Review: Muse, Thirty Seconds to Mars and PVRIS at USANA

When I showed up to USANA thinking I had beat the crowds/traffic that typically ensues with a concert this big, I was surprised to see the endlessly long lines of people waiting to enter the amphitheater and the incredibly slow pace that said lines were moving. Apparently USANA now has handheld metal detectors that every guest is forced to undergo. Maybe it’s a ploy by the bands so that literally EVERYTHING tops getting an awkward “pat-down” while five hundred people look on, but I guess safety is more important than efficiency.

After the grueling line waiting, and unfortunately missing the opening act PVRIS in the process, Thirty Seconds to Mars came on with a bang. Their stage production and effects were tasteful yet simple, which really allowed for the band’s front man Jared Leto to connect with the audience. Having never really listened to Thirty Seconds to Mars or really knowing much of anything about Jared Leto, other than that he is an Oscar winner, my preconceived opinion about the actor/musician quickly dissipated when he began to talk to the audience. He was extremely personable and kind and truly made everyone in the audience immediately fall in love with him. Halfway through their set list and after songs such as “Up in the Air,” “This Is War” and “Search and Destroy,” Leto walked through the crowd with only his guitar and gave the most beautiful acoustic rendition of “The Kill,” blowing everyone away with his incredible voice. And this was only the opener! Not wanting the band to ever stop, but eager to see Muse, Leto ended their tour with Muse by inviting 25+ fans onstage to sing “Closer to the Edge.” It was the kind of opener that everyone would have been satisfied leaving after. But the fun was just getting started.

            When Muse stepped onto the stage, the band/audience communication dissipated and the simple stage production faded away to make room for an outstanding visual performance by the talented trio. With only a bassist, a drummer and lead vocals/lead guitar by front man Matt Bellamy, this trio rivals other famous musical trios such as The Police, Rush and Nirvana. Giant moving screens behind the group displayed live-action scenes of the concert, with interactive lasers and giant blow-up balls floating through the crowd. Muse intermixed their most popular songs (“Supermassive Black Hole,” “Madness” and “Starlight”) with some of their newer songs (“Dig Down”), all of which were answered with a roar from the audience. Muse finished their show with an incredible encore of “Uprising” and “Knights of Cydonia.” The incredible talent throughout the night and the overall spectacle of the concert made it for one of the most energetic and astounding shows I’ve ever seen. It was definitely worth the awkward “pat-down.”

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