Week after week they shuffle into the stadium. Their team no longer have anything in common with them. The ticket prices go up and up and the only thing that improves are the salaries of the players, subsidised by people who could be doing something better with the money.
Their loyalty to the brand is so intense that it blinds them to their exploitation. I’ve never understood why football is so popular and I’ve often stated that no film or band would inspire such blind faith. That, outside of the beautiful game, the fans would simply say “no more, you’re taking the piss out of us and we have a choice”.
Last Saturday whilst watching Linkin Park it gave us absolutely no pleasure to be proved wrong.
We would never claim Linkin Park are a great band but we’ve seen many bands over the years and we’ve enjoyed performances by bands we can’t stand and been bored rigid by our favourites. In their favour, their music has improved as they have concentrated more on being a rock band, and less on the artistic cul-de-sac that is rap-rock.
We even like a few of their songs. They are what they are, an entry-level easy-to-access rock band. A gateway drug for teenagers to guide them from pop music to metal and surely you don’t get to be one of the biggest rock bands in the world without knowing how to put on a show, right?
They came on with a whimper of a song (The Requiem from their recently released A Thousand Suns album) when the occasion demanded some hairy rock cojones but the problem wasn’t the material; it would be churlish to complain about Linkin Park songs at a Linkin Park concert and the problem wasn’t even with how the songs were played- they were technically flawless and very professional.
Is that a word that excites you? Makes you want to shout “fuck you” to the world? Makes you feel part of a tribe? No, professional simply means an activity that earns you a living and that is all it is to Linkin Park. No enthusiasm, no passion, no fun. They just turned up, made a few empty statements about Manchester, played like they were in the studio and then left.
Hearing Chester Bennington say how wild the audience were was like hearing a sulking teenager being forced to tell his auntie how pleased he was to be getting socks for Christmas. Only on the last song Bleed It Out did they even look like they enjoyed playing music. Maybe they were motivated at that point by the thought of getting back to their hotel room and counting the money.
Looking from the millionaires on the stage, then to the vast number of people (each one of which had paid over £45), then to the static guitarist with his metronome-playing headphones on, seemingly unaware of there even being an audience, or that he was even in a band… a band going through the motions… a void of stage presence.
A wealth accumulating vacuum of cynicism.
We saw a band here about a year ago and paid £30 for the pleasure- a band who were excited to be playing and truly grateful to the fans for putting them there. What were the audience getting for that extra £15 each?
It’s clear what the band were getting- they were living the dream. The fan-fleecing soulless corporate rock dream.
£15 would probably be more than enough to just see support act Does It Offend You, Yeah- a band who still find playing music exciting, even to an indifferent crowd. You might think we have a bone to pick with expensive ticket prices but the issue is with the simple disparity between the cost and the quality of the product.
Have they always been like this, or has the ennui of touring made them jaded about their obligation to those that support them.
Is it now when the people finally say “no more, you’re taking the piss out of us and we have a choice” and Linkin Park ask themselves why they started doing this in the first place.
This review was from hecklerspray’s cloaked secret reviewer, Johnny Segment