Attended Linkin Park’s One More Light Concert at the O2 Arena in London the other night (3rd July), and let’s just say that they have certainly redeemed themselves following the backlash of their most pop-sounding album to date in their live performance.
A hint of scepticism occurred when they opened with one of their songs from the One More Light album, Talking to Myself. Probably one of the most radio friendly songs on their new album. I personally disliked their choice of picking a new song as their opening number. They were better off singing The Catalyst like they had done at previous shows as it, from what I’ve seen from videos, really seemed to set the overall feel and mood of the rest of the show.
This scepticism continued until they sang another song from their latest album, Good Goodbye. One of my personal favourites off it. With Grime artist Stormzy featured in the song, I did like to think that he would make an appearance, and boy he did. His appearance made the whole venue go wild. I was from that moment on, the show got increasingly more fun and the atmosphere lifted.
Mike Shinoda’s rapping skills are incredible. A real crowd pleaser. Especially when rapping his verses to Hands Held High and Shinoda’s Fort Minor song Remember the Name. He deserves a lot more recognition for his talent as it is rare to find a decent rapper of Asian descent in the American music scene.
Frontman Chester Bennington has still got it. His stage presence and voice complimented each other very well and he sure knew how to entertain the crowd. But that is due to years of performing and singing. An advantage he has over a majority of lead singers within the same genre. His powerful voice echoed the arena, and on top of that, the echo of the crowd filling the arena was the cherry on the pie.
It was aesthetically pleasing to hear their older material rather than the material from their One More Light album. The extent of nostalgia hearing renditions of their most well-known songs such as In the End and Numb was thrilling. Particular favourites of mine were their piano version of Crawling and their live performance of Leave Out All the Rest which had a heavy intro that set a great atmosphere in the arena.
Their latest album was not my favourite, as I, like many long-term Linkin Park fans, have a preference in their Hybrid Theory and Meteora albums. The albums that define the signature sound of the band. I have a lot of respect for the band for experimenting and producing an album which would fit in with the mainstream market. However, Linkin Park is known for their rap/heavy rock style which was iconic back in the days.
The combination of their old and new songs during their set list was both nostalgic and fresh alike. The atmosphere of the show overall was immense and their performance was spectacular. I would highly recommend seeing them live if you want to feel like going back to the music scene back in the 2000’s.