Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 | 2:37 p.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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Posted @8:13 a.m.:
By Don Chareunsy
Rock superstars Linkin Park brought their A Thousand Suns world tour to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel last night in a sold-out stop, and Erik Kabik was on duty to capture Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, Dave Farrell and Joe Hahn in action for a phenomenal Vegas DeLuxe photo gallery.
Frontman Bennington clearly gave it his all last night, leaving his blood, a lot of sweat and tears onstage. Check back later today for a concert report from Michael Squires.
Updated @2:37 p.m.:
By Michael Squires
Linkin Park has always merged things that are stereotypically separate. The rap-rock label some use to describe the band, for example, blends genres that record labels had been happy to keep separate. It’s in the music, for sure: The Sam Kinison screams and gentle melodies, the soft piano refrains and paint-peeling guitars.
But it goes beyond that to their deft use of technology while warning about its misuse in their lyrics. All that melding of seeming opposites was on display last night during the group’s 90-minute set at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel. The show began with “Cure for the Itch,” with only DJ Joe Hahn and drummer Rob Bourdon onstage.
Then frontmen Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington joined them to a hundred waving cell phones and tore into the blistering “Faint,” followed by the equally hard “Lying From You.” It was a clear-your-sinuses moment. They continued drawing from older material with “Given Up” and “What I’ve Done,” one of their towering hits that had the crowd bouncing.
“What a beautiful crowd we have here tonight,” Bennington said as the band began the syncopated rhythms of “No More Sorrow,” which they followed with “From the Inside.” Finally, Linkin Park pivoted to its latest album, A Thousand Suns, a concept album about technology, its dangers and fear for the future. The title is a reference to an ancient scripture cited by scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, to describe the weapon.
The band played “Jornada del Muerto,” followed by the melodic “Waiting for the End” and “Burning in the Skies.” On giant video boards, the image of a mushroom cloud cleaved in two slowly turned, morphing into different shapes -- a heart, a body -- a Rorschach cloud. Later appeared a human form with a head of smoke. The video, and its tight link to the music, was impressive. Hahn has directed some of the band’s videos, and at one point, his spinning of his turntable controlled a video loop of Oppenheimer speaking.
The band played the popular “Numb” before returning to material from A Thousand Suns, with “The Radiance,” “Iridescent,” “Fallout” and “The Catalyst,” and then ended the set with “Shadow of the Day,” “In the End” and “Bleed It Out.”
Linkin Park wasn’t the only hybrid act to emerge from the late 1990s and early 2000s -- Limp Bizkit is another, but Linkin Park is the only one who has enjoyed enduring popularity. The band’s deft use of video last night to enhance their art appeared to be one reason they continue to be so relevant. Technology isn’t all bad.
The band finished the show with a six-song encore -- “Empty Spaces,” “When They Come for Me,” “Papercut,” “New Divide,” “Crawling” and “One Step Closer” -- and exited the stage to a thousand raised hands.
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