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hahninator

STP 08.12.2013 Jacksonville, FL

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Preston and I decided to head down to Jacksonville, FL for the X102.9 Big Ticket show, which was at Metro Park. I previously had seen PlanetFest there in 2009, which had Papa Roach, Jet, Chevelle, Halestorm, etc. The venue is nice...it's a permanent stage in a park set up with room for about 4-5 thousand. Weather predictions were 80+ with sunshine but in all actuality when we arrived after a delicious hibachi lunch, it was about 60 with clouds, fog and it was dropping. Preston had to retrieve his jacket after we grabbed our tickets and I don't blame him.

 

Enough with the pre-show babbling.... We rolled in when Dirty Heads was on, which sounds like a 311-type band. Good songs and they asked for everyone to make some noise for their man Chester Bennington, which was cool. I'd say the crowd had about 3,000-4,500 people there, which is good for a rock show on a Sunday night. After Dirty Heads, Jimmy Eat World came on. They are one of my favorite bands out there and this performance was my third time seeing them since 2008. It was my first chance to see the new songs from Damage live. Opening up with A Praise Chorus, a song I actually haven't seen them play before, the energy never let down! The crowd was really explosive. While Bleed American in the second spot is a bit odd, they fucking jammed and I really enjoyed their performance. Pain, Work, Sweetness and The Middle exploded the crowd but the band really jammed the hardest on My Best Theory in my opinion. The new songs that they played, which included I Will Steal You Back, Appreciation and Damage, were all great. Don't forget Big Casino in there too, that was fucking great and is my favorite song by them. I definitely have to see a headlining show by them for this album!

 

Their setlist was:

A Praise Chorus

Bleed American

I Will Steal You Back

Big Casino

My Best Theory

Appreciation

Pain

Work

Damage

Last Christmas (Wham! cover)

Sweetness

The Middle

 

After JEW, we moved up a lot in the crowd to about the fifth row. I was surprised I was able to get up this close but I knew disaster was about to strike since A Day To Remember was next. The first time I saw them was when they opened for Rise Against in Atlanta in 2012 and I definitely knew I was about to die in the crowd. I've never seen a band where people continually shove the everliving fuck out of you and seem to enjoy it. The crowdsurfers were becoming obnoxious and the shoving with 10+ people falling over at one point and insane moshing was about enough for me to call it quits right there and evacuate the crowd. Preston actually left to go get a drink and said fuck it, which is what I should have done. Their mix was terrible and I really was unimpressed although they have good production and tons of energy. The "la la la" slow song was alright. At the end of their set, the guitarist tossed his guitar to a fan in the crowd by me. Long story short, this guy had seen like 5+ shows in a row and the guitar tech took it back, but he later came to retrieve the fan to go on the tour bus for a M&G and to hang out for a bit. Not bad.

 

Moving on, Mars was next. By this point, the ADTR crazy people had launched me up to second row. It just so happened that the people in front of me were huge ADTR fans and evacuated so I squeezed in to front row. I was dead fucking center right in front of the micstand so I knew this was a flawless spot to see Chester.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like 30STM in general but wow I was very unimpressed by their performance. I wasn't expecting much since the Rock am Ring webcast I watched by them was terrible. Jared sings maybe 10% of the songs and continually dances around in his black coat and yells "SING IT. SING IT TO THE SKY. LET ME HEAR YOU." the entire show. The Kill acoustic was cool until he decided to sing just a few lines from it. Add their weird fucking stage design to it and the fact that he isn't even singing the songs just made it unenjoyable as hell. Hurricane, Attack and From Yesterday weren't played, which sucks because those are my favorite 3 songs and The Kill was acoustic (with the crowd singing), so there goes my 4 top songs by them. He brought up the whole front row on the last song but I said fuck this so I could keep the spot for STP. Definitely wasn't interested. This band is VERY overrated, they should not be headlining arenas or festivals, and Jared Leto's diva bullshit is obnoxious as it gets. Telling the crowd to "yell that you want my balls" is ridiculous. I like their studio stuff quite a bit (the last two albums are GREAT) but they are downright pathetic live and I literally was astonished at how bad they were. Maybe if Jared would actually sing the songs live instead of holding the microphone out to the crowd the ENTIRE show and/or stopped acting like Jesus on stage then we could talk business. I couldn't figure out how many people were actually in the band either with the odd stage setup. The STP drumkit was literally right next to the 30STM one so all I could see was the one guy playing electronic samples, the drums and the guitar the whole show, Jared, and the drummer. Are there just 3 people?

 

Anyway, on with the show. I was very excited 30STM was finally over and that all the preteen girls around me were evacuating by the boatload. Their fanbase is very young it seems. Moving on, the STP stage setup is really professional and looks really good. After only about 20 minutes, they were on. A complete barrage of photographers set up in front of me but oh well, the more publicity the better for them. And I mean like 20+ photographers lol, who were only up there for STP and no other band. Really interesting. They were there for 3 songs but weren't THAT obnoxious. Before I review the set, I am not a big STP fan and I only had seen them in 2009 with Scott, which was a really bad show in my opinion.

 

Down opened, which is my favorite STP song right now because Chester just nails it. He comes out in all black...black shoes, black pants, black shirt, black jacket, and black shades looking like a complete fucking badass. Down is a JAM and he just nails it and is instantly all over the entire stage side-to-side. He is VERY into the show and is really rocking big. I love this song opening and I hope they don't ever drop it because it's filthy. The high notes are NAILED and the part where he goes insanely high on "nice to know me" etc at the very end was fantastic.

 

A few songs in, the crowd starts really getting into it surprisingly. Lots of people evacuated after ADTR and again after Mars but there were still over 3,500 there for STP. Vasoline's intro drums are awesome and he jumped off the drumkit again, which was cool. At this point I'm noticing how stellar the sound is and how great the rest of the band is playing. The guitar was spot on and very impressive. Dead & Bloated exploded the crowd and Chester was BLOWING UP. He easily looks like he has 100x more fun playing STP songs right now than the Linkin Park stuff. He has the micstand but isn't using it very much at all.

 

He gave a short little speech about the crowd, about Jacksonville, saying like he hasn't been in this area in many years, lol. I don't think LP has ever even played that city. He's cussing, he's rocking, he's having a great time. Already before the sixth song he's talked more in this performance than he has at the last 6+ LP shows I've seen. He looks like he's having the time of his life. Out Of Time was EXPLOSIVE. I wasn't a big fan of the studio version but this song is a monster live. The DBS-esque high vocals there are ehh but I really do love it live. Surprisingly a lot of people around me knew this song and were rocking. A lot of Linkin Park fans were in attendance and there just for Chester so of course the two songs they know are Out Of Time and Black Heart since apparently from the explanations I was given by people I met, the local radio station has been playing the shit out of those 2 songs. People love it.

 

Big Empty was really great as was Interstate Love Song but Black Heart was just a complete jam. Again, the new songs are coming off really well live. I was astonished at how well they fit in with the rest of the set. He went down in the crowd on both Big Empty and Interstate Love Song, which was really cool. Then he gave yet another little speech and introduced Pop's Love Suicide. That song is great live! Next came the highlight of the show for me. Sex Type Thing. That song is fucking epic live! Chester came down to the girl next to me. He actually fell off the front of the fucking stage lol...he tried to jump down and busted his ass but fuck it, he came over and stood up on the railing! He sang a minute and a half of the song RIGHT NEXT TO ME and was just shaking every hand in the crowd, nailing the fucking song. Really impressive.

 

On Wicked Garden, the band went over at different times and shook hands with a kid in a wheelchair on the side of the stage that STP had brought up there. He was watching from between the stage and the crowd but halfway through the show, the crew lifted him up to side-stage and the band immediately noticed. Very cool for them to go over there and see him. He had an STP pass and everything.

 

Piece Of Pie was really heavy and a good song too. After that song, Chester said they had to cut the set short, which immediately literally pissed everyone off. People started booing (not at Chester, but at the fact STP has to end) and Chester said "Fuck it, we'll play two more then. I want to play Sex & Violence." which caught the whole band off guard and the crowd blew up. After a guitar change, he said "Sex & Violence!" and they launched into it. Shit it's heavy! Trippin' followed and the whole band came to the front of the stage as everyone chanted STP-STP-STP at the end to do their bow. Chester even got on the micstand after the show was over and talked about how great the crowd was and how he wants to take us on tour with him. Not fucking bad!

 

The setlist was:

Down

Big Bang Baby

Vasoline

Dead & Bloated

Out Of Time

Big Empty

Black Heart

Interstate Love Song

Pop's Love Suicide

Sex Type Thing

Wicked Garden

Piece Of Pie

Sex & Violence

Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart

 

In summary, I am going to have to say that I like Chester as the FRONTMAN of this band a lot more than I like him with Linkin Park. Of course I like the LP music a ton more, but after seeing 20 Linkin Park shows, I was blown away at how much happier and more into the show he seemed with STP. He was dancing everywhere, jumping off of the drumkit riser, jumping down to the crowd, etc. He looked like a badass but just so relaxed...like no LP big security everywhere, etc, he could do what he pleased. He even got the band to play another song just because he fucking felt like it. That would never happen at a Linkin Park show. After like 12 singles in a row in the latest LP sets being played at every single show, I'm sure he's bored a bit with it and is enjoying this breath of new air here. He was rocking like it was a 2001 Linkin Park show, screaming on songs, jumping around, etc. It honestly was really great to see him like that and it was even better to see him utilizing his full potential for his voice at this show versus singing something like The Catalyst or BURN IT DOWN live. Chester nails the whole set and the start-to-finish HEAVY SHOW is fucking great.

 

At this point I am only regretting that I didn't see Sunrise, Fort Myers, Orlando, Columbia and Biloxi before this! I hope they do a full tour in 2014 and release a new album because this was just fantastic. The Dead By Sunrise stuff I saw in 2009 is no comparison, I mean Chester is balls to the wall ROCKING here and it's incredible to see. Regardless of if you like the music or not, go see this band immediately if at all possible. You'll see your Linkin Park singer in a new, refreshing light where he just kicks ass and takes name for a full show.

 

12/10, I'd see a whole tour if possible.

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Cool review man. I saw STP with Chester in Boston back in September and it was really fun and he seemed to have had as much energy as you are describing here. Awesome. I wouldn't say that I prefer STP with Chester more than LP, but it was definitely awesome and it was a bit more fun than seeing Chester with DBS back in 2009. It's obvious that he loves LP and always will and LP will always come first, but he definitely has fun rocking out with STP and that is a good thing. Nice review.

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I didn't realize they were playing so close to me until I saw a friend post a status about it Sunday afternoon. If I didn't have finals this week, I would've found a way to Jax to be front and center -__-

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I was at this show too. This show is the reason I'm so bummed LP is touring with 30stm. They were awful live at this festival. Not looking forward to seeing them again. But the openers don't matter for me anyways at a LP show!

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I was at this show too. This show is the reason I'm so bummed LP is touring with 30stm. They were awful live at this festival. Not looking forward to seeing them again. But the openers don't matter for me anyways at a LP show!

Hey yeah, same here, haha. I can't believe how disappointing they were.

 

I was at the Tampa 2008 and Alpharetta 2012 shows too - what are you seeing this tour? Tampa? The venue looks interesting...I'm going to go see a spring training game there this weekend to check it out.

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Hey yeah, same here, haha. I can't believe how disappointing they were.

 

I was at the Tampa 2008 and Alpharetta 2012 shows too - what are you seeing this tour? Tampa? The venue looks interesting...I'm going to go see a spring training game there this weekend to check it out.

Already sprung for the vip pit for Tampa. Really curious to see how it'll be at the spring training stadium, hoping it means they won't have a curfew like at the amphitheater! Hopefully I'll be able to swing the West Palm show too.

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