Photos and words from Middle Class Rut and 30 Seconds to Mars at the Paramount


Middle Class Rut has long been on my list of bands to check out. Hailing from my old stomping grounds, Sacramento, California, I somehow never managed to catch them live or recorded (which still remains a minor mystery). Last Tuesday, they managed to rock the Paramount here in Seattle, opening for the infamous 30 Seconds to Mars, a long time favorite of mine. 30STM has long been known for either having no-name openers and help put them on the proverbial map, or really crappy openers that were easily forgotten amongst the menagerie of other crappy openers that are out there. I was really glad to see that MC Rut, coined by their adoring and incredibly loyal fanbase, was one of the former, rather than the latter.


I was highly surprised when the duo walked on stage. Really, a vocalist/guitarist (Zack Lopez) and drummer/vocalist (Sean Stockham) walked out on stage and started playing, and pretty much blew my mind. The sheer amount of noise that these boys managed to make is astounding, and the fact that they are obviously fantastic at it is just icing on the cake. Indeed, a lovely mix of post-rock and old school 90’s alt rock- vaguely reminiscent of Jane’s Addiction, old Cake, and maybe some Jimmy’s Chicken Shack thrown in for good measure, with a heaping scoop of Atomic Tom to top it off. A veritable mix to form one insanely addictive and complex sound for just two guys but they manage it well. Each song that they played off of their newest album, No Name No Color, was incredibly well crafted to bring out their strengths as musicians. They rocked the crowd for about forty-five minutes before calling it quits, much to the crowd’s dismay. There were countless fans in the audience that had no clue who 30 Seconds to Mars were, and the general consensus was one of vast appreciation. I stood amongst the crowd along the barrier and listened to the general buzz about MC Rut, and was amazed at the positive feedback- which made me even more confidant of this review of praise. However, there was still more to come.


The energy soon shifted towards further excitement, as the great new stage prop for 30STM was revealed- a glowing replica of Plato’s air symbol, and the signature of the bands most recent album, This is War. This sparked a lovely energy that sent the crowd rushing forward to greet the band amidst the opening notes of “Night of the Hunter” and kept them going through a myriad of songs of the band’s expansive three full length albums. I’ve been to a lot of 30STM shows and this show was fantastic as always, but frankly, there seemed to be a lack of older “Echelon” or the diehard fans of the group. Perhaps it was the venue, but the crowd seemed mildly reserved after three or four songs- which Jared Leto found a way to remedy, interacting with the crowd and engaging people as he is wont to do. From yelling at people in the balcony to stand up, to telling kids they were awesome for dancing their hearts out, and applauding people on the barrier that were actually having fun, Jared managed to set the stage for the rest of the night. From giant balloons to a giant handheld floodlight, a guitar solo by drummer Shannon Leto, a marching snare routine by lead guitarist Tomo Miličević, and Jared’s standard stripping on stage routine, the night held fans new and old captivated. Culminating in the band bringing select people up on stage for a rousing ending with “Kings and Queens” polished the night off with both goosebumps and awe.



30 Seconds to Mars was amazing. They always are. But Middle Class Rut really and truly is a band to look out for- they know how to make music and they are incredibly good at it. Why not take a listen sooner rather than later? I promise, you won’t regret it.