Linkin Park - Killing The Crowd
It seems that we have Slipknot syndrome again. No, Linkin Park haven't taken to wearing masks and throwing up on stage, don't worry. I call it Slipknot syndrome because, just like Slipknot, I hate Linkin Park's music. These are all for pre-defined reasons which don't actually have much to do with their performance tonight. Therefore, although this is a 4/5 review, it is based mainly on performance values. I'd give Linkin Park's material, at the very most, 3/5.
It seems many people at the Download Scotland festival also share my opinion, except they have the privilege to be allowed to leave before Linkin Park grace the stage. This results in the crowd being much smaller than the crowd for the preceding band, Lostprophets. Having a smaller crowd for the final band contrasted sharply with the festival on Wednesday, where Metallica drew in a heavy crowd.
As the time for Linkin Park to come on stage drew near, the crowd was treated to yet another sampling introduction, although this one fails to generate much of an atmosphere. The introduction goes on for some time, until one by one the band members slowly enter the stage. As Brad Delson (guitar) comes on stage, now sporting a thick mane of hair, contrasting with his usual bald style, the band burst into 'Don't Stay', although Mike and Chester are yet to appear. As they start the vocals, they run onto the stage, and the crowd goes wild, as would be expected.
Linkin Park's set tonight was packed to the rafters with their infamous singles, all heartily sung by Chester Benningon and Mike Shinoda. Whilst Chester's parts in a few songs are pretty much just all screaming, Mike's vocal parts often involve him rapping. This may present a problem, seeing as Mike Shinoda can't rap. This isn't a "white boys can't rap" thing, this is a "Mike Shinoda - devoid of talent" thing. At some points during the set the vocals seem to be hard to hear, but that doesn't matter much, as most of the fans know the lyrics by rote, and are chanting along.
Linkin Park's music is almost techno at points, with Rob Bourdon's (drums) psuedo-electronic drumming and garage-style beats, as well as the various samples and electronic wizardry of DJ Joe Hahn. Unfortunately, Linkin Park don't fare well when it comes to the world of interesting guitar parts. There are very few riffs, and most of the choruses are just one distorted chord strummed and left until the chord change - as seems to be a usual style for rock songs that enter the world of pop music (see The Rasmus - In The Shadows). In fact, the guitar parts, although dire, seem to be the only part of Linkin Park that actually fit the rock mould. If there wasn't booming guitar during the choruses, Linkin Park would pretty much be just rap with a lot of angry screaming and with techno beats in the background.
No doubt one of the highlights for fans would have to be the performance of 'Breaking the Habit'. Starting with just Mike Shinoda on piano with Chester softly singing, lulling the crowd into one of those lighter moments, until the band eventually explodes into one of Linkin Park's better songs. After running through a plethora of classic singles, such as 'Numb', 'Faint', 'In The End', 'Crawling' and 'One Step Closer', Linkin Park leave to a surprisingly large amount of cheering and applause, considering how the size of the crowd has dwindled.