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Story and photos by Andrea Dawn GoforthAccording to Rolling Stone, 2010 concert attendance was down 25% from previous years, and will be remembered as the worst year for concert going in memory. Maybe Wednesday night's Linkin Park show at the United Center is a glimmer of hope for 2011. Perhaps 2010 was such a shitty year in general, with an economy that went bust and took everything down with it, that some pissed off LP music seemed like just the cure for the Chicago blues.
Usually the home of the Bulls and the Blackhawks, Linkin Park transformed the United Center into an industrial looking musical playground. As the lights lowered, the familiar hum and beeping sounds from the beginning of LP's new album A Thousand Suns filled the arena as Rapper/Guitarist/Keyboardist Mike Shinoda entered the stage sporting a hoodie, some shades, and his blue Paul Reed Smith electric guitar. But instead of going into a track from Suns, the group kicked off the show with radio single "Faint" of their Meteroa album.
Lead singer Chester Bennington and Shinoda kept the energy high as they ran around the stage to different microphones and jumped up on create-like risers. The first six or seven songs were all off the group's first two albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Tracks like "What I've Done" and "No More Sorrow" were old-school crowd pleasers. Then the giant screen behind the band turned from clouds into an atomic bomb as Mike S. stepped up to hit the beginning rap section of new single "Waiting For The End." The crowd sang along and cheered. "Hey you guys know the new stuff!" Mike said sounding surprised after the song. Of course the crowd went wild, moshing and fist-pumping, for the hit tracks like "Numb," and "In the End." The energy in the room was enveloping and impossible to resist as thousands of fans screamed along.
LP got the major things perfect Wednesday night. The set list was incredibly constructed, giving just enough of the hits, but saving major players like "When They Come For Me" "Papercut" "Crawling" and "One Step Closer" for the most killer encore they could hit the crowd with. Besides perfect planning, the performance was nothing but incredible. For 90 minutes Chester Bennington screamed/sang his heart out without sounding worn out in the slightest and same went for the rapping and singing of Shinoda. Thank god for the bands who can actually pull off live what they put out on record. Maybe that's why Linkin Park can still fill an arena while the Jonas Bothers struggle to find a crowd these days.
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