Linkin Park wsg/ P.O.D., Hoobastank, etc.
(Palace of Auburn Hills, MI - January 27th, 2004)
Linkin Park has ruled as one of the biggest selling rock bands with their albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora. They have been a constant presence on the radio and Tuesday night they filled the Palace of Auburn Hills with their "Meteora World Tour 2004" bringing along with them St. Louis based Story of the Year and fellow Cali-mates Hoobastank and P.O.D.
Starting the night was up and coming Story of the Year with their major label debut Page Avenue fast moving up the charts. Just five punks from St. Louis they proved to everyone that they belong on this tour playing a 30-minute six song set. As a full service band to watch, Story of the year ended their set with a "punk" rock cover of Metallica’s 'Enter Sandman.'
Hoobastank began its set impressively with their hit 'Crawling in the Dark' from their first self titled album. However song after song it became obvious they are all just variations of the first. The band lacked any sort of depth or performance having only one stool on stage used as a step stool for lead singer Doug Robb. The band included in their set a corny attempt to please the women of the crowd by covering Cyndi Laupers 1984 hit 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.'
The harder hitting San Diego, California-based, dread-locked four-piece P.O.D. took the stage next. With an 11 song 45 minute set P.O.D. had heads banging and bodies in air the entire time. Lead singer Sonny Sandoval spent as much time in the crowd as he did on stage. During the bands preachy 'Youth of the Nation' the stage filled with kids from the crowd. Together with their infectious grooves of reggae and Latin music and the heavy deliverance of hip-hop and rock the band's sound resembled a somewhat less angry Rage Against the Machine.
After a triple-bill of opening acts the crowd was ready for the main course. Linkin Park finally arrived on the massive out of this world stage. The Southern California sextet began their 90 minute set with the high intensity 'With You.' Linkin Park showed why they are still selling records and playing arenas worldwide while other bands are being forgotten. Their songs are forceful, intense, and under 4 minutes. Lead singer Chester Bennington and emcee Mike Shinoda are masters of capturing the fear, insecurity, and confusion that their audience relates to.
Shinoda displayed his musical talent on the guitar during 'Somewhere I Belong' and on the piano during 'Breaking the Habit' and 'Numb.' While Bennington picked up the guitar for 'It's Goin' Down' a track recorded for the X-Ecutioners Built from Scratch. Linkin Park ended their regular set with 'In The End' after an impressive performance of 'Crawling.' They returned for the encore a few minutes later with the piano driven softness of 'My December' followed by the mosh-pit pleasing 'Place for My Head.' As the intensity grew throughout the Palace Linkin Park was joined by P.O.D. frontman Sonny Sandoval to belt out the finale of 'One Step Closer' which got an unrestrained response from the crowd.
Linkin Park clicked in every way on Tuesday night. Singer Chester Bennington and emcee Mike Shinoda blended as brothers, while the bands sound and production were perfect. If you were to have closed your eyes you may for a second forgot you were listening to a live band, but at the same missed an excellent show with no dull moments.
Reviewed by Cori Sheldon - Utica, MI
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