Dear Jared Leto,
I was at Deck the Hall Ball last night. As I'm sure you recall, you were there, too. Since this is now the second time I've seen your band perform live, I thought it might be a good idea to check in with you and give you the Person In the Crowd perspective. You might find it really beneficial as you continue your tour.
First off, you've had some wonderful accomplishments with 30 Seconds to Mars! You guys have been doing this for over a decade, and now have three records out. I think it's cool that you and your brother are writing songs, performing, and living your dreams and all that. Seriously. Go you!
Now, I think it would be good to remind you that part of why music lovers come to concerts is because they like to hear/see/feel the artists perform their songs. This includes the singing part of it. Contrary to what someone must have told you at some point, we don't want to have to sing for you. Especially not for the first few songs in your set. What we want is for you to come out, rock our faces off (and not just talk about rocking our faces off; actually do it) and sing your songs for us. I think you'll find that if you do your part with those things, the audience will react in a way you'll find pleasing, and we'll start to sing without your prompting!
And while I'm on the subject of prompting the audience, the same thing goes for your constant requests that we clap our hands. Or put our hands in the air. Or wave our hands around. Or arrange our fingers in the shape of--what was that?--a "w"? Or jump up and down. The non-stop demands on the audience can make bands look kind of arrogant, insecure, or a bad combination of both. See, but if you're doing your job--which is to play your music, sing your songs, and do that rocking thing--you'll find that you won't ever need to verbally prompt the crowd to react. We won't be able to stop ourselves.
Hey, Jared, did you happen to catch any of Muse's performance after you? Those guys never once asked for clapping or jumping. But, guess what? People did it anyway. Seriously, check out a Muse show or DVD of a live performance or something, do what they do, and you will be SO on the right track.
Okay. I have just one more teeny, tiny thing. When you constantly say stuff like, "This is the most [KOMO 4]ing insane crowd we've ever played for!" "You guys are so [KOMO 4]ing awesome!" and the like," it starts to feel... a little insincere. You'd be better off keeping that stuff to a minimum. Thank us for coming. Thank the radio station for having you. Just don't go overboard on the exaggerations where you use the word "most." Because when you lie to us and we know you're lying? That's when you lose us just a little bit more.
I'm on your side, Jared. I really am. I freely admit that a big part of why I'm on your side is because you were Jordan Catalano once upon a time. And because I liked the way you sang "I Wanna Be Sedated" and "I Call Her Red." And because your eyes are very, very pretty. But also, my husband likes 30 Seconds to Mars. He thinks Shannon is a very talented drummer and that you have a cool voice and a lot of range for a guy. Together, we want you to succeed. We want you to play live shows that actually are awesome instead of shows where you tell the audience it's awesome when it's really kind of... not. You know what I mean?
That acoustic song you played last night wasn't rocking (and that's totally fine), but it was actually a good, good sign as far as I was concerned. You sang all the words, you didn't ask the audience to participate (too many times), and most of all, it felt genuine. Keep it up, Jared, and you can turn things around. I absolutely believe that.
"Show don't tell" is advice that is often given to writers to help us hone our craft. I think it is entirely applicable to you as well, and I hope you'll take it.
All my best,