(photo credit: Courtesy)
Part spectacle, part sonic onslaught - and wholly entertaining, American heavyweights Linkin Park brought their captivating blend of nu-metal, hip hop and stadium rock to Park Hayarkon Monday night before 15,000 rabid fans.
While the parents who brought their children to the show grabbed some grass on the periphery slopes, the kids turned the expanse in front of the stage turning it into a giant, hormone-induced mosh pit.
At the tail end of a world tour and performing like a finely-honed machine replete with elaborate stage and visual aids, the sextet had the crowd from hello, as they plowed their way through an hour and a half of hits like “Numb,” “In the End” and “One Step Closer” and more experimental rhythmic tracks featuring techno elements and multiple percussion parts from their latest album A Thousand Suns
The one-two punch of lead singer Chester Bennington and nimble rapper Mike Shinoda provided a non-stop flurry of action, both physical – with the singers bounding from one side of the stage to the other – and musical, with vocals trading off each other like ricochets.
The band easily slipped into their roles of musical chameleons, from the bone-shaking hysteria of their signature tunes, to controlled U2-influenced anthems like “Shadow of the Day,” to sing-along acoustic love-fests (Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” segueing into their own “The Messenger”).
Popular music has long evolved from the 1950s and 1960s-based rock & roll that every subsequent type of musical genre – from 1970s punk to 1990s grunge – was based on. Someone who went to sleep in post-Nirvana glow of Never Mind
in the early 1990s and woke up on Monday night at Park Hayarkon would have been astounded to discover the music of Linkin Park. The part that would ring a bell? The sense of community Linkin Park’s music creates.
The next generation finally has developed an art form of their own that
only has the faintest echoes of the past. It reflects the impression
that the world has become a harsher place in the post-global terrorism
era. People have gotten harsher as well, with hip hop culture
introducing a level of crassness and profanity that would have Lenny
Bruce making jokes in his grave, and alienation running rampant in
today’s impersonal download environment.
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Linkin Park takes all
those elements, and through a neat trick that has made them one of
rock’s biggest attractions, not only exemplifies those new social
realities via their crass, abrasive music but they also provide their
own antidote. Their frustration, anger and raw emotion are put across
with such aggression and passion that it’s a wonder to behold.
I was a disenfranchised, 16-year-old kid, anxious over my place in a
world that increasingly makes less sense, Linkin Park would likely be my
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