View more backstage and concert photos in our “Street Drum Corps, 30 Seconds to Mars @ The Greek, Pt. 1” and “Pt. 2” slideshows.
It's late. It's cold. Our ears are ringing and everyone is tired, but there's still adrenaline pulsing through the intimate crowd of band members, friends and family who have stuck around long after the Greek Theatre closed its gates. It's that kind of euphoric buzz that comes after the last show of a long tour, when you have to say goodbye to old and new friends but thankfuckinggod you're home.
30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto stands in a dark corner on the VIP patio with Street Drum Corps' Frank Zummo, Adam Alt and Bobby Alt. The actor/musician's pink mohawk and metallic blue jacket contrast sharply to SDC's uniform of choice tonight, all black and leather. Huddled with their arms around each other, the tour mates and longtime friends talk appreciatively in hushed tones about the last four months that took both bands to 23 cities across Europe and back. It's a private moment that even the parents and girlfriends stand back to admire in silence.
The group shares one final hug and then Leto turns to the Alt brothers' mother to shake her hand and introduce himself. “Are you Momma SDC?” he asks, referring to her nickname. She smiles and they both laugh. “Talented kids you've got. I don't know what you were smoking when you had them but they're amazing,” Leto jokes. “And handsome, too.”
Momma SDC gets a kick out of it. Earlier when asked what she thought of Street Drum Corps' set that night at the Greek, she replied wholeheartedly, “It was fucking amaaaazzzing!” She and Leto, and thousands of fans across the world, seem to be in agreement: Street Drum Corps gets more impressive by the day.
Whether it's a new song, a killer performance, a really raunchy joke, or some avant garde concept for a new SDC theater production, we're always curious as to what the band is going to do next.
As we wrote in our May 12 interview with Street Drum Corps frontman Bobby Alt prior to the Greek Theatre gig:
The last time we saw Bobby Alt, Adam Alt and Frank Zummo of Street Drum Corps, the trio of misfit drummers was holed up in a Hollywood recording studio in the fall of 2009 putting the finishing touches on its two-disc Interscope debut, produced by Howard Benson and Jamie Rise, due sometime in 2010.
Within six years, what started as a passion project banging overturned buckets on the sidewalks of L.A. had evolved into a full-on major label production. Forget DIY recording with a junkyard budget, the band was now discussing tracks hovered over EASTWEST's Studio 1 console, the largest in the world and originally commissioned for Michael Jackson's Thriller.
That's not to say, however, that Street Drum Corps has abandoned its roots. You can still find the guys drumming crowds into a frenzy with found instruments like tire rims and garbage cans, it's just that instead of weekends on the Venice Beach boardwalk they're performing sold-out theaters across the world. And with that comes a helluva lot more pressure.
Now the pressure of the Into the Wild 30 Seconds to Mars tour might be over, but this week Street Drum Corps gets to experience Simon Cowell-style pressure as the percussion punks guest on this Wednesday night's episode of American Idol. We've seen SDC get mad respect each time they've performed for the ever-cool Conan O'Brien, but American Idol? Random… But then again the band is all about the element of surprise. SDC will be drumming alongside label mate Travis Garland as he sings his debut single, “Believe.” The band is also using the AI appearance to introduce fans and viewers to its new favorite toy: QR matrix technology.
Basically, QR code can turn physical objects into hyperlinks like the ones you're used to seeing on the Internet. Except that instead of clicking your touch pad, with QR you aim your cell phone at the coded object (a billboard, a magazine, a rocker's T-shirt, etc.) and, bam, get redirected. Bobby Alt “first came across QR technology on a recent trip to Japan and was blown away by the possibilities.” Wanting to try it out for themselves, Street Drum Corps plans on wearing QR-coded shirts on American Idol that link to a “special message” on the SDC website.
Not sure what that “special message” is gonna be but one can only hope it involves announcing the release date for the band's new double-album. We'll be watching, and waiting.