Nu-metal icons celebrate the release of their new record with an intimate show.
After a massive show at The O2 just the day before, Cali’ rockers Linkin Park treated their London fans to a comparatively smaller show at O2 Academy Brixton on 4 July; we tagged along to witness Chester Bennington and co. blow the roof off the place.
Whatever the critics say about Linkin Park’s latest record One More Light, one thing is for sure: they still firmly hold their place as one of the best live rock acts of this century. And with a venue packed with fans old and new, the pressure was on for Linkin Park to deliver – and boy did they ever!
Beyond giving the audience a thrilling live show, the band also managed to take us back in time, back to our teenage years, returning us to scenes of closed bedroom doors, sulky angst and the sound of Crawling et al cranked up on the stereo. It was quite the feat to see almost 5,000 people singing along to tracks like In The End and Burn It Down, all of which left the crowd in a frenzied, mosh pit-induced state.
And with new tracks going down a treat (despite being stylistically different to the band’s bigger hits) and Bennington’s iconic voice tying all the themes together perfectly, it wasn’t not long before the audience were hanging on his every word – especially during the acoustic version of Invisible.
After a two-and-a-half hour, 21-track set – which included a surprise guest appearance by grime superstar Stormzy (he joined the band on stage for a performance of their recent single Good Goodbye) – the encore was just the cherry on top of that nu-metal, pop-RnB sundae. The first notes of the iconic Numb/Encore (leading into Numb) still delivered the same chills almost 10 years after first hearing it.
In the end, Linkin Park leave us with a trip down memory lane and the affirmation that new musical adventures for bands can not only bring in a whole new set of fans to party with but also allow die-hards to fall in love with new directions that just sound incredible live.
*Update: I’m still in shock over the sad news of Chester Bennington’s suicide. To think that we experienced their last ever show in London, and such a special one as well, will take a long time to sink in. Linkin Park were the soundtrack to my youth, Crawling made me able to scream out all the teenage angst inside. And the saddest part is that maybe Chester never realized how many, many, lives his music has saved in the last seventeen years. The show at O2 Academy Brixton was beyond incredible, those first few notes of Numb/Encore will never stop giving me goosebumps live.