Linkin Park shows crowd it's far from losing its edge.
February 13, 2008
Omaha World Herald
It wasn't long after Linkin Park came out with its third album, last year's "Minutes to Midnight," that the backlash started. Some diehard fans were disappointed by what they heard on the disc — more ballads, less rock, less rapping.
Naysayers labeled them sellouts. Others applauded the softer, mellower sound as a sign of growth.
But the group's performance Tuesday night at the Qwest Center Omaha was far from mellow.
The two-time Grammy winners ignited the arena with an hour-and-a-half set of high-decibel hard rock that combined rap, electronica, screaming lyrics and blazing guitars.
More than 10,000 fans packed the arena for the band's first show of its 2008 U.S. tour.
At times, it was hard to tell who was louder, the fans or the band.
Drummer Rob Bourdon and DJ/turntablist Joe Hahn emerged from below the stage, rising slowly into view as fans screamed in anticipation.
The rest of the group — vocalist Chester Bennington, guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell and rapper Mike Shinoda — made a less dramatic entrance but drew deafening cheers and applause from the predominantly teenage and 20something crowd.
Leading off with "Given Up" from their latest album, the band unleashed a barrage of noise that had fans singing, moshing and whipping their heads to the heavy riffs and electronic beats.
The group kept the energy level high with "Lying From You" and "Somewhere I Belong," two big hits from 2003's "Meteora" album.
Then Bennington finally took a breath and greeted the sea of fans: "What a great (expletive) place to kick this tour off!"
The group's rafters-shaking performance showcased an assortment of material from all three of the band's multi-platinum-selling CDs.
While new songs like "No More Sorrow" and "Shadow of the Day" were met with enthusiasm, it was older hits like "Crawling" from the band's debut album, "Hybrid Theory," that brought the house down.
The group balanced its heavy rock with tunes such as electronica-influenced "Breaking the Habit," which started with Shinoda playing keyboards, and the ballads "In Pieces" and "My December."
The concert boasted a cool look with a multi-tiered stage with ramps, platforms and five huge video panels that hovered and rotated above the band.
Linkin Park Play Great Kick Off Show
Qwest Center Tickets
Linkin Park brought down the house at the Qwest Center yesterday with a high energy concert. The guys from Linkin Park know how to get the crowd on their feet and that's exactly what they did.
Linkin Park kicked off their 19 city US tour at the Qwest Center in Omaha and more than 10,000 ticket holders got the chance to see one of the biggest rock bands of their generation play at the peak of their career.
With the help of a multi-level stage and a barrage of laser lights, Linkin Park gave the Qwest Center audience enough sensory inputs to keep them interested for the over hour and a half concert. The over the top stage production reminded me of U2, who was one of the first big acts to play a concert at the Qwest Center.
Electronics and synthesizers where very predominant in the concert at the Qwest Center. Linkin Park is one of the only mainstream rock groups that use a turntable and it was put to good use last night. It no doubt complimented rapper Mike Shinoda's performance.