Epic. A word that I've been using to describe lots of things recently. Also, a word that has no other substitutes when it comes to describing last night. The opening band was called The Prodigy, an English electronic group that specializes in hardcore rave-style music. At first I wasn't impressed by their efforts to get the crowd jazzed up by using the technique of shouting f**k every other word, with no actual meaningful language in between. They didn't need this strategy, because after feeling a few of their insanely loud techno beats pump through my body, I (and the audience) was definitely on board for some fun. Other than the music, what I was most dazzled by during this half of the show was the light choreography. Burst of reds, blues, yellows, greens, and pinks were flashing constantly along with the beat, as if thousands of skittles had been shaken up in a giant bottle and forced to explode from the energy. A few of the pictures I took on my phone and camera somewhat captured this, but nothing compares to the video I started taping when I unexpectedly heard the song that my drill team danced to for our jazz dance in 2008. Actually, now that I'm playing it back on the computer, I'm reminded of just how crazy the lights were - this is a sad thing to say but I'm sure anyone with epilepsy would've been in a really dangerous situation.
Following The Prodigy was a lengthy break during which we could chat and observe the daring tech crew hang out at least 100 feet above the ground while setting up different things up top. Concert buddy and I pondered how intense the fireworks and lights would be for the main show, but I'm actually pleased to say pyrotechnics were absent and ridiculous lights were minimal. The epicness of Linkin Park's show came from their perfect delivery of the songs, the enthusiasm every band member put into it, and the pure fire within the entire crowd that comes from so much love and support of this great band. When there was not sound coming from the speakers, there was plenty of it coming from the audience, because rarely did we stop cheering at the end of a song before the next.
Yes, the displays on the background screen were very cool and created the right ambiance, but I think it's safe to say Linkin Park's success was due to the songs they played. Every old-school LP fan would've been satisfied by their selection that included more of their original hits and less of the not-as-popular ones from the newer albums. I was so pleased when their last song of the encore ended up being One Step Closer, from Hybrid Theory, which is one of my absolute favorites. I can assure you I could not have been rocking out harder during their last few numbers, when I wished the night would never end. Comparing this experience to last week's smaller concert that I attended, back then I wanted it to last longer in hopes of hearing better stuff, but with Linkin Park, I just wanted the already-there perfection to keep going and going. On the drive home while listening to their other music, I just kept thinking how awesome it would've been if they could have played EVERY song from Hybrid Theory and Meteora (at least).
If I haven't stressed this enough, here's me saying again how happy I am that their MUSIC is what makes them great. In contrast, I love Nickelback and all, but I honestly don't think they would rock as much live if they didn't have the whole beer-party-fireworks thing going on. LP was true to their hits, with occasional trippy visual effects and some gnarly auto-tuned creep music that placed you in another world. And when you read the words "auto-tuned," don't think Ke$ha or Kanye West, because it was different and a lot cooler than that.
Venue-wise, I'm starting to love arenas. Here's why:
a) I get to sit down in an actual chair with a back. So much more comfort than standing for 4 hours!
b) There are clean bathrooms with more than two stalls.
c) Multiple food choices
d) It's almost guaranteed that everyone there wants to have a good time and has huge support for the main band. Never will you be let down by the collective enthusiasm of the crowd in a stadium setting.
e) You can take really cool pictures that capture the epicness of the whole stage and surrounding area. Like these! As a wrap-up of this post, my favorite shots of the night: