Sunday, 23 November 2014
FOR THE RECORD: LINKIN PARK Live @ Manchester, England, (22/11/14)
Parks & Rock.
On a collision course set for Manchester, England, if you where among the 'Hunting Party' for Linkin Park tickets last night then you where in for one hell of a show! Last night the rock kings from Agoura Hills, California showed the city of Northern Soul that real rock music didn't just lie in an Oasis of Brit-Pop bands. The guys rocked their very stadium sound to the core of the Phones 4U Arena. So much so that the reporters of the Manchester Evening News almost rewrote the concert halls name to its former and the one every fan keeps referring to it as. Touring the latest and one of their greatest albums 'The Hunting Party' (which is a perfect mix (or should we say hybrid) of their 'Hybrid Theory' and meteoric 'Meteroa' brilliant beginnings and their 'Minutes To Midnight', 'A Thousand Suns' and 'Living Things' latest lasting legacy) they furthered their legend of this generations greatness. And all their hits and cult classics from their catalog where on setlist note as they rip-roared through some of the biggest and boldest best rock songs of the last decade and a half. It's been a quick 15 years, but the band you've grown up with on their latest reanimated, mash-up rocked the foundations from the mosh-pit to the nose-bleeds, tearing the roof off.
After the John Steinbeck inspired Mice and Men turned the page on support acts, Linkin Park hit it out of there once they came on stage to perfect pyrotechnics and lasers science-fiction would be proud of. The band that goes through issue of politics and angst like they do six-strings and decks had every fan screaming for their towels, picks and drum-sticks. Starting out with the classic conviction of the new favorite 'Guilty All The Same', it was clear Bennington screaming from the chest, had not lost that great growl even after year after year and night after night of gigs and albums. With the victorious vocals of Mike Shinoda rapping in for legend Rakim as well, you just knew this co-lead singer had the bars and sense to go rap for rap, for 16 hours...all whilst handling an axe. After 'Given Up' it was time to give the day one fans what they've wanted to be hearing for years as the band ripped through everybody's ears with their 'Points Of Authority'. And when the fans wanted a hybrid of the bands original theories then they took every hand that was reaching to get on stage 'One Step Closer'. Then rocking through new tracks like 'Rebellion' and classics like 'Papercut' they stood and tore through big record after big record like they where trying to break it all down to the ground of the 'Wastelands' of a 'Castle Of Glass'. But then when they mixed and mashed up 'Leave Out All the Rest / Shadow of the Day / Iridescent', you don't need to worry about anything like journalistic integrity when you should simply state; "s### just got real"!
The fire only rose to the roof when they 'Burned It Down' with some of their newer, bigger numbers. Then Shinoda shone when he collided 'Skin to Bone ', the underrated classic 'Wretches and Kings' and Fort Minor's formidable 'Remember the Name' to a real terrific trilogy. Then with their latest 'Final Masquerade' the band showed they where anything but as fans didn't want this to be the last goodbye. And with the big three of 'Numb', 'Faint' and 'In The End' they show stopped with exactly that as Chester screamed into the microphone, jumped around the stage and threw himself into the crowd with reckless, nostalgia of all our youthful abandon. But that couldn't be it...right? Right?! As the hands of the standing room only, sold out arena came together to clap for an encore boy was it an epic one. 'Lost In The Echo' started it, until the whole band was 'Crawling' under the skin and seat of everyone in the house with new harmonious records that feel they've been in LP melody for years like 'Until It's Gone'. As these nu and rap metal, platinum Grammy winners tore through a terrific, two-hour set it made every wide-eyed aficionado see just how far they and we had come. As they poured and soared through the last let moments of 'Bleed It Out' they showed and proved in this show and tour that they where are and always will be the flesh and blood of modern rock music. Raging against their own machine and a system of a down, Linkin Park have claimed their place through decades of fans growing up from posters on the walls to tattoos on their arms. Forget about inking their reputation. They've just cemented their names in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, Now how about that for an encore? TIM DAVID HARVEY.