Linkin Park | 1.29.11

This is clearly a group of guys who, throughout their time as kings of American arenas and amphitheatres, have absolutely not forgotten about their fans.

 
 
 
 
Photos: Bruce Matlock
 
Sprint Center, Kansas City
 
The members of Linkin Park were angsty post-teens when Hybrid Theory was released in 2000; we all remember this. However in the decade since, the band has progressively transformed into an almost entirely new act. Songs about being “one step closer to the edge” have been replaced on their albums by tracks like “Wisdom, Justice, and Love,” which features not Busta Rhymes, but rather a recording of Martin Luther King Jr. If you gave up on this band after hearing the first lyrics of “One Step Closer,” you owe it to yourself to give their most recent album, A Thousand Suns,a listen from start to finish. 
 
On a chilly Saturday night in Kansas City, the band left the pyrotechnics to alternative-rock counterparts like Nickelback, Avenged Sevenfold and Rob Zombie. Instead the visual experience primarily consisted of LED lights, video projectors and sheets.
 
This is clearly a group of guys who, throughout their time as kings of American arenas and amphitheatres, have absolutely not forgotten about their fans. Frontmen Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington spent time working the entire stage from left to right, at times further connecting with the crowd by stepping out into it.
 
Let’s face it; songs from the Bhagavad Gita-inspired A Thousand Suns were not made to fit in with older fan favorites like “A Place for My Head” and “Papercut,” which were both performed on this night. Luckily, the band used songs from their transitional album, Minutes to Midnight, throughout the night to bridge the gap between their two musical styles.
 
Though most of the songs in the set came in blocks of either new or old, the band closed out the encore with five songs from five albums (including Transformers single “New Divide”). They ended with a satisfying performance of Meteora hit, “Faint.”
 
Though the band has made at least a 90-degree turn musically, they still play a great selection of songs both new and old to please everyone who comes out for their tours. It would be hard to find a fan of the band that didn’t hear something they liked, regardless of what period of the group’s history they were most into.
 
Openers Does it Offend You, Yeah? and Pendulum both kicked off the night in proper fashion, sharing different elements of Linkin Park’s sound. DIOYY provided the cursing, in rebellion to the Sprint Center’s “no foul language” policy. They also came with both club-ready tracks and some heavier, Prodigy style dance-punk.
 
World-renowned drum and bass act Pendulum brought a live set in support of their latest release, Immersion. Rob Swire and Ben Mount led the crowd through an impromptu crash course in electronica. Mount spent a great amount of time preparing the (mostly unsuspecting) audience for when the “drop” was coming, though based on a few glow sticks in the crowd some of them were ready. | Bruce Matlock

Bruce Matlock’s photos from the show:

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