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Download Festival 2014 – Linkin Park

Download Festival LogoThe guy next to me is crying – the tears are falling thick and fast down his face as he takes in what is happening on stage. No, it’s not due to frontman Mike Shinoda sporting a red wig as a tongue-in-cheek reference to his hair from the ‘One Step Closer’ video; it’s because of the sheer magnitude of the event in question that is currently unfolding.

Because for him, and a considerable number of the audience, it is no longer 2014. It is the dawn of the millennium, the beginning of a new age. Slipknot had gatecrashed the metal scene with their debut album the year before, Iron Maiden were about to make their triumphant return with Bruce, Adrian and Brave New World and we were still twelve months away from the debut release of a little band called Avenged Sevenfold. And 2000 was the year that Linkin Park gave the world Hybrid Theory, widely regarded as one of, if not the best album of the last decade. The band themselves are ten minutes late on stage, but the minute ‘Papercut’ begins to sound from the speakers all hell breaks loose. There are no pyrotechnics, no explosions or flames – just six guys, a ton of lights and screens and the knowledge that every single person in the audience is shouting every single word back as hard as they can. Linkin Park know how much the album means to people, they are fully aware that the record was a gateway for many to get into metal and heavy rock – and so they put everything they can into performing it. They might be fifteen years old but the songs are still as big as they were then, helped out by the fact that Chester Bennington’s voice is in an unbelievably good condition. From ‘One Step Closer’ to ‘With You’, ‘In The End’ to ‘A Place for My Head’ and the first full performance of ‘Cure for the Itch’ to closer ‘Pushing Me Away’ – it’s poetry in motion.

Naturally, despite the awesome light show that Linkin Park have, momentum is lost for the second half which is the best of the rest – and even THEN they left out ‘Faint’. That said, the new material sounds a lot better live than on record and there are still some huge numbers involved like ‘Numb’ and ‘What I’ve Done’. There are even three songs from new record ‘The Hunting Party’ which are standing as strong as the rest. Finishing with ‘Bleed It Out’ there is no encore to follow but that’s a minor criticism for the most part – tonight, history was witnessed and the hopes of many of the attendees at Download 2014 became a stunning reality

9/10

Setlist

Act One: Hybrid Theory

Papercut
One Step Closer
With You
Points of Authority
Crawling
Runaway
By Myself
In the End
A Place for My Head
Forgotten
A Cure for the Itch
Pushing Me Away

Act Two:

The Catalyst/Reqiuem
Guilty All The Same
Given Up
Wastelands
Burn It Down
Waiting for the End
Numb
Until It’s Gone
Lost in the Echo
New Divide
What I’ve Done
Bleed It Out

About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.