Admittedly, it had been awhile since I’ve listened to Linkin Park. I definitely liked their older stuff from the albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora but the last time I’d heard their music was on A Thousand Suns and it was…different. And not what I expected.
But I’m always up for photographing a show and when the opportunity came to shoot Linkin Park on the first night of their tour for their new album Living Things this past Saturday at Jiffy Lube Live I thought I’d give them a chance.
MUTEMATH was the opening band, a band that I had known nothing about. Frontman Paul Meany was excellent and I found myself tapping my foot to the beat of their music while snapping photos. A mix of jazz, rock, blues and electronic music they displayed excellent musicianship during their hour-long set. Meany was definitely the highlight of the set as he bounced back and forth between a piano and electronic keyboard between songs. However, their songs started to sound the same after awhile, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they were a great band to open up the night.
During the break before Linkin Park took the stage, I took a look around Jiffy Lube Live and the place was pretty packed. Apparently it wasn’t sold out but I don’t see how that was true, seeing as the general admission area behind me was packed with people pressing up against the barricade and I couldn’t see any vacant spots in the seating area. There was definitely a buzz amongst the crowd and several times there were “Link-in Park, Link-in Park” chants.
Finally after a bit of a delay, they came out on stage to the theme song from “Game of Thrones” to a huge ovation and launched into the hip-hop inspired “With You,” off their first album Hybrid Theory. To me, it’s always a good sign when the crowd sings along with the chorus to one of the first songs of the night and that’s exactly what went down here. As a matter of fact, it seems like the crowd sang along for a lot of the night.
“Faint” was the next song and the crowd roared again during the familiar opening. I could hear several people just beyond the barricade trying to keep up with Mike Shinoda’s high speed rap. But for the night, nothing was as thrilling as seeing Chester Bennington lean over the stage and scream into the mic, a long howl which seemingly lasted forever. Getting to snap photos at a rapid pace of that moment was awesome. Continue reading