Link' plays in our park

08.05.2008
Not many bands can claim their best achievement has been finding success in mediocrity, but there are always a handful that circumvent the standards.

Linkin Park is the complete embodiment of this mentality, which was on display in full force at the Lloyd Noble Center on Sunday night.

Backed by a cast of other modern-rock heavyweights and featherweights, the rock-radio giants held forth with the sold-out masses nearly a year after the release of the band’s sophomore record “Meteora.”

The sextet fired ably on all cylinders for the next 90 minutes while never really going above and beyond the call of duty.

Faithfully cranking out hits such as “Faint,” “Somewhere I Belong,” and “Crawling,” the band commanded the rapt audience’s attention at least for a while.

About the time the band plowed through “In the End,” the audience was leaving in droves, perhaps a not-so-subtle hint that they’d had about enough.

At the point where the band’s set typically ends, at about 65 minutes in, it was clear that this was as far as the show could go, given the nature of the band’s repetitive material.

However, they kept on, returning with an excessive four-song encore, adding even more length to a show in desperate need of trimming.

It seemed that Linkin Park didn’t get the memo that encores are supposed to be quick and hard hitting; come back, smack ‘em with two solid, rockin’ tracks and get the hell out of town.

Opening bands came and went in thankfully rapid succession, save for a painfully long set from P.O.D., which preached its gospel of “metal for the Messiah” for about four songs too long.

Complete with bad faux-reggae breakdowns, radio fodder and flailing dreadlocks, P.O.D.’s set was very straightforward, loud and boring.

Hoobastank delivered a bland set peppered with hits yet not endowed with much in the way of stage presence.

Hoobastank was the only band to pander to Sooner fans, with vocalist Doug Robb frequently asking the Sooner fans to “make a little noise” or to “raise a finger to Texas.”

At least his heart was in the right place.

The most punishing set of the evening was delivered by St. Louis’ Story of the Year. Opening with the pummeling “…And the Hero Will Drown”, the band karate-kicked, pogo-ed and backflipped its way through the most enjoyable thirty minutes of the evening.

Even a cover of Metallica’s now-cliché Sandman” was outstanding, staying painstakingly true to the original and not shying away from the solo, which guitarist Ryan Phillips pulled off with precision.

Story of the Year’s music is honestly nothing new or groundbreaking, but it was delivered with such conviction and such an engaging stage presence that it was impossible to ignore.

Although the band is best seen in a club atmosphere, the act translated surprisingly well to the arena.

As a whole, the night felt like watching a parade of decent, competent musicians, never sinking to the level of “intolerable,” yet rarely transcending arena-rock standards.

And for the sold-out crowd, that seemed to be enough.

Linkin Park Set List
With You
Runaway
Papercut
Points of Authority
Don't Stay
Somewhere I Belong
It's Goin' Down
Lying from You
Nobody's Listening
Breaking the Habit
From the Insider
Faint
Numb
Crawling
In the End

*Encore break*
My December
Pushing Me Away (Reanimated)
A Place for My Head
One Step Closer


Oklahoma Daily - January 24, 2004


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