Linkin Park rocks at the Hard Rock

07.05.2008
Linkin Park heated up the night in the parking lot of the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday night. The MTV Video Music Awards were on Sunday evening, so the super group likely figured they’d play a more accessible show while they were in town. And as usual, their live show didn’t disappoint. It was apparent that everybody in attendance was a huge fan. No one looked remotely bored, even during the less-than listenable new songs.

“Let’s create our own universe out here,” said Chester Bennington just before the drum beat began on “Shadow of the Day.” In an instant, lighters and cell phones lit up the makeshift outdoor amphitheater. It was a new universe - one populated entirely by Linkin Park’s devoted fans. The massive line to get into the venue wrapped around the casino and into the valet area two hours before the show even started. Nearly everyone waiting wore a Linkin Park shirt, proudly showing their allegiance to the group.

Audience participation reached its peak during a rousing performance of “In The End.” Mike Shinoda held the microphone out over the audience as the crowd roared the third verse of the gloomy tune. It was by far the most emotional and touching song of the night. In a 90-minute set, they played 21 songs that spanned their entire career. All of the singles were present, as well as some new songs and a piano rendition of “Pushing Me Away.”

The newer songs hold up surprisingly well as compared to their classics. One song that shined in particular was “Bleed It Out.” While the tune sounds utterly annoying on the radio, it takes a life of its own when performed live. Hearing hundreds of people clap through the entire track was a moving experience.

However, “The Little Things Give You Away,” a track written about the destruction of New Orleans, was received poorly by the crowd. People talked among themselves and made b-lines to the bar as the group played the idle track. Once the song finished, the momentum recovered as they moved into “What I’ve Done,” their current single.

Not everyone had to pay to see this show. Hotel guests sat on their balconies and watched the Grammy-winning band for free. These weren’t the only people being treated to free entertainment. A throng of eager fans gathered on the sidewalk across the street. They heard the same music eager concert-goers had paid $45 a ticket to see.

“Styles of Beyond” kicked off the night’s festivities with an uninspired set of generic rap. The crowd wasn’t feeling their rhymes until Shinoda joined them on stage for two songs. The audience threw their hands in the air and sang along as the group slid into “Remember The Name,” a song by Fort Minor, Mike Shinoda’s other band. Fortunately enough, the band chose to bow out after those last two songs with Shinoda.

Linkin Park never fails in delivering an amazing live experience, and this concert was no exception. In the end, the crowd left with ringing ears and smiles on their faces.

unlvrebelyell.com - September 13, 2007

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