Linkin Park & 30 Seconds To Mars: Carnivores Tour at Air Canada Centre

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
So, this is kinda random, but I went with my friend Ronsee to see Linkin Park on Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre. I say "kinda random," because I hadn't really given Linkin Park that much thought since, like, middle school. I mean, we all know their huge singles but the only album of theirs I actually own is Hybrid Theory, which I bought in Grade 8 (my "nu metal" phase, obviously). I don't think they were really ever one of my favourite bands, but I've always respected them because they try to keep things new and fresh and still have relevance after all this time (even after the early 2000s, when "nu metal" had the most prominence, Linkin Park still managed to retain their popularity and win Grammys along the way). Anyway, we just wanted to go to a big, loud, testosterone-fueled rock show and just have fun. So that's what we did. And if the insane amount of people in the audience is any indication (it was a sold out arena concert!), Linkin Park is still going strong.

So I only knew like, six of the songs they played (like, literally, I can list them here: "One Step Closer," "Leave Out All the Rest," "Numb," "In the End," "Crawling," and "What I've Done"), but boy, do they put on a show. Their set was just so well-executed. A good mix of old songs and new songs, big singles and lesser known tracks. Their stage was visually stunning, too, like the lights and projectors were artists in their own right. And, when it comes down to it, they sound fantastic live; I mean, it's clear that these guys are seasoned musicians, but they play their hearts out and Chester still has a damn good set of pipes on him (and, holy crap, dude is fit as hell!). I can definitely see why they still have such a huge following. I do wish they were more interactive with the audience, though. It's almost as if they've done this for so long that they just don't care to be personable anymore. I wonder if they even bother to find out what city they're in. I guess it doesn't really matter if they keep playing well; it's just a little disheartening.

On the flip side, 30 Seconds to Mars, who is co-headlining with Linkin Park on this tour (they are the opening band), was extremely interactive with the audience. Something has to be said for Jared Leto — Oscar-winning actor or not, the guy has some incredible charm and stage presence (rocking a dress and a Jesus haircut, too!). He talked with the crowd, pulled people up on stage, actually walked around and into the audience, and really made sure we knew how much they appreciated being in Toronto and how much this city means to them (to the point where he performed an entire song while waving the Canadian flag). He even performed an acoustic solo set in the centre of the general admission area so that he could get closer to the people in the back of the arena. Most importantly, they sound fantastic live, and Jared has proved that he can really belt it. I haven't actually listened to any of their music since the release of their debut album back in 2002 and I didn't know a single song off their setlist, but they were just so entertaining to watch and made for a really memorable experience. (Photos after the break.)

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