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Wednesday August 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday August 21, 2013 MYT 11:54:34 AM
by sharmila nair
Linkin Park’s lead vocalist Chester Bennington proved that he could scream for more than an hour and still not lose his voice.
Linkin Park took a decade to return to Malaysia, but its Monday night concert was well worth the wait.
THE show was supposed to start at 8pm and 40 minutes later, Linkin Park was still nowhere to be seen on stage. (I know, I checked my watch. Twice.)
It was cold, the venue was wet from the evening’s downpour, and somebody thought that it would be a great idea to place an industrial-sized fan blowing directly towards the area which accommodated the media.
I was shivering like a Chihuahua, my hair was all frizzy and my shoulder was acting up but no, none of it had anything to do with Linkin Park’s Living Things World Tour. I was just annoyed ... really annoyed.
But all that changed the moment Tinfoil blared from the speakers at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and the music slowly faded into the intro for fan favourite Faint.
Annoyed, who ... me? Never happened.
The earlier atmosphere, which was creepily quiet for a nu metal and rap rock hybrid concert, disappeared as the 20,000 fans in the arena made their presence felt and whoa, they were loud.
In his usual cool demeanour, turntablist Joe Hahn got the party started and the band’s lead vocalist Chester Bennington, rapper Mike Shinoda, guitarist Brad Delson, bass guitarist Dave Farrell and drummer Rob Bourdon kept it going throughout the concert.
The band didn’t waste any more time and cruised through three songs, including Papercut and Given Up before Bennington stopped to take a breath and greet the fans.
“Sama-sama, thank you for being here,” he said, not realising that his Bahasa Malaysia wasn’t up to snuff, but seriously, with the kind of talent and stage presence Bennington possesses, he could’ve spoken in an alien language for all the crowd cared.
You know, sometimes, when an artiste performs live, and you kind of wish that they didn’t? Well, no one could wish that for Linkin Park as the band sounded incredible in a live setting and performed their tracks with nary a glitch. The last time the sextet was in Malaysia was a decade ago, and although many fans had claimed that the 2003 concert was awesome, there’s no denying that Monday’s show was just as good ... or even better.
Maybe that is how this crew always rolls, or maybe it’s because Kuala Lumpur is the final stop in the Living Things World Tour. Still, the boys gave their all throughout the concert like it was their last show ... ever. Even as the band reached the end of its set, Bennington’s voice never once cracked after screaming his lungs out for almost every track. Drenched in sweat and soaked by Malaysia’s humidity, it’s a wonder he didn’t fall flat dehydrated on stage.
Shinoda alternated playing the guitar, sampling pad and keyboard as the band performed most of its hit tracks such as Somewhere I Belong, Points Of Authority, Numb, One Step Closer, In The End and Bleed It Out and as he had told The Star in a telephone interview last month, the band used this as an opportunity to road-test their new material off their latest album, Living Things.
“This is the last show for the rest of the year. We’ll be working on new material and playing games on Facebook. We want to say thank you to those who have been with us all these years,” he told the screaming fans.
If there was one thing that was more awesome than the band that night, it had to be the crowd. Maybe it was the effect Linkin Park had on them, or they just wanted to get rid of their Monday blues by screaming their hearts out, but simply said, the fans were downright fantastic.
It was amazing to see them jump and sing along to the songs and the band definitely fed off their infectious energy.
Even when the band did the whole “we’ll disappear from the stage and let you guys scream for an encore” jig, the crowd knew what to do – call out the band’s name until they re-appeared. Seriously, you have no idea how many bands have seen the crowd disperse when the lights go off at a concert’s final minutes without knowing how the “encore jig” works. It’s pretty embarrassing and I’ve witnessed similar incidents with international acts here.
Anyway, the band was awesome and the crowd was perfect and together, it was a concert that was worth the 10-year wait.
Now that I think about it, maybe Bennington wasn’t wrong in saying “Sama-sama” (You’re welcome) instead of “Terima kasih” at the beginning of the concert. I guess its us who have to thank the band for choosing Malaysia as its final stop in the Tour and giving us a Monday night we’ll remember for a long time. So, here we go – thank you Linkin Park.
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