104.1’s Nightmare Before X-Mas gave Fresnans something to rock to last night at the Warnors Theater in Fresno, California. The diminishing late rain and cold temperatures didn’t stop fans from lining up early outside the theater in downtown Fresno. Headlining the tour was Angels & Airwaves featuring 30 Seconds to Mars, the Ataris, and guest local band South of Shaw.
It was the first time I’ve been in Warnors Theater and I must say it was pretty neat inside. Smaller than I had imagined this theater reminded me of an older styled opera house, with its side and back balconies, ceiling carvings and chandelier. Since it was a small theater any seat in the room would provide adequate view of the stage, even the balcony seats. In row H -only 8 rows back from the stage- my roommates and I were in great rock out positions.
Opening was the local band South of Shaw (S.O.S.). With their energetic, pop punk/rock sound, they got the audience warmed up. Catchy lyrics and beats got the fans listening, and laughing when South of Shaw did a short cover/spoof of New Kids on the Block’s “The Right Stuff” along with the trademarked dance routine. In the middle of that they broke into a Vanilla Ice song, which one I don’t know. I believe that if bands have to resort to doing spoofs of other bands for laughs it should concern the band doing them. It’s probably a sure identifier that they need to work on their music a little harder and concentrate less on mocking other bands.
Next up, and more seriously taken, was the Ataris. Hailing from New York, New York, this pop punk/ rock band set the mood right. They sounded, atleast in my opinion, a lot “harder” live then I had remembered their albums sounding, which is not a negative thing at all. I felt the album that I own -which I honestly can’t remember the name of- was too soft for my liking. The Ataris on stage performance blew me away. Kris Roe’s expressive vocals sounded perfect along side the well executed music. The Ataris ended their night with an emotional finish, making their fans in the crowd yell out to them. Their performance has made me to double think how I previously felt about the band, and I plan on looking into their other albums.
After that, highly anticipated by myself and the audience was 30 Seconds to Mars. When they appeared on stage the Theater exploded with excitement. All the band members came on stage with their chinese doll type masks on, seen in their music video that was shot in China called “From Yesterday.” The band, shortly after, threw them off and rocked the house down. Lead singer/actor Jared Leto worked his popularity and ego on the stage and the audience absolutely ate it up. Jared seemed to stumble vocally at first, but he quickly warmed up and fell into his groove. Instrumentally, and vocally, 30 Seconds to Mars was probably one of the best performances I have seen and heard thus far, quickly followed by Taking Back Sunday.
It was hands down an amazing performance. At one point, Jared jumped off stage into the crowd, which created a frenzy around him. Another time he got the crowd yelling, “Fuck You” alternately with him. Although I loved the peformance one thing was obvious about Jared Leto, he loves himself, and his ego. I discussed this with a few of my friends after the show, and some of us agreed that it seemed he was trying a little too hard to relate to the audience. By doing this he came off a little self absorbed and full of himself, but hey what rock star isn’t? His almost cult like following loves him, he must be doing something right.
Finally, headlining the tour was the popular Angels & Airwaves. I was skeptical to how their performance would be. I had previously heard a lot of rumors regarding how Blink-182 was terrible live becuase they had never practiced much, which turned out not to be the case with Angels & Airwaves. Former Blink-182 band member Tom Delonge now lead singer of Angels & Airwaves strutted about the stage as the band played their alternative pop rock sprinkled with eclectic space sounds. In between songs Tom “tried” to preach some pseudo-deep topics but ruined it when he started to laugh and said to a fellow band mate something like, “Don’t laugh at me, all because I’ve been drinking…”
Musically the band was great, vocally however I felt that Tom was struggling a bit, but it wasn’t too band. The music seemed to make up for it.
With everything in consideration I’d have to say it was probably one of the best shows I’ve been too. I’d definitely see The Ataris, as well as 30 Seconds to Mars again. However, I wouldn’t cry if I never saw Angels & Airwaves again, but thats just me.
Just my 2cents,
South of Shaw:Myspace
30 Seconds to Mars:Myspace
Angels & Airwaves:Myspace