We Moved! WE MOVED

Today Online Tour Article

Friday, February 11, 2005

A Gig Less Ordinary
November 2007

Despite a one-hour delay, rowdy fans and a broken arm, Linkin Park's concert was 'all too beautiful'
To willingly stand in the middle of the general admission area of rock band Linkin Park's concert can be a foolhardy thing. After all, their fans have been known to do some strange things. Take, for example, the man who asked guitarist/rapper Mike Shinoda to autograph his baby.

"It's true! I think it was in Thailand, but this guy just came up to me and asked me to sign his baby, and handed me a permanent marker," Shinoda said in a pre-gig interview with Today.

"Looking back, I think I only did it because he surprised me. I mean, there are a millions other things I could sign instead!"

"We've had some strange moments, but we try to refrain from as many odd encounters as possible," said singer Chris Bennington. "We've refined that process."

"Yeah," agreed DJ Joe Hahn. "The goal for us is to strive for normalcy — like go to sleep on time, eat decent meals, hang out with friends — because the situation we're in is not the most normal."

"Not the most normal" would be a good way to describe their third concert in Singapore on Tuesday night, when Linkin Park wowed a sell-out crowd of 11,000 at the Indoor Stadium. (The band had performed a thundering set to 15,000 people at the Padang in 2004, and also packed out the Indoor Stadium early last year.) The army of mainly angsty 20-somethings was already impatient by the time the concert started an hour behind schedule at 9pm. When the band kicked off with a medley of Wake/Given Up, the charge that ripped through the stadium was palpably thick.

Linkin Park proceeded to play a two-hour show that featured selections from their latest album, Minutes To Midnight, as well as their big hits such as Numb, Somewhere I Belong, Breaking The Habit and In The End. But things threatened to get ugly about four songs into the concert, when rowdy fans started surging forward, prompting Shinoda to stop the show momentarily to get the crowd to cooperate with stadium officials.

"Okay, you guys have to move back from the barricades so that no one gets hurt," he told the audience. Turning to the band, he added, "It looks like Live Earth all over again."

During the band's segment at the Live Earth concert in Japan earlier this year, fans broke down the barricades and people were crushed, stopping the show for about 10 to 15 minutes. A few songs later, Bennington, who had broken his arm during the Australian leg of this tour ("You can check it out on YouTube" he said.), found himself the target of overenthusiastic fans after he jumped from the stage and into the audience during a song.

"You guys are ruthless," he growled after clamouring back on stage. "You grabbed my broken arm, man! The next time someone touches me, I'm going to hit (that person)," he threatened half-jokingly.

"Would you hit me if I touched you?" queried Shinoda. "How about if I squeezed your buttocks?"
Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the concert continued without a hitch.

For their part, Linkin Park really cranked it up, and the crowd responded, chanting the choruses whenever a mic was pointed in their direction, standing up when prompted, and flicking their lighters and mobile phones when asked. To an outsider, the concert would be akin to a wall of white noise. To put it another way, Black Sabbath's recent gig was a polite garden party compared to this show. But to fans, it was — to paraphrase rock band The Small Faces — all too beautiful.

"We like to play (in) Singapore. It's excellent," remarked Shinoda. "Singapore may seem boring to you because you're from here," added Hahn. "But not for us." "It's important to us and to fans, and it's fun!" added Bennington. And, unlike in Thailand, we don't use babies for rock stars to scribble on.

thanks to lptimes.com