Late in 2013 Linkin Park announced a special private show in Las Vegas to help raise money for relief efforts in the Philippines. On January 10, 2014 after the band announced a partnership with Infinity Speakers at CES Linkin Park made good on this promise.
Having only played two concerts in the US last year including one in Las Vegas and one in Hollywood for the Sunset Strip Music Festival, the anticipation for the show at the Hard Rock was almost too much for fans to bare. With a sold out crowd at The Joint in Las Vegas chanting for the iconic LA band, finally the lights went low and the subtle ethereal piano of ‘Wake’ from Minutes to Midnight cruised through the concert hall.
Slowly the cheer from the crowd dies down and a backlit Rob Bourdon on drums appears on the platform, only to be joined in front by a shadowy Brad Delson on guitar. As soon as the drums and guitars did their thing however, the real show started and both Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda shot out from the darkness to flow right into ‘Given Up’ receiving huge praise from the audience.
With Chester screaming his heart out and working every inch of the stage it was clear why Linkin Park has had so much success over the years. Working with 5 chart topping albums to pull from, LP put on a veritable hits parade. Performing just under 20 songs in 90 minutes and including 15 singles including old favorites like ‘Somewhere I Belong’, ‘Breaking The Habit’, and new tracks like ‘Lost in The Echo’ and ‘Castle of Glass’.
With nearly 15 years of incredible music behind them, LP pulled in fans from all ages, while walking through the crowd, one could easily bump into an aging rock fan, or his rebellious teenage daughter. Judging from the massive amounts of ‘clap-to-the-beat’ sessions and explosions of joy, I don’t think anyone left the show disappointed in the song selection. Clearly no matter what point you became a Linkin Park fan, they surely played your favorites.
Aside from completely owning the stage, and rocking thousands of fans all night long, both Bennington and Shinoda took several moments to thank the audience for all the support and love that they have given them, and Mike even went as far as hopping on the guard rail and grabbing audience members cell phones to take up close photos of himself during ‘In The End’.
Closing out the standard set was ‘Bleed It Out’ which Bennington encouraged the crowd to sing back at him, and then as quickly as the band appeared at the start of the night, they vanished once more into the darkness. A wait of maybe 7-10 minutes filled with the ever escalating cheers and screams from the audience hoping for an Encore took place, and then a single bass tone ensured their praise would not go un answered. At the sound of a sustained synth marking the start of ‘Faint’ the crowd once again called out in ecstasy.
Shinoda’s rapping and Bennington’s howls proved to work the audience over yet again, and when they closed the night with ‘One Step Closer’ from their debut album Hybrid Theory the fan collective just about lost it. If you were shorter than six feet tall at that point you probably didn’t see the rest of the show because everyone I saw was jumping for joy.
In the end, Linkin Park threw down an incredible live show and raised a good chunk of change for their relief efforts in the Philippines. If you managed to miss this show (which is probably the case, unless you flew out to Vegas) you hopefully caught the abridged version of their set at their ‘Music For Relief’ show with The Offspring, Bad Religion and other guests which took place the night after at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
If you would like to contribute to the relief efforts in the Philippines or learn more about Music For Relief you can visit their website here, or text "MFR" to 85944 and donate yourself.