Fans of Linkin Park surf waves of angst-ridden lyrics

08.05.2008
L.A. band demonstrates why it has staying power
Rap and nu metal's time in the commercial sun is waning, and as always happens when a genre falls back into the hands of its dedicated fans, only a few bands manage to stay on top.

Wednesday night at the Cleveland State University Convocation Center, Los Angelenos Linkin Park showed why they are still selling millions of records and playing arenas worldwide while other bands are being forgotten. (Limp who?) The six-piece band has only two records that combined clock in at little more than 70 minutes, but their songs are punchy, tense and under four minutes. Nerdy singer Chester Bennington has mastered the art of the anthemic chorus. Bennington and emcee Mike Shinoda are also masters at encapsulating the fear, confusion, insecurity, mistrust and alienation that comes with puberty and impending adulthood.

Their songs, though musically unremarkable, wallow in these themes, and the mostly under-25 sellout crowd sang every word at the top of their lungs like they came straight from their own diaries.

The band works the soft verse-loud chorus structure to perfection, and songs such as Don't Stay, Somewhere I Belong and Nobody's Listening rose and fell in all the right places. The crowd moshed, surfed and pumped their fists like their lives depended on it.

Between songs, all the angst in their music dissipated as Shinoda and a sweat-drenched Bennington did the standard ``this side is louder than that side'' routine and encouraged the crowd to sing along, though they didn't need the suggestion.

The bill was action-packed and everything ran amazingly smoothly as the three opening bands, Story of The Year, Hoobastank and P.O.D., came and went in quick succession. Out of the three, Hoobastank seemed to get the crowd most excited, inducing some minor moshing and surfing during a half-hour set of their melodic but bland brand of metal. P.O.D. delivered a high-energy set of their take on rap metal, including their anthemic hits Alive and Youth of The Nation, but rapper Sonny, who was occasionally required to actually sing, repeatedly showed why he should stick to rhymes.

Akron Beacon Journal - January 22, 2004


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