MADISON, Wisconsin With an hour-long set of material from their best-selling Hybrid Theory and choice unreleased tracks, Linkin Park commanded the attention of a sold-out Alliant Energy Center audience Saturday with all the confidence of an act that sold more albums than any other in 2001.
Which, of course, they did, besting Shaggy and 'NSYNC with their darkly melodic mix of hip-hop and hard rock (see "Got Charts? Linkin Park, Shaggy, 'NSYNC Are 2001's Top-Sellers"). And while they promise to soon record the follow-up to the 4.81-million-plus selling Hybrid Theory, they've apparently still got some energy to work out on the road with their Projekt Revolution Tour, which also features Cypress Hill and Adema. (Click for photos from the tour's launch.) From the opening power chords of "By Myself" to the set-closing "Crawling," Linkin Park blasted through their hour-long show with the energy of young punks and the precision of seasoned road vets.
Wearing a dark blue T-shirt and baggy plaid pants, and sporting a brunette 'do instead of the shaved head we've seen of late, lead singer Chester Bennington jumped from monitor to monitor as he delivered vocals alongside lyricist MC Mike Shinoda. The tandem vocal team kept the crowd engaged for the 60-minute show prowling, prancing and pouncing all over the stage, which extended into the audience with circular platforms on each side.
And Linkin Park took their "we're one of you" ethos one step further, making clear early in the show that they wanted the crowd of nearly 8,000 to have fun, but safely. "I see a lot of you f---ers crowd-surfing and moshing out there," Bennington said, flouting the venue's "no moshing" policy. "We love that. Just show each other some respect," he said. "And there are some strong women here tonight. When they crowd-surf, that is not an invitation to grab their [breasts]."
The audience obliged, keeping the general-admission floor moving throughout. Most of the show saw the band offering up studio-faithful versions of such hits as "Crawling," "In the End" and "Papercut." The group did, however, whip out a couple of rare numbers as well, such as the vinyl-only "Step Up," which saw Shinoda leading the crowd through a thundering call-and-response of "Who can rock a rhyme like this?"
Aside from two silver statues of the "man-fly" figure that graces the cover of Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park's stage was free of adornments, keeping the focus on Bennington and Shinoda. The vocalists didn't confine their antics to the stage, either; Bennington sang most of "In the End" perched atop a fan's shoulders in the pit.
Adema, fronted by Korn singer Jonathan Davis' half-brother Marky Chavez, kicked things off with a 30-minute set that included their radio hit "Giving In." The crowd didn't really come alive, though, until Cypress Hill took the stage, with their 45 minutes of heavy beats and pro-pot posturing. With live percussion, bass and guitar augmenting DJ Muggs' intense mix, the group showcased new material from its Stoned Raiders album as well as such older faves as "How I Could Just Kill a Man" and "Insane in the Brain" (see "Cypress Hill Launch Another Two-Pronged Attack With Stoned Raiders").
The Projekt Revolution Tour, which kicked off January 29 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, wraps up in San Diego on February 24 (see "Linkin Park Announce Dates For Projekt Revolution Tour").
For a full-length Linkin Park feature, check out "Linkin Park: Made To Be Broken."
Read about all of the shows we've recently covered in Tour Reports.