Sunday, 23 November 2014

Linkin Park - O2 Arena, 23/11/14

At first glance, Of Mice and Men might seem like a strange support choice for a band like Linkin Park - while they have similarities your mind jumps automatically to the differences, making it seem that it's obviously going to be an uncomfortable fit. Thankfully, completely the opposite was true at this show. Playing a set nearly completely comprised of songs off of their most recent release 'Restoring Force', the crowd easily got involved and seemed rather impressed by Of Mice and Men's performance. Starting off with 'Public Service Announcement' was punchy and showed the audience straight away what this band are exactly about, but choosing to slow it down in the middle with 'Another You' was the emotional moment that was necessary to really cement them in peoples minds. Screamer Austin Carlile was bounding around the stage for their entire nearly forty minute set, constantly walking out on to the runway that jutted into the crowd, while singer Aaron Pauley demonstrates a vocal that is a large reason that they stand out of the scene among other singer-screamer double acts going around at the moment. Personally, I was disappointed not to hear some of their older songs (such as 'Second and Sebring') but with the announcement that they're coming back to London to headline Brixton in April, hopefully they'll make a set that is comprised more of a mixture of albums than just the most recent one. 

Public Service Announcement
Feels Like Forever
Bones Exposed
Would You Still Be There?
Another You
Identity Disorder
The Depths
You're Not Alone

Any band that can boast two headline shows in a row at the O2 Arena (this night, and the night following) obviously put on an amazing live show, and that's one thing that definitely cannot be faulted from Linkin Park. The double team of Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda get the energy up from the moment they burst out on stage, and they manage to keep it there consistently throughout the night, only mellowing out during the medley of 'Leave Out All The Rest', 'Shadow of the Day' and 'Iridescent' - the last of which featured a guest appearance by Aaron Pauley of Of Mice and Men - and later on towards the climax of the set during 'Waiting For The End'. However, even with the lulls, it just proves how well Linkin Park can craft a set - the rises and falls work perfectly with the crowd, calming them down and making them sing along to the emotional songs before bursting back into action on the next best-selling hit. If you can think of a big name Linkin Park song, they played it tonight: 'Given Up', 'One Step Closer', 'Papercut', 'Numb', 'Faint' (featuring Austin Carlile) and 'What I've Done' all being songs that could not be missing from this set because they are such vital songs from their back catalogue, but in reality this seems like a set that doesn't really need much changing - it doesn't feel like anything is missing, and it doesn't seem like anything really needs to be taken out (well, apart from the dubstep remix of 'Castle of Glass', but let's not go there). I haven't really listened to 'The Hunting Party', their newest release, so some of the newer songs went over my head and left me feeling a little bit flat, but watching all of the other fans around me going crazy and screaming every word, it left me with the feeling that I was watching something extremely special happening in this room. With all of the band having solos to show off their individual talents, it also shows how vital each and every member of this band is, and it's no surprise that Linkin Park headlined Download Festival just a few months ago and they are just getting bigger and bigger. Yes, there was a small technical hitch during 'Burn It Down', but sometimes things do just go wrong and it was to their credit that they continued on despite that, not letting anything get in the way of them putting on a brilliantly absorbing performance. If you haven't seen a Linkin Park live show, you're making a mistake - this is my second time seeing them, and they were just as amazing this time as they were four years ago, showing that their talent is not waning with the years - so I'd seriously suggest that next time they tour near you, you go or you will regret it. 

Guilty All The Same
Given Up
With You 
One Step Closer
Castle of Glass
Leave Out All The Rest/Shadow of the Day/Iridescent (featuring Aaron Pauley) 
Waiting For The End
The Final Masquerade
Lying From You
Somewhere I Belong
In The End 
Faint (featuring Austin Carlile)
Burn It Down 
Lost In The Echo
New Divide 
Until It's Gone
What I've Done 
Bleed It Out

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