30 Seconds to Mars, ‘Closer to the Edge,’ HD video

One public persona of Jared Leto. Image: Wikipedia

Jared Leto is likely best know to adults for his role in the underground classic, Fight Club, alongside Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. He was also in Girl, Interrupted, with Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder, as well as American Psycho, Alexander, and Lord of War,. To a swelling number of kids worldwide, though, he is better known as the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter for a band called Thirty Seconds to Mars, aka, 30stm. (Drummer Shannon Leto and guitarist Tomo Milicevic fill out the rest of the crew.)

The following video was made from footage shot during 30stm’s worldwide tour and was directed by Leto (under the pseudonym “Bartholomew Cubbins,” a character from Dr. Suess). I cannot help but like the song and the energy both in the band in the crowd. It reminded me not a little of a P.O.D. concert I attended in Atlanta.

What stands out for me, as a follower of Christ and watcher of culture, is the interview snippets before, during and after the concert footage. Kids who want violence to end, kids who are confused or dead in the eyes, kids who’s entire life’s meaning is wrapped up in their ability to listen to music. “Some people believe in God; I believe in music. Y’know? Some people pray; I turn up the radio,” says one young lady. “Music is. Ev. Ry. Thing. To. Me.,” emphasizes a young man.

The desire to completely immerse one’s self in music is at least as old as the first instrument. You’d be hard pressed to find a person who has never just turned up the radio to drown out the pressures of the day, or to join singing with whoever is resounding through the nearest speaker system. More than could be counted attended Woodstock, dropped acid and did things they certainly did not want their kids to find out about. Ever. And the parents of those 60’s and 70’s rebels were the sock-hopping kids of the 50’s.

What I see in this video is not new; but it reveals what is still true. People of all ages are looking for something with which to identify. Somewhere to hang their hat. A tribe to call their own.

This video should be shown at every conference for pastors and youth pastors for the next year. Forget about the pink mohawk or whether you prefer your lead singer to wear a shirt that fits. Or a shirt. People everywhere need to know the peace and grace of God.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

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  • There are a couple of things I can’t get beyond watching this video for the 10th and 11th time this morning. The first is the idea that people are so desperate for inclusion that they will join a musical “cult,” the second – it seems that the most popular ones to join are the ones that require nothing of the participants or followers beyond attendance.

    • Marty Duren

      I think it’s the same as previous generations: A place to belong, this is their tribe, when “nobody understands.”

      Because music is such a powerful medium, especially when fronted by a charismatic personality (Aerosmith, The Stones, Nirvana), there is the tendency toward “worship.” The same thing was true of some people who went to see Elvis.

      In the arena of church worship, I think this is why it is important that worship leaders use the scriptures as often as possible tied into the songs. Listeners/singers are benefited when they know the underlying text; that the songs aren’t born in a vacuum or a bowl of emotions.

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