LP - Интервью и статьи - Linkin Park strikes an uneasy balance of old and new, mellow and intense.

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February 14, 2008<br />
Star Tribune <br />
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So much for the rumors that Linkin Park has mellowed out.<br />
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The California hard-rock band, one of the top-selling groups of this decade, returned to St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday night in support of a more melodic, less snarling album, "Minutes to Midnight."<br />
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But aside from a few down-tempo tunes and a little arty flare here and there, the 90-minute performance offered the sextet's usual teeth-gnashing, Red Bull-spiked overload of angst, misery and chest-beating.<br />
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Playing to 13,300 fans -- about 80 percent male, 75 percent under age 25 and 10 percent wearing backward caps -- the group started out with one of its moodier and catchier new songs, "What I've Done," giving the audience members a chance to warm up their singing voices. Right afterward, though, it tore into two of its most frantic and spastic hits, "Faint" and "Somewhere I Belong," giving fans a chance to scream.<br />
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That pretty much proved to be the Linkin Park formula circa 2008. Every time a song edged on wimp territory, the band members immediately responded with an extra-feisty number. The faux gospel-rap tune "Points," for instance, was followed by the punky (and dim-witted) "Hands Held High." And the U2-ish "Valentine's Day" set the stage for the mega-angry mega-hit "Numb."<br />
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Originally part of the late-'90s rap-metal wave, Linkin Park deserves credit for outlasting that faded fad (although the arena's upper deck was half-empty, compared to when the band sold out the place in 2004).<br />
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Wednesday's show gave a pretty good idea of how LP has survived. The group -- featuring two frontmen, Chester Bennington (who sings) and Mike Shinoda (who raps) -- struck a sharp balance between the testosterone-fueled energy of forgotten rap-rock groups with the mopey angst of virtually every band a teenager has ever loved.<br />
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The concert was laden with countless woeful lines like, "I'd rather be alone," "Throw it all away" and "I'm sick of feeling." Most were sung by Bennington, who -- as one of the scrawniest, whiniest and just plain twerpiest singers in rock history -- skillfully made up for his shrill demeanor by randomly screaming three or four times in each song and endlessly flailing and jumping around. It was an MVP balancing act in a concert full of them.<br />
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The show's second of two openers, upstate New York quintet Coheed and Cambria, came off like an unlikely cross between a young emo band, an old thrash-metal group and Rush, but were actually much better than that sounds. C&C's shrub-haired, Muppet-looking singer Claudio Sanchez proved to be a powerful metal squealer, and the band cleverly used two female backup singers to help raise the melodies in epics like "In Keeping the Secrets of Silent Earth: 3." Any other hard-rock band would have just had the women there for eye candy.