Gig Review: Linkin Park, Who Cares Where It Was? It Could’ve Been Anywhere…

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?

Wrong.

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.

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

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Comments

  1. Andrew says

    Whoever wrote this review sounds like a whiney and jealous bitch. Really? You’re going to talk shit about a band that has been around for 10+years now who still sell out shows? You have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re probably one of those people that thinks Hybird Theory was there only good cd.

  2. Rena says

    I’m convinced the band will need a lot more just to get back to where it once was. Right now it’s the band name with no soul of its previous… angst, shall we say?

  3. Tom J says

    So let me get this right… you went to a Linkin Park concert, it was utter shit, and this SURPRISES you? Earth to Hecklerspray – we bring you breaking news that up is up and down is down. I mean, what the hell did you expect? Surely you’ve heard their “music” before?

  4. Fish says

    I have been a fan for years but this was the first time I had seen them live – at the London O2 on Wednesday.
    Very dissapointing. Nothing ‘live’ about it. I could have played the albums in my living room, and probably louder, and had a better experience.

  5. Peaches says

    Hate to say it, but I do agree with Fish and a bit with with hecklerspray. Was really looking forward to the Linkin Park gig at the O2 on Thurs 11th, but was suprised at the lack of interaction or major acknowledgement of the audience by the band. I thought it might have been because we were so far back and up high that we weren’t really “feeling it”, but the support act didn’t stop talking and built quite a good rapport with the audience, whereas Linkin never really started. That aside I thought that they would do a bit more with the songs, mix it up a bit or do longer guitar riffs or something, just to make it abit different from the records. I think they only did this once and only really started to “Rock Out” in the encore but then it was all over. It did seem a bit clinical, but the strength of their songs alone did make it a good enough gig, just not as “exciting” as it had the potential to be.

  6. Cookie Monster says

    That is, I’m afraid, the new form of ‘live’. I’m a fan of bands that explore outside of what was recorded at for the album. When each song is stretched in new ways, each/the whole can be great, or not, but it’s at least an adventure. However, these are the days of protunes, lip synching, and cookie-cutter boredom. The song remains the same, ahem.

  7. Lauren says

    Yeah I get the point about not talking to the audience as much to the audience, I went to both london and birmingham and there was a slight difference in terms of how much they intereactive with the audience. In birmingham they actually got a guy out of the crowd to play guitar in the next song. There was more in birmingham than london but the set list varies sometimes, at birmingham they didn’t play the messenger wheres as they did in london

  8. Misstheo says

    I agree totally with this article. I have been a fan of Linkin Park for years. I’ve seen them live 4 times including minutes to midnight tour 2007, LPU fan only concert 2007, project revoulution 2008 as well as on the 11th at the o2 so I feel that I am qualified to judge this live performance. Can I just say that I have never been so disappointed at this lacklustre show they put on. Firstly Chester was miming on the first track and subsequent tracks his voice was week. I was close to the front where I’ve always been when I’ve watched them live so could see and hear everything. There were mistakes on the guitar riffs and hitting the wrong key on the keyboards at times. The sound was awful and the crowd seemed to be holding a candlelight vigil not going crazy like in previous gigs. I felt also there were tensions within the band as it seemed the band were giving Phoenix a hard time. Most of the time, they just stood there with their instruments hardly moving and no energy. Having experienced this band burst onto stage and go wild, lights flashing and the crowd exploding, this gig was so disappointing. I left early it was that bad! I know they have moved away from their rap/metal roots and are somewhat more mellow. But it seems like they were just going through the motions. I noticed every review saying they were brilliant were first time LP gig goers. I suggest you you tube Rock am Ring 2004 and see what their live performances used to be like. Terriable show! Very disappointed :(

  9. Andy smith says

    I have been a huge fan of linkin park since day one, and I was gutted after the Birmingham show. As everyone said, total laconic enthusiasm, Chester forgot the words to two songs, not new ones either! I felt really let down by a band I love. For a clue of how to conduct a live show they should look to green day at the same venue, the most entertaining, value for money, fun concert I have seen in twenty years!!

  10. hobo says

    ALL you haterz, especially the author are cocksmokers and don’t know fucking shit about LP and The music industry, On another note British tabloids are the fuckin worse man , just look what they did to Rooney srsy fuck them, United !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Jessie says

    Lol… Lame.

    If you ask me, I’d rather see a band that is ‘technically flawless’ than one that sucks and is ‘passionate’.

    Becoming flawless takes a lot more passion than just acting it on stage. That’s the easy way out. Maybe singing perfectly involves not jumping up and down every second.

  12. Jessie says

    Oh I forgot… for those of you who say “talk to the crowd more”… seriously?

    You REALLY want them to waste away their set by saying “YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST FUCKING CROWD WE’VE EVER PLAYED FOR” ?? That is meaningless.

  13. Chris says

    Could not agree more. I actually am a fan of most of the music LP has made over the years. I saw them last night in Toronto. The 2 lead up acts were motivated and sounded great. When LP came out it felt like all the energy was sucked right out of the stadium. Everything you say about no stage presence is true, however, still worse is that they were not able to play the faster songs well. Some songs like Crawling were truly butchered. It was one of the worst concerts I have ever seen, and I have seen hundreds. I saw another show for $30 the week before and it was fantastic. This one cost $100 and was aweful. Save your money and time. I wouldn’t go again if it was free.