It was a fist pumping, crowd surfing, head banging kick-off to The Hunting Party Tour at Amway Center Thursday night. Of Mice and Men warmed the crowd up with their head banging beat and growling lyrics, opening with Public Service Announcement. Feels Like Forever was a crowd favorite as was Another You. The band closed their set with You’re Not Alone to enthusiastic applause from the fans.
Rise Against brought their hardcore punk sound to the stage starting with Ready to Fall. Almost immediately a circle pit formed and the air was filled with fist pumping, hand clapping fans. Older favorites such as Behind Closed Doors and Prayer of the Refugee were mixed with songs from their newest album, Black Market, such as Tragedy + Time and I Don’t Want To Be Here. The band worked the crowd, with the raw emotion of their lyrics speaking to the fans. The personal relationship the band has with their audience is ever evident and appreciated. They closed their set with Savior to thunderous applause.
Linkin Park is the most widely acclaimed alternative rock band of today due in large part to their ability to produce lyrics that speak loudly to their audience combined with an ever evolving combination of rock, rap, electronica and beautiful harmonies. They took the stage and opened with the hard edged, raw lyrics of Guilty All The Same from their newest album, The Hunting Party. The audience was immediately clapping, fists in the air and crowd surfing. Their performance combined many of their most memorable songs such as One Step Closer, Runaway and Burn It Down with the newer glimpses of sadness and rejection such as Final Masquerade. Also from The Hunting Party is their condemnation of the future presented in Wastelands, followed by the haunting harmonies of pain from Castle of Glass. The entire band is ever aware of their fans as evidenced by Mike Shinoda asking if the girl in the front row, who was crying after Waiting For The End , was ok…to which she replied “tears of joy”. The band ended their set with Faint to fans screaming for more. Linkin Park returned to the stage for not one, not two encores but FIVE… A Place For My Head, New Divide, Crawling, What I’ve Done, and the ever popular Bleed It Out. It was a fabulous start to a fantastic tour by a truly stellar band.