LINKIN PARK, COHEED & CAMBRIA AND CHIODOS, E Center, Saturday
Four years ago, Linkin Park rocked the E Center. The band returned Saturday night to continue what it started.
This year, the band members singer Chester Bennington, vocalist Mike Shinoda, sampler/keyboardist Joe Hahn, guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Phoenix and drummer Rob Bourdon were leaner and meaner as they kicked off their set with the million-dollar single "What I've Done," from the band's most recent album "Minutes to Midnight."
The extravagant, aluminum-beam, multitiered stage highlighted by a movable drum riser and keyboard platform was lighted by five mobile LED screens that twisted and glided above the band members.
Other computer-programmed and manned spotlights also created a well-choreographed light show that enhanced older Linkin Park hits, such as "Don't Stay," "Somewhere I Belong," "In the End" and "Papercut."
Delson's chunky guitar chords and soaring leads were backed by the funky rhythms of Phoenix and Bourdon.
Hahn's sound samples and keyboard riffs gave way to Bennington's raspy tenor and Shinoda's syncopated raps.
Band members were all smiles during another new song, "In Pieces," because they as well as the sold-out audience could feel the kinetic energy in the ultra-tight set.
There was only a little glitch when Bourdon and Phoenix failed to hear Delson's guitar picking cue-in to "Valentine's Day."
One of the biggest cheers of the evening came when the band launched into the bell-chime intro to the breakthrough hit "Crawling," from the debut album "Hybrid Theory." The cheers and sing-alongs continued with "Numb" and the current single, "Shadow of the Day."
In an intimate moment, Shinoda took over the keyboards and acoustic guitar while Bennington stood front and center and began "The Little Things Give You Away." The other band members emerged and finished the song with a bang.
But it was "Bleed It Out" that served as the show capper. With the frantic delivery from both Bennington and Shinoda, the song took off on an extended interlude that featured a Bourdon drum solo.
All this came after two ear-ripping sets from opening bands Chiodos and Coheed & Cambria.
Chiodos was first on stage, and the band's aggressive metal was sometimes lost in the E Center's cavernous rafters. But the band had its following and emerged strong.
Coheed & Cambria was on top of its game with its brand of prog-metal. The New Yorkers took the audience on a sci-fi trip filled with end-of-the-world tales and finger-bleeding solos.However, in the end, it was Linkin Park that put the icing on the show.