Linkin Park

support 30 Seconds To Mars + Blindside
author TL date 24/05/07 venue Forum, Copenhagen, DEN

I hate it when gigs start before the time stated on the ticket. How can you advertise a list of bands, if you more or less tell people not to show up till half the bands have played? The reason I'm writing this is that while everywhere it said tonight's show in Forum, Copenhagen, would start at 20.00, when I arrived at around 19.30, Blindside had just about one and half songs left of their set to play. Songs I'd be forced to miss as well if I wanted to stash my bag in the wardrobe in order to prevent everything in it being smashed in the pits I was hoping to enjoy myself in. It goes without saying that attempting to describe, let alone grade the band's display tonight would be beyond unfair. Strangely the sound of the band seemed to have improved over the one I had heard in Pumpehuset no more than two weeks ago, which is weird considering Forum, one of the largest indoor venues in Denmark, is rumoured to have pretty horrible conditions for live sound. This gave me a good feeling about the following sets - a feeling that would soon vanish into thin air.

30 Seconds To Mars

You see, I must admit that I'm far from being a Linkin Park fan. The band I came here to see tonight was 30 Seconds To Mars. I absolutely love their albums and up until this point I would have defended the band fiercely against any of the critics claiming that Jared Leto should just stick to acting. So basically, there I am, struck with anxiety, eyes fixed on stage while Carl Orffs' "Carmina Burana", a classic track, builds up a dramatic atmosphere. The band comes on stage and after a dramatic instant of silence launches into the title track off their most recent album "A Beautiful Lie".

I'm horrified. The sound is from second one, the worst I've ever been treated to. The guitars can barely be heard. The bass is a blur. The vocal parts that are to be sung in an ordinary fashion can't be heard at all. In fact, the only things that reveal what song is being played is the fact that you can hear the drums as well as the parts where Jared is screaming/shouting vocals in the high level that has become his trademark. And he is overdoing these parts in a pretty bad fashion tonight. Add to this that everything that can be heard is coming out at such a low volume that it is easily deafened by the voices of a group of incredibly annoying, drunken fuckin' idiots standing behind me (Yeah, that's you nitwits in the Linkin Park shirts.. oh no, wait a second...). The song ends and Jared proceeds to do an incredibly long period of lameass wannabe-rockstar-showmanship. You know the incredibly cliché "HEY DENMARK-HOW'S IT GOING?-WE LOVE YOU AND APPRECIATE BEING HERE SO MUCH-YOU LOOK AWESOME TONIGHT-BLABLABLABLABLA" speech, only this is the extended we-can-tell-it's-completely-fake-and-you-don't-really-want-to-be-here edition.

Fast forward 27 minutes. The show has now lasted roughly 30 minutes, and we've been treated to "The Kill", "The Fantasy" and "Attack".. And that's it. If you wonder what became of the rest of all that time, Jared used it on more pathetic suckin' the cocks of the audience, wasting time on rather unsuccesful attempts at crowd interaction and telling us how great a band Linkin Park is. I cannot possibly imagine any band in the world who are at least capable of playing their instruments pulling off a display as mindnumbingly horrible, not to say unspeakably disappointing as this. The band could have walked on stage, suffered from instant amnesia and forgotten to play their instruments and it would have been a better show. Worst. Set. Ever.

1

Linkin Park

So I spend a few minutes reflecting on the fact that one of my ex-favourite bands just revealed themselves to be completely useless, and how I'm suddenly ashamed of even knowing of them. Had I been a bit more emo than I am I might have cried. However, I choose not to. Instead I relocate myself to the seats on the balcony to at least get a decent view of what will go on during the set of the headliners. Now, people who know me know that I pretty much despise Linkin Park but even I can't take away the fact, that live these guys deliver what's expected of them.

Their music is of the kind that's simple enough to win a substantial following in the ignorant mob of nitwits that is the majority of Danish music consumers. I know this sounds harsh, but I defend the argument with the fact that for Mewithoutyou's concert, less than hundred people showed up and the majority of those acted like idiots. For Linkin Park enough people show up to pack Forum, a venue with room for roughly 18 000 people. My point with all this is that the 18.000 people present tonight obviously love Linkin Park, and from the get go they're determined to make the band feel right at home.

The sound is miraculously restored to a near-perfect level and Chester is going at it with remarkable enthusiasm. The band quickly establish the fact that they are indeed crowdpleasers as they have no problems with treating us to songs old as well as new, thus, credibly enough, they remember a song like "One Step Closer", that was one of their first hits back in the beginning of the bands popularity. Chester and Mike continue to perform energetically through all the songs a fan of the band could ever dream of hearing them play, and thus the fans go into a relentless craze to the sound of "Points Of Authority", "Faint", "Numb", "From The Inside", "Breaking The Habbit", "Somewhere I Belong" and "Don't Stay". Constantly, the huge screen behind the band shows various light effects, making the impression of each song seem stronger.

In the beginning of a period where the band plays some new songs, it's like the crowd doesn't even notice, but while songs like "No More Sorrow" are received alright, the very different approach the band has taken on a song like "Leave Out All The Rest" seems to be a little confusing to them. However, when the band finally treats us to the one song that's pretty much equal to the identity of Linkin Park and which even I must admit is pretty rad, all that is forgotten. "In The End" makes Forum tremble with the jumping and stomping of close to every present body, sitting as well as standing, and up on the balcony, I'm concerned about how much of this its bearing pillars can take. I think it's safe to assume that for most of the people here, the show can end after this song and it's all good. It does not though, as the band proceeds to play a couple of songs I don't even remember, before leaving the stage.

Naturally, an encore is demanded by a crowd like this, and even though I don't think there are many who have a clue about what's left for the band to play, the audience makes Forum vibrate once again. The band comes back of course, and then destroy their own momentum by playing one of the completely forgettable ballads from their new album. "Crawling" attempts at restoring things and isn't completely unsuccessful, but nevertheless, I am personally confused with the choice to not make the encore more of a final killing blow, with some of the better songs.

And while I'm wondering about things, why does a band with as simple music as Linkin Park have two guitarists? And why do the other band members with statue-like stage performance not instead mirror that of the constantly active Chester and Mike? Even with these questions unanswered though, all must admit that Linkin Park delivered a show that any fan of theirs would die to have seen. It was a show even a more sceptical person such as myself must admit to have found entertaining, even if the predictability of every song the band has ever written does make it a bit monotonous in the long run.

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