project, and I brought it to one of their shows to see if he would sign it,” Gilsdorf said. “He ended up inviting me to hang out with the band after the show, and the pictures we took with them were used in the “Edge of the Earth” video.

The name Jared Leto might sound familiar because he’s been an actor for over 10 years.

Some of his roles include Jordan Catalano in “My So-Called Life,” Angel Face in “Fight Club” and Harry Goldfarb in “Requiem for a Dream.”

“I can’t believe Jordan Catalano is a lead singer of a band,” said senior Trish Hodge, a fan of “My So-Called Life.”

Hodge’s perception of Leto’s characters is not uncommon.

“Leto is always remembered as his characters, not as an actor,” Gilsdorf said. “He’s that good at what he does and it’s the same way with his band.”

Playing the role of rock stars, Jared Leto and the rest of 30 Seconds to Mars presented a performance worthy of an Academy Award.

Because it was the band’s first time headlining a tour, they were free to show all the textures and layers their music encompasses.

Hints of The Cure, U2, The Used, Pink Floyd and Muse were detected throughout the hour-and-a-half-long set.

Leto encouraged audience participation by asking them to request songs and create their own set list.

“We want to play whatever you want to hear,” Leto said. “We’re here for you, Toledo.”

The band thrived off the audience’s participation, not just the chorus of voices that sang along, but also the costumes truly dedicated fans wore for the band.

“They definitely have an underground following,” Gilsdorf said. “You’ll notice them wearing tons of red, black and white clothing that’s usually home-made.”

Black T-shirts with white arrows and red lettering could be seen from all corners of the room.

“It’s a competition between fans on who can outdo each other in band merchandise,” Gilsdorf said.

Gilsdorf himself was adorned in 30 Seconds to Mars paraphernalia.

Wilkins wasn’t wearing any band merchandise and seemed more excited about being interviewed for the newspaper than seeing the band.

“You work for The BG News?” Wilkins asked. “My daughter goes there, and she will shit her pants when she reads this.”