The Honda Civic Tour featuring Linkin Park and Incubus made its way into the Shoreline Amphitheater and was greeted by a capacity crowd. The diverse audience proved the point that Linkin Park has managed to stay relevant for over a decade. A few teenagers sat next to their dad in the front row while the general admission lawn had a lower average age. This tour was what fans of the band have come to expect. An elaborate stage set, solid vocals, and Chester Bennington’s very unique showmanship.
Before the most watched rock band on YouTube hit the stage, it was Incubus that captivated the audience. Although they aren’t the most current band on the tour circuit, they’re still a draw. And vocalist Brandon Boyd hasn’t lost a step. After multiple times on hiatus, a few Harvard classes for guitarist Mike Einzinger, and Boyd’s solo effort, the group is finally back.
Their most recent album “If Not Now, When?” was released last summer and the title certainly rang true. Incubus was heading for discount bins and oldies radio. Judging by their spirited performance in front of thousands of screaming fans, they’re back. They may have kids and wives and Harvard degrees, but it doesn’t make them any less rock and roll. Boyd’s voice was on point, the fans were singing along with the majority of the material and the last five minutes of the set said the most. A long video montage played as Einzinger’s guitar whined against an amp. These guys still have a few arena tours left in them.
Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda both have strong personalities. When the two of them are shoulder to shoulder on a massive stage in front of a sold out arena they’re unstoppable. The band filed out from the wings one by one. The crescendo of applause rose as the dynamic duo made their way out. Bennington and company don’t waste much time with small talk. They launched into a set that would last 90 minutes and whip the audience into a deafening frenzy.
Yes, Linkin Park’s hooks do start to sound the same four songs into a long set. But when the songs are unforgettable and played to perfection, they’re allowed to sound the same. Casual fans of the band may not enjoy the entirety of the set. But diehard fans do. And Linkin Park has turned many a casual fan into the diehard variety.
Bennington has a way about him on stage. He manically stalks back and forth, hits a note on cue in front of the fans stage right then careens back towards stage left to give those fans equal amounts of face time. This routine repeats itself throughout the set and no one ever tires of having Bennington doubled over screaming right in front of them. Shinoda, on the other hand, is a tad more controlled. What makes these two so entertaining, is that vocally, they fit perfectly, even though they’re two completely different styles. But they come together as one without a hitch.
The group performed a lot of material from “Living Things,” the new album that was released this summer. They were sure to cover the hit catalog as well and each fan got to hear their favorite. Linkin Park is what a rock show should be. Great music, stage theatrics and an arena full of enthusiastic fans.