With added afros and Chester equipped with a monk’s haircut, it makes you curious just what The ‘Park (as we like to call them) are going to do tonight, after last gracing our shores with their 2003 arena tour.
The main stage is relatively empty tonight – there are plenty of spaces to stand and everyone seems to have retracted to the hill or the campsite. This is probably because most people are expecting one thing – a watered down set by a band that do not deserve to be here. The question is whether or not they are right.
Linkin Park have performed many a time over here – hitting us as a support act for The Deftones in 2001, then moving on to a Brixton headlining tour, and finishing with Reading last year and an arena tour. They have certainly grown – but the question is whether or not they are Donnington material. We are not talking about any festival – we are talking about playing on the main stage at the spiritual home of the UK rock scene.
It’s a very average set. Chester’s vocals are weak. Mike’s vocals suggest that he needs a throat lozenge. The rest of the band fail to inspire in any way what so ever.
It may be the case that they interact well with their fans, however they don’t manage to motivate anybody else watching them tonight. “Guys at the back I want to see you all stand up” is said. It’s repeated. Nobody moves, the band are booed and they carry on. It just proved that Linkin Park haven’t won over any new fans tonight, they’ve just let existing fans listen to a watered down version of their already watered down CD.
Linkin Park are headlining the main stage at Donnington, and are therefore up against the likes of Metallica on Sunday night. They have to compete with Iron Maiden from last year – and don’t forget that even bands like Korn will be performing tomorrow lower down the running order. The set is half the length of that of Metallica’s [at Download Scotland, anyway. - Ed] and it is a fair bet to say that their set will pound Chester’s boyish looks and monk’s haircut into the ground.
There has been a lot of controversy about Linkin Park headlining in tonight’s slot. The question was whether they deserved it, whether they could fulfil their potential and whether it would work. The simple answer is they failed. Last year at Reading they pulled off a good set. Their arena tour worked. Tonight, there’s a reason that nobody is here. Stick to the arena tours and CDs – don’t expect anything from them here.