Monday March 10, 2008 – Arco Arena, Sacramento
I’m usually not one to attend rock shows in the arena setting because the sound quality usually blows and beers are like twelve bucks, but when the opportunity presented itself to see one of the largest tours of the year thus far, I couldn’t resist. When rumors first surfaced in late ‘07 that Linkin Park would be touring alongside Coheed & Cambria and Chidos, my initial reaction was that of complete confusion. It was indeed an odd grouping of bands but certainly set the stage for a very successful tour beginning on February 12 in Omaha, Nebraska and ending Monday night at Arco Arena in Sacramento.
Unfortunately, we missed the opening act Chiodos. Sometimes things just don’t work out as planned when you are on the guess list for a show of this magnitude. While we patiently waited in the security booth area for our passes I could hear the Michigan based post-hardcore sextet, and see them on a tiny little TV screen, so that was better than nothing I suppose. I cannot comment on whether or not they put on a good show, but from my past experiences seeing them live, I think it is safe to say that they did.
When I entered the actual arena I was immediately heartbroken. There was one beer garden and the line stretched half way around the building. On top of that they were only selling one drink per person so my plan of convincing someone at the front of the line to buy me one was out of the question. It was a bummer, but at least we had legit seats because Coheed & Cambria played so well it surely would have floored me. Armed with two female back up singers and an arsenal of songs from their four rock-opera albums, Coheed seemed at home on such an immense stage. Although the majority of the crowd was obviously there to see Linkin Park, they proved worthy of the coveted main support slot when songs like “The Running Free,” and “Welcome Home” got the crowd both excited and involved. After a lengthy and impressive set the band announced their thanks to LP for bringing them out on the road, and headed back to their bus for the final time on this tour.
It was during the set change before Linkin Park that I noticed a strange phenomenon occurring. People’s eyes seemed to be glued to a couple very large screens on the sides of the stage that were displaying text messages being sent by crowd members to a number posted on the screen. What could be so interesting about that you ask? I can’t personally tell you but the many thousands of people in attendance seemed addicted to it. The messages varied from, “Scream if you support the troops,” to, “Scream if you are tired of screaming,” which was my favorite. When the giant text message screens stopped functioning the crowd was furious, but they were soon rewarded as Linkin Park rose onto stage from a number of elevators. It was without question a grand entrance to an overwhelming applause. Although they are not my favorite band in the world with their nu-metal/rap-rock fusion, Linkin Park sure knows how to satisfy a nearly sold out arena. Everyone in attendance rose to their feet and sang back the words of co-front men Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda. Playing songs off of all three of their albums including last years Minutes to Midnight, Linkin Park proved they are among the top few rock acts in the world.