Linkin Park, currently headlining on The Carnivores Tour, pulled into the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., on Monday, Aug. 18. The tour has been working its way through North America and also features 30 Seconds to Mars, while AFI has been opening most dates.
The show started promptly at 6:30 p.m. with AFI playing a 45-minute set. Touring in support of "Burials," Vocalist Davey Havok's energy was full-tilt from their opening, "The Leaving Song, Part II." They followed with "Girl's Not Grey," hitting the crowd with a double-shot from their 2003 album "Sing the Sorrow." Havok was confined to the stage, he made his way through the amphitheater, stopping to sing to fans along the way.
30 Seconds to Mars could have been the headliner, given the crowd response they received throughout the show. Charismatic frontman Jared Leto resembled Jesus as he paced the stage. His long hair and beard were blowing in the wind beneath a gold crown that wrapped around his head, while his frequently outstretched arms added to that vision. Their set was balanced with material from 2013's "Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams," opening with "Up in the Air" and finishing with a "City of Angels" sing-along and "End of All Days."
Leto joined the crowd twice during their performance. The first time he bolted off the stage and mingled with fans in the upper section for "Kings and Queens." The latter jaunt was an organized transition to the center of the amphitheater for a solo, two song acoustic performance after the set proper where he performed "The Kill (Bury Me), "Alibi" and portion of "Hurricane." The stripped down version of "The Kill" made for the highlight of the show, the sheer strength of the crowd singing the chorus emphasized the enorous power of music.
Linkin Park took the night to another level when they hit the stage a little after 9:15 p.m. They erupted into "Guilty All the Same," the lead single from their latest effort, "The Hunting Party." They followed with a barrage of hits that included "Given Up," "Points of Authority" and "One Step Closer" that had fans thrusting their fists to the sky.
It should be emphasized how clean Linkin Park sounded--musically and vocally--despite their frenetic stage presence. Vocalists Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda constantly orbited the stage, launched off risers and interacted with the fans without missing a beat.
The Carnivores Tour runs for another month, moving into the Midwest then toward Texas before concluding for a run of dates along the West Coast. It is recommended that fans grab a ticket, the trio of multi-platinum artists on a single bill is just too good to miss.
Remaining tour dates (Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars and AFI):
Aug. 21 - Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
Aug. 23 - Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean-Drapeau
Aug. 24 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
Aug. 26 - St Paul, MN @ Minnesota State Fair
Aug. 27 - Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre
Aug. 29 - Tinley Park, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Aug. 30 - Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
Sept. 5 - The Woodlands, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sept. 6 - Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
Sept. 8 - Englewood, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
Sept. 10 - Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center
Sept. 11 - Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Sept. 13 - Quincy, WA @ The Gorge Amphitheatre
Sept. 15 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Hollywood Bowl
Sept. 16 - Chula Vista, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sept. 18 - Wheatland, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sept. 19 - Concord, CA @ Concord Pavilion