Feature: Linkin Park "LIVING THINGS" Sonos Studios Listening Party With Mike Shinoda
Tue, 19 Jun 2012 07:33:29
Last night, Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda hosted an intimate LIVING THINGS listening party at Sonos Studios in Los Angeles. However, in typical Linkin Park fashion, it was unlike any other event of its kind.
Almost spanning the entire length of the gallery-style room, a gigantic screen stretched along the wall. As various industry types mingled, a mixtape of Shinoda's choosing—featuring everything from Nas to Miike Snow—piped through the speakers. Around 8pm, he took the stage to much applause announcing, "I wanted to make this really informal" and explaining that he was enjoying the piece to be shown on the screen in its entirety for the first time along with the attendees.
The lights dimmed and a brilliant rendering of the band's logo popped into the middle of the screen slowly vibrating. After a montage of the group, "LOST IN THE ECHO" from LIVING THINGS quickly captivated the entire room as an eye-popping and entrancing visual of the album cover demanded all focus.
The textures looked better than most big blockbuster CGI as the camera zoomed in close, driving in unison with the track's movements. The song itself remains one of Linkin Park's best, siphoning their signature elements into an evolved exposition of emotion that's immediately impactful. Brad Delson's riffs rumbled, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell's bass bounced, Rob Bourdon's drums roared, and Joe Hahn's keyboards and synths hypnotized. Shinoda and Chester Bennington traded lines in classic form with an even tighter chemistry as the transfixing cinematic visuals proved intoxicating.
Volume bars glistened on the LED screen as lasers fired a web to fall in during "IN MY REMAINS". "BURN IT DOWN" was accompanied by the track's utterly incendiary music video, while "LIES GREED MISERY" echoed intensely as some kind of cybernetic demon's skeleton overtook wall. Then, the listeners will hurled through outer space during "I'LL BE GONE", another infectiously magnificent tune.
Progressing through the vulnerable and vibrant "CASTLE OF GLASS" surrounded by digital flames, it was clear that LIVING THINGS stands on par with Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti and Pink Floyd's The Wall in terms of scope, but at the same time, it's decidedly and definitively Linkin Park. Snow gave way to a burning light bulb during the album's most vicious ripper "VICTIMIZED". Its face-stomping bliss bleed into "ROADS UNTRAVELED", before "SKIN TO BONE" traversed a room of gritty and gorgeous skulls. Shinoda's hip hop swagger ignited "UNTIL IT BREAKS" as lightning and smoke sparked.
"TINFOIL" and "POWERLESS" closed out the experience on a triumphant note as the Linkin Park logo blazed through at the end. Following up this immersive and inimitable cinematic roller coaster, Shinoda answered questions from KCRW's Jason Bentley. Shinoda made a crucial point stating, "We got into the record thinking we could erase everything we thought a song was supposed to be and start there".
Linkin Park erased everything entirely and erected a new paradigm for rock music with LIVING THINGS as a whole. This is a definitive moment for them and everything from the music to the visuals is game-changing.
Were you there?
See our exclusive preview piece of the album here!
The album is out June 26, will you be getting it?