Friday, August 15, 2008

Linkin Park in Denver Review

This is quickly turning from a TV blog to a music review blog but we'll ride this wave and see where it takes us.

On August 12th I had the opportunity to see a band live that I had wanted to see for many years. Linkin Park's summer festival Projekt Revolution came to town and I jumped at the chance to attend. Linkin Park puts on one hell of a show and here is my experience for what its worth.

The first hurdle to overcome in my concert going objectives was to get rid of the extra ticket in my possession left behind by a companion that bailed at the last minute. I was going to rock chick groupie it alone this time in what is becoming a trend for me. Secretly I was trilled at the prospect. So I sold the ticket at a quarter of its value for $10 to the scalpers who were not too interested in negotiating with me. A short walk later and a confiscated bottle cap at the gate and I was in.

Immediately my first call of duty was to hit the merch table and drop some money there. I'm beginning a collection of concert t-shirts apparently and had to add one to the mix. The obligatory tour date shirt was begging me to purchase one but a gorgeous black shirt with dark red roses sprawled across the front was calling me. Anyone who knows me would attest to this graphic being my signature image so its hardly a wonder I chose that shirt in particular. The only drawback is that its a Chris Cornell shirt and not Linkin Park. Minor details though, and this was one of the few ladies shirts that could actually be worn by anyone who is larger than a size 6.

Moving on, to the amphitheater where I spied a very full crowd although the show was only at its first opening act. My ticket was general admission for the lawn so it was a task to find space not already occupied. Since I was rolling solo on this adventure I figured there would be some decent space to squeeze in. I eventually chose an odd spot underneath a light pole which had a concrete riser, perfect for sitting on and keeping the crowd away from me.

Enough about me, on to the music. The first opening act was Ashes Divide which sounded a lot like Metallica slowed down. I enjoy this sound so it was a pleasant introduction to the event. Next up was The Bravery which I was previously a fan of. The crowd didn't seem to familiar with the band but I spotted random people rocking out to their most popular tunes. I recommend anyone to give their music a try, Believe and Honest Mistake are very well broken in on my iPod. Busta Rhymes was supposed to perform as well but either he didn't show up or the purple smoke around me caused me to lapse in consciousness for a while. I'm assuming the former but I cannot be certain.

Chris Cornell was the first real headliner of the night. The crowd stood on his entrance which was a taped symphonic track of Black Hole Sun. Interesting thing about Cornell is he was pretty much doing the anti rockstar thing, he at times appeared on stage like he just happened on there and decided to sing some songs. Cornell's vocals are incredible, however thats likely trite to say since Cornell's voice is legendary. I greatly enjoyed when Cornell at one point randomly went so far into the crowd that he ran all the way up the hill into the part where the lawn folks were standing. My favorite performance was when Chester Bennington of Linkin Park came out to do a duet with Cornell on Hunger Strike, a song that it pretty familiar to me. I was hoping for a live Billie Jean since Cornell inspired the legendary David Cook interpretation of the song but alas no dice. Another symphonic exitlude and Cornell was gone.

The crowd and anticipation at this point did not slow down. Everyone was standing and clamoring for Linkin Park to emerge. The video screens placed on either side of the stage was set up for people to text their messages to get broadcast to the crowd. Genius way to keep the crowd entertained and for Verizon to no doubt make a couple bucks on the deal. I wondered who was moderating the messages and was tempted to send in a text full of vulgarities to find out. In the end I decided to text "Go Broncos!!!" which never made the screen anyway. I will not be shocked if somehow I signed my life away to Verizon in the process.

The wait wasn't too long until the lights went out and it was showtime. Linkin Park started with a bang and did not relent the entire hour and 40 minute set. They played old and new songs, almost all of which are my absolute favorites. About a third of the way through the show it began raining and nobody in the crowd moved. A couple hoods went up and the crowd continued fist pumping and singing along. At one point I peeked over at the crowd around me and all I could see was a wall of people. The open areas in the lawn and empty seats in the stands were all full, I wondered where they were all hiding before. At another point in the show I looked to my right and saw my first ever mosh pit up close and personal. Its amazing to see how the music drives people to have to find someway to get the emotion and aggression out. Another aspect of the crowd that made an impression on me was just how intently they were into the music. I've been at concerts where crowds sung along to the hit songs but this wasn't like that. Everyone was literally screaming and singing as loud as they could and it got so intense that I almost couldn't hear the lead singer. I could tell Chester and the rest of the band was feeling it too because the intensity level in their performance went sky high as well. Its a feeling I'll never forget to be a part of a crowd who was not only enjoying the experience but creating the moment as well.

After the 3 song encore, which completely brought the house down with the songs What I've Done, Faint and Bleed it Out, the show was sadly over. I felt compelled to purchase the password to download the my live show from Linkin Park because I had to archive this experience and was very curious to hear what the crowd singing back sounded like on a recording. Somewhere in there I will hear my voice and know it was the difference maker.

My rock chick groupie thoughts for the day. Please skip if thats not your cup of tea. Lead singer Chester started out with a jacket and shirt on and proceeded to peel off a layer of clothing every few songs. I thought he might stop at the wife beater but he made it all the way to full undress. Not a bad view at all. I also spied the tour buses parked right on the street as I was exiting and my previous groupie stalking experience (see post below) made me pause for a second in contemplation. Reason and the impending arrival of husband to pick my bitch ass up squelched and further pondering of such stalking.

All in all this was one of the best not only concerts but experiences in my life. Pity on those who did not experience it. I had a blast every second of it and thrived on the crowd's intensity. It further awakened my passion for both music and live shows. Say what...Metallica is coming to Denver soon? There might be another music review blog in your future.