Live Review: Linkin Park at Sunset Strip Music Festival
Sun, 04 Aug 2013 14:18:48
Los Angeles, especially Sunset Boulevard, never really gets the credit it deserves. More dreams come true in the City of Angels than its detractors would like to admit. One such dream belonged to the members of Linkin Park, and they remained markedly grateful during their triumphant Sunset Strip Music Festival headline set last night.
Chester Bennington smiled early on, "Back when we were writing Hybrid Theory in Mike's apartment in Glendale, we had this crazy dream like, 'Wouldn't it be fucking cool if they shut down Sunset and we played?'"
It came true last night, and the entire festival immediately fell into Linkin Park's world. As Brad Delson ignited the infectious opening of "A Place for My Head", Rob Bourdon's drums bobbed with earth-quaking bounce in tandem along to Dave "Phoenix" Farrell's potent bass wallop. Joe Hahn cut up the soundscapes in the back, adding a deep sonic palette. Shinoda and Bennington crisscrossed the stage with uncontainable energy, volleying vocals back and forth like the ultimate mic combo.
"Papercut" sent tremors through Sunset all the way downtown with its distinct electro rock swagger as the entire street erupted bouncing in unison. "New Divide" and "With You" illuminated the band's magical ability to erect a towering hook, while "Given Up" stomped forward on hard handclaps and heavy riffing.
One of the biggest sing-a-longs came during the elegantly ethereal space rock of "Waiting for the End", which cascaded into a soulful "Breaking the Habit". Linkin Park stayed at full throttle for the entire set, powering through the phenomenal "LOST IN THE ECHO" from last year's LIVING THINGS with robust energy and delicate attention to detail. That's the most mind-blowing aspect of any Linkin Park show—every little detail coalesces on one cohesive artistic vision that's simultaneously gritty and gorgeous.
A punch-y "Bleed It Out" snapped into a frenetic unreleased verse from Shinoda entitled "Reading My Eyes". It elucidated his immense mic prowess as he glided through an onslaught of words in perfect lyrical form. He proved to be one of the 21st century's finest MCs. Meanwhile, his vocal counterpoint Bennington channeled the raw charisma of icons as he lithely moved while screaming his heart out. As far as musical dynamic duos go, they're one of the best in rock history.
As "Faint" charged into a cathartic "One Step Closer", Linkin Park had once again conquered the Sunset Strip. The Sunset Strip Music Festival's ethos of multiple genres coming to life on one of the most iconic streets in America shined brilliantly in Linkin Park's headline set. As long as these guys keep dreaming big, rock music will keep moving forward.
Check out more photos HERE!
Photo Credit: Corey Soria (www.bloodlinecartel.com)
Were you at SSMF?