September 1, 2012
Photos: Raelyn Ross and Shawn Maria Watson
Since their inception over 15 years ago, Linkin Park have perfected the combination of Rap and Rock with a sprinkle of Metal to create a sub-genre some have dubbed Rap Rock. As I got older and I began to dig deeper into music and artists I normally might not pay much attention to, suddenly vintage Linkin Park began to creep into my listening choices.
When I heard they would be performing at this year’s X-Fest, I admit, I was looking forward to finally hearing some of my favourites live. I had no idea what to expect from Linkin Park, since I had never seen them live, and as a “non-fan”, I figured I had nothing to loose, and eagerly anticipated the opening track.
The two key components, Frontman, Chester Bennington and Rapper, Mike Shinoda were on fire, as were Rob Bourdon (drums), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (turntables & keyboards). Chester’s vocals were clear and powerful and effortlessly filled the night air.
Opening with “Faint” from their 2003 release, Meteora, their roughly hour long set consisted of hits from their five studio albums; from 2000’s Hybrid Theory – “Papercut”, “With You”, “Points of Authority”, “One Step Closer” and “In The End”. Additional tracks from Meteora were “Somewhere I Belong” and “Numb”. From 2007’s Minutes to Midnight, “Given Up” and “What I’ve Done”, and their mega hit from The Transformers Soundtrack, “New Divide”. A Linkin Park show wouldn’t be complete without other hits as “The Catalyst”, “Burn It Down” and finally, my ultimate favourite, “Bleed It Out”.
Their light show was captivating and energy just oozed from the stage. I stood there, with something that has to be described as a “perma-grin”, swaying and singing away, as Chester’s vocals seem to grow in strength as the night went on, and even his screams I swear I could feel all the way down to the tips of my tows.
With the sun going down, you could feel a chill in the early fall air, but it wasn’t as noticeable with Linkin Park on stage. Would I go see Linkin Park again? You bet your ass I would! Now at 16 years and counting, they are still a force on stage, and I left the venue thinking … ‘ok, I’m a fan.’