Chevelle, 30 Seconds to Mars, Pulse Ultra ‏ 03-04-2003

March 4th, 2003
Toad Holler
Des Moines, Iowa
Pulse Ultra
30 Seconds to Mars

Doors opened over an hour earlier then normal, presumably due to the fact it was 10 degrees outside and there was 7 new inches of snow on the ground. The weather seems to have cut the number of total people who shows up, but there were still well over 700 people in the venue.
An over abundance of 30 Seconds to Mars T-shirts filled the crowd. Barricades were pushed as close to the stage as possible. A sign announced Pulse Ultra and 30 Seconds to Mars would be signing autographs after their respective sets. Slowly, but surely, kids began filtering into the club. Mother Nature did her best to put a stop to the show, but the fans would have nothing of it. Several local celebrities were even spotted. Zarrie, of The Albino Spiders & Bomb-Pop Mafia (who had toured the West Coast with 30 Seconds to Mars) was seen, as well as several of KAZR’s Rock Jocks.
Pulse Ultra was the friendliest band early that evening, wondering around the back of the venue, signing autographs and chatting with their fans. Pulse Ultra was also the surprise band of the evening. KAZR had taken it upon them selves to not mention they were performing that night.”Ready,” Zo announced, “roll film.” Far Eastern influenced beats set the stage for the Canadian Quartet. They wasted no times with introductions, the crowd knew who they were. Making their first US appearance on OZZfest 2002, this was the bands first show in Des Moines, Iowa. “What the fuck is up Des Moines?” Lead singer Zo queried. Simple stage lights drew little attention away from driving beats and pounding rifts. “How can something so beautiful, shine on something so terrible?” The band had showed 110% improvement since their stint with OZZfest. Taking time between songs to thank Des Moines for its support, the crowd was also invited to check out the merchandise booth after their set. “This is SLIPKNOT’s fucking home, right? When SLIPKNOT comes to town do you just stand around or do you fucking move?” Sounds like a challenge, but the crowd didn’t take it as such. Wondering around like freshly risen Zombies, the cold seemed to have sapped all the energy from the far reaches of the crowd. The challenge, however, was taken from those in the center of the crowd, who took the opportunity to escape the coming cabin fever. This was Pulse Ultras last show for a while. The band would be heading off to LA to film their first video. Flaying out of Des Moines might prove to be a challenge, though. “Build Your Cage” was a crowd favorite and also got the most response from the crowd. “Phase 1,” “Big Brother” and “Culprit” were all played after being requested from the crowd. Pulse Ultra cares about their fans and played for nearly 45 minutes, the self proclaimed longest set they’ve ever played. The closing song even found Chevelle on stage for a thank you.

Chevelle may have been headlining the show, but during 30 Seconds to Mars set, they were the main act of the night. After nearly 20 minutes of space-age-introduction music, 30 Seconds to Mars took the stage. Lead singer Jared Leto, most recently seen in Jodi Foster’s “Panic Room,” performed dressed in a white tuxedo, sporting a black “X” drawn on his forehead. Jared spent the majority of the first song crouched on top of one of the near ceiling tall speaker. I still found it hard to believe this was the same kid I grew up watching on a little known MTV teen-age situation drama. The crowd wasted no time getting into the music. Swaying, moshing and crowd surfing as soon as the first note was struck. On their return trip to Des Moines, 30 Seconds to Mars was just as thankful, if not more thankful, to their fans for their support. It was rather disturbing seen Jared poised on stage, looking strongly like a young version of Kurt Cobain. Joe, bassist of Chevelle, found the time to join the band on stage for their final song of the evening, being back by other members of Chevelle and Pulse Ultra for the final chorus. Jared Leto had stepped out of the actor’s limelight long enough the prove himself as a musician, and he had the band to back his near angelic voice.

30STM Setlist;
The Struggle
End of the Beginning
The Mission
Edge of the Earth
Buddha for Mary
Capricorn (A Brand New Name)

Chris Hayes and Tom Kunstle, two quiet young men, drove 6 hours in the snow from Mitchell, South Dakota to see Chevelle. Slamming into a heavy version of “Family System” sent the crowd into a near frenzy. Few people were immune to the moshing, head banging and crowd surfing. “You guys wanna hear the new single?” “Send the Pain Below” was a crowd favorite, gaining an incredible response for the third song of the set. The trio of Brother’s from Cook County; Illinois proved their capability as a headlining band. Pete even shared vocal duties with Joe, who didn’t keep his shirt on for very long, while Sam mercilessly pounded the drums. Intense lighting effects enhanced the Chevelle’s show. Sound bytes filled the gaps between songs on this, the last night of a headlining tour, during a set that included selections from their major label debut, as well as their independent release. During technical difficulties with Joe’s Bass, Pete took the opportunity to give a short speech and talk about Iowa’s most recent snowstorm. Chevelle has infinitely improved since OZZfest 2002 and are more then ready to play the main stage on OZZfest 2003. The crowd seemed to be holding back as Chevelle played, but all hell broke loose as the band played “Comfortable Liar.” The crowd was invited to sing along to their current radio hit, “The Red,” and not one person who accepted the invitation missed a note. Chevelle had used the night to gain a stronger fan following and with any luck, they will be back to Des Moines.
Not one person at Toad Holler expected such a turn out with nearly 7 inches of newly fallen snow in the Des Moines metro area. The show sold over 700 tickets.
Sam Loeffler, a very warm and friendly young man, was found signing autographs and talking with fans long after their set was over.

Chevelle’s set list:
Family System
Send the pain below
Point #1
Grab thy hand
An evening with El Diablo
Comfortable liar
Don’t fake this
The red
It’s no good
Wonder what’s next