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Dinner at Grandma's

Linkin Park steamed up their fans into one big sing-along at their concert at the Padang on Tuesday. No swearing required

Linkin Park
The Padang

AMERICAN nu-metal sextet Linkin Park felt that they had to hold back a little at their concert on Tuesday, not that their fans minded.

Vocalist Chester Bennington and rapper Mike Shinoda leapt off crates set up on stage as they performed, while DJ Joseph Hahn head-banged manically to the music as he scratched along to their vocals.

But in an earlier interview backstage with Life!, Bennington revealed that he was going to curb his behaviour because of censorship sensitivities here.

'Usually, I cuss a lot on stage,' he said. 'And I spit to clear my throat. I'm not sure I'll be doing that here.'

Onstage, Bennington would occasionally walk behind the drums to guzzle water and was seen discreetly hacking onto the floor when his back was turned to the crowd.

And true enough, not one swear word escaped his lips.

'I don't think it takes away from the performance,' he said. 'Our songs don't have vulgarities in them anyway.'
Grinning, he added: 'It's a little like being at grandma's for dinner. You can't cuss, so you can't say things like, pass the f****** boiled carrots, b****.'

Not that the crowd, which numbered around 15,000, and included pre-teen kids as well as adults, cared.

Instead of buying tickets, some fans stood outside the Padang watching the large screens televising the performance on either side of the stage.

Others camped out by the Esplanade, where the music could clearly be heard.
But the Padang was the place to be. The audience was warmed up by opening act Korean band Pia, a nu-metal band flown in by Linkin Park.

By the time the stars took the stage at 9.30pm, the crowd was pumped.
They practically drowned out Bennington's vocals as they sang along to songs like Somewhere I Belong and Breaking The Habit, off the band's latest album Meteora, which they played almost in its entirety.

The crowd even helped Bennington out by singing for him when he forgot the words to the first verse of Numb.

After a 1 1/2-hour set which included a three-song encore with hits from their first album Hybrid Theory, the band, which flew home to Los Angeles yesterday, was not ready to leave the stage.

Hahn threw his sweat-soaked towels and Bennington and Shinoda tossed water bottles to the thirsty crowd.

'You have to come to a concert to see us play to get the real deal,' drummer Rob Bourdon had told Life! in a phone interview earlier this month.

The band proved that on Tuesday night, and showed that music is never quite as good as when it is played live.

The Straits Times - June 24, 2004



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