Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena, February 15, 2008

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

In a time where bands seem to be trying to get away with the less is more strategy, Linkin Park hit Nationwide Arena with the mentality of giving people what they paid for: and more. For the ticket price, Linkin Park is consistently proving to be the best deal when coming to town and showed why Feb. 15 in Columbus, OH as the band brought a massive state show along with a quality live performance.

 

When Linkin Park first played Columbus several years ago in a co-headlining gig with Taproot at Newport Music Hall, there was little doubt in the talent of this band, but the question came with how well this band could play a live show. In those few years, the success of Linkin Park forced the band into large venues without the time to gel as a band. But in those years, Linkin Park did not rest on its success, but rather forced itself to learn night in and night out how to not just sound great on stage, but how to give a performance that will allow fans to remember the show weeks if not years later Fast forward half a decade later, and it is hard to think of this band not putting on a solid show night in and night out. Chester Bennington has learned to use his voice (and his screech) as an emotional thermometer as well as a tool, and his voice is now as important to the band’s sound as any other instrument being played on stage.

 

Counter that with Mike Shinoda’s versatility has also become an integral part of the band’s performance, as his time at the piano and on the guitar gives the band an added dimension and allows a slow-down to help fans (as well as the band) to catch a breath during the 90-minute set.  That was never more apparent then when the lights came down and the first chords of The Little Things Give You Away were resonating across the arena. This ballad about Hurricane Karina not only brought the mood down a few notches, but allowed Shinoda and Bennington to prove the leaps they have made as artists. It also showed off the light show as massive screens hanging from the ceiling showed photos of Katrina’s destruction and also gave the impending feeling of being surrounded by water. The band also took the initiative to keep the set in a lull as it played Numb and continued the chance for the fans to catch their breaths before ending the set in a raucous, energy-filled half hour.

 

Not too many bands can continue to not just make innovative music, but make those innovations in a way that allow for long-time fans to continue their support and also help to be commercial viable enough to continue to draw in new fans year in and year out. But Linkin Park is one of those few bands that years down the road, will dedicate its success to the fact that it never stayed in a rut and always ventured far enough off the path to not get stale while still staying on a road that was smooth enough to travel.  

 

Linkin Park will continue its tour supporting the release of Minutes to Midnight and will then take its Projekt: Revolution tour across the pond to the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. In a matter of five short years, Linkin Park has completed the circle of taking its talents off stage and making them an on-stage strength. Where once the band seemed like six guys doing their own thing; Linkin Park has now become a solid unit that feeds off one another and uses the talents of each other to enhance the performance of everyone. Linkin Park is now a band, not a group of guys and that has made all the difference in helping the band become a top touring draw year in and year out.

Mike Shinoda
Brad Delson
Mike Shinoda
Chester Bennington
Chester Bennington & Brad Delson
Chester Bennington