When it comes to festival fashion, almost anything goes: Lana Del Rey-circa-2012 flower crowns, Day-Glo body paint, whatever might be left over from American Apparel’s recent liquidation sale. But only Jared Leto, aka the ageless artist formerly known as Jordan Catalano, aka the frontman of neo-prog band Thirty Seconds to Mars, could get away with pairing a Joker-green chinoiserie dress with Unabomber sunglasses, a burlap cult-leader cape embroidered with bunny rabbits, striped tube socks, athleisure leggings, a scraggly Falconer beard, and a Fred Durstian backwards baseball cap — and look nearly unrecognizable, but still look like a total rock star.
However, that’s exactly what happened when 30STM played Dover, Delaware’s Firefly Musical Festival Sunday, because #jaredleto.
Leto — who took several years off from acting in the mid-2000s to focus on his shockingly successful music career, only to return in 2013 and win an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club because apparently there is nothing he cannot do — announced at Firefly that 30STM will release their first album since 2013’s Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams later this year. And he celebrated with an incredibly high-energy set, during which he passed out popsicles to parched, sweaty fans; strummed an acoustic version of “The Kill (Bury Me)” from a satellite stage in the middle of the Woodlands field; draped himself in an American flag (once he shed his bunny-cape, of course); encouraged wanton crowd-surfing and shoulder-sitting while vexed security guards gritted their teeth; and eventually found two “completely f***ing loco” costumed concertgoers who looked weirder than him (one dressed as a seahorse, the other in a flesh-toned unitard and creepy face mask) and some “restraining-order-crazy” ladies to dance onstage during an instrumental jam of Van Halen’s party-starter “Panama.”
Leto may be an Academy Award-winning actor, but “rock star” is clearly the role the man was born to play. He’s the real deal, and he has come a long way from his days fronting the fictional Frozen Embryos on My So-Called Life.
However, if there was one Firefly act epic enough to make Thirty Seconds to Mars seem downright sedate, it was their current tourmates Muse. No other band could bring such a final burst of fire to Firefly than the British power trio, who headlined Sunday and closed out the fest in a fantastically dramatic fashion. The massive, operatic voice of lead singer Matt Bellamy (basically the missing link between Thom Yorke and Freddie Mercury) absolutely filled the field, while Bellamy’s neon shuttershaded visage filled the Jumbotron screens — and Muse’s finale of the galloping, six-minute “Knights of Cydonia,” with its breakneck speed-metal riffs, was as blazing hot as the Dover weather itself.
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