Making the televised debut of massive debut single "The Catalyst," from their upcoming Rick Rubin-produced album A Thousand Suns, the veteran rap/rock band set up shop at Los Angeles' legendary Griffith Observatory, site of iconic movie moments from "Rebel Without a Cause" to "The Terminator" and "Transformers."
With the sky-gazing landmark blazing in candy-colored lights, a crowd of fans dashed to a stage set up in front of the building as Mike Shinoda growled out the lyrics about living under a loaded gun while shrouded in green fog.
Shinoda promised beforehand that the backdrop would match some of the themes and lyrics in the song, and he wasn't kidding. As singer Chester Bennington howled out the lines "And when I close my eyes tonight/ To symphonies of blinding light ... transmissions echoing away/ Far from the world of you and I/ Where oceans bleed into the sky," the set exploded in strobes and flashing white searchlights synced to the song's relentless techno-metal rhythm.
The Hollywood Hills framing them in the background, the band made the most of their unique setting, amping up the push-and-pull dynamics of the song's wide-open chorus, with Bennington and Shinoda shadowing each other's vocals with a sandpaper-and-silk harmony. By song's end, Bennington seemed spent, kneeling in exhaustion center stage as the intimate crowd howled its approval.
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The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there's plenty of 2010 MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on MTVNews.com.