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10 Years Ago: Japan 2006


hahninator
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We don't often take looks back at older tours, but we felt this one was an interesting one to write about. This weekend marks ten years since the infamous Linkin Park trip to Japan in August 2006.

After the Meteora World Tour in 2004, Linkin Park took a break for some personal time to themselves and then to eventually write their third album. With label issues and both Mike and Chester wanting to do side projects, Linkin Park took the back seat for a period of time for Fort Minor, which released The Rising Tied in November 2005, and Snow White Tan, Chester's band that was later renamed to Dead By Sunrise. As we've seen in several LPU demos and interviews with Mike, LP did indeed write some music in 2005, but not a lot. The bulk of the writing sessions for Minutes To Midnight really began in 2006.

Fort Minor toured in 2006 from January to May, around when Linkin Park was confirmed for four shows in Japan to take place in August. These would be the band's first shows in a year, since the one-off Live 8 performance in July 2005. From September 2004 to April 2007, Linkin Park performed just six shows and one TV performance....the longest break from the stage in the band's career. It was safe to say the anticipation for the August 2006 shows in Japan was quite high.

From our recollection, the first setlist picture came out from their club show at Tokyo Zepp, a venue they had last played in May 2001, and one show later, the small 15-30 second clips of the set were being uploaded to YouTube. Instantly, we saw LP had completely changed their live show in many ways.

ss06setlist.jpg


For the first time ever, One Step Closer no longer closed the show. Instead, it closed the main set and came before an encore that featured Breaking The Habit closing. The most surprising inclusions on the setlist were the first LP performances of Reading My Eyes, a Xero song, and the debut of a brand new song - QWERTY. The first 20 second clip of QWERTY attracted tens of thousands of views on YouTube and if we look at Rob's LPU 6 newsletter Q&A, these small, bad quality YouTube clips possibly influenced the band to later release the song on the LPU 6 CD. These rarer songs also define the era as QWERTY went on to be played just a few more times in 2007, in full, and Reading My Eyes was brought back for just a few shows in 2008.



The 17 song setlist to this day is still arguably one of the best sets the band has played live. New intros were debuted and the band also debuted the first piano versions of My December and Pushing Me Away at these shows. After years of searching, we finally were able to obtain the proshot video of QWERTY from Summer Sonic Tokyo and release it to the public....now amassing almost 1,000,000 views.



Fortunately, great audience recordings also exist for three of the four shows - Summer Sonic Osaka, Summer Sonic Tokyo, and Summer Sonic After Sendai. The TV special from the festival also includes some proshot footage...one big highlight being From The Inside. What we see in these recordings is the band having a great time reconvening on stage after such a lengthy break from performing, and a very energetic and fun setlist.

Another highlight from Summer Sonic 2006 is that it marked the first time Mike performed two shows in one day. This happened twice, at the two big Summer Sonic shows. Earlier in the day, he played a full set with Fort Minor before taking a break and playing the full Linkin Park show. This is something that was not repeated until Fort Minor actually opened for Linkin Park on the same stage at Düsseldorf's Rock im Sektor 2015. Since Holly Brook was unable to make the trip to Japan, Chester filled in on Where'd You Go during the Fort Minor set.



Linkin Park has gone on to play Summer Sonic Japan on two more occasions...once in 2009 on the International Tour for New Divide, and once in 2013 for Living Things.

While we are in the middle of quite a long break now ourselves, waiting for a new LP album, it's a much different world. Social media in 2006 wasn't nearly as prevalent as it is now, and the downtime from the band's activities really felt like the fans were isolated from the band for a long period of time.

ss06picsmall.jpg


In 2016, we are able to get Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter updates from band members at any time...even video streams from the studio and podcasts. In 2006, the most we would get for a while after a show is a 20 second cellphone video, a show review, and that was it.

It's hard to put into words how big of an impact these shows had on the fanbase at the time...but I assure you it was massive. The Japan visit was one of the shortest and most unique periods in the band's career. If you have time this weekend, take a listen to one of the 2006 shows, available to download here.

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I remember this time fondly. Such great memories. I remember the entire fanbase at that point going crazy about Qwerty. I remember Squalljapan's first upload of the song, I think I must have played just that clip alone a bunch of times. I remember when the HQ live track of Qwerty came out at some point in 2006 as well before LPU6 came out, which had a tiny bit longer dialogue at the end of the track than the LPU6 version did. I also remember the fanbase going crazy about Reading My Eyes being played. I still play the LPU6 track of it all the time, I really love how they released that to us on LPU6 because it's special and has Chester doing the vocals, which completely blows away Mark's original vocals, IMO. It was also cool that the band had to look on Linkin Park fansites for an mp3 of Reading My Eyes before the tour so they could remember how the song was. The Fort Minor performances were also awesome as well. Really was a special time for the band as well, redefining the band and everything else. Great post.

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Great memories of those days I remember playing QWERTY day and night I was really surprised to see them going to a way heavier direction.

 

I don't agree about that setlist being one of the best, the ending was a YAWN fest Crawling, My December (piano) and BTH?

After all the fucking powerful energy you get from track 1 to track 14 that's no way to end a show.

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I was at the Osaka, Tokyo and Sendai shows having travelled to visit a friend from the UK.

 

They were by far my favourite shows, simply epic and totally a new experience for me (the Fort Minor show was about half an hour before the LP show and in Osaka you had to cross over a bridge over a motorway/highway to get to the next stage!)

 

I can remember the next morning after Osaka finding an Internet cafe and trying to battle through the Japanese keyboard to post about QWERTY on the LPU and let fans know about it.

 

Sendai was a very special, intimate show where LP were completely relaxed (Phoenix smoked on stage) and the wives sat at the side in full view (and Anna brought on Mikes guitar).

 

I honestly can't believe this was 10 years ago!! I am so old!!

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I was at the Osaka, Tokyo and Sendai shows having travelled to visit a friend from the UK.

 

They were by far my favourite shows, simply epic and totally a new experience for me (the Fort Minor show was about half an hour before the LP show and in Osaka you had to cross over a bridge over a motorway/highway to get to the next stage!)

 

I can remember the next morning after Osaka finding an Internet cafe and trying to battle through the Japanese keyboard to post about QWERTY on the LPU and let fans know about it.

 

Sendai was a very special, intimate show where LP were completely relaxed (Phoenix smoked on stage) and the wives sat at the side in full view (and Anna brought on Mikes guitar).

 

I honestly can't believe this was 10 years ago!! I am so old!!

 

Wow. You are so luck!

I am sure you had the best experience than anyone else here at this moment. haha

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Just listened to the Osaka and Chiba shows today! The last time Chester could scream really well were these shows. Amazing that it has been 10 years! The set lists where amazing, QWERTY was FLAWLESS, Reading My Eyes Was Gold if ANYONE doesn't have these shows for some reason I HIGHLY Recommend all 3 Japan '06 shows. These are my favorites… And I own ALOT of LP shows.

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The last time Chester could scream really well were these shows.

What? Are we just gonna forget Faint from Rock Am Ring 2007? And lets be honest, his performance isn't as great as it used to be, but Chester can certainly still scream well (LITE 2013 Summer Sonic, From The Inside 2015 Rock on the Range, etc).

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What? Are we just gonna forget Faint from Rock Am Ring 2007? And lets be honest, his performance isn't as great as it used to be, but Chester can certainly still scream well (LITE 2013 Summer Sonic, From The Inside 2015 Rock on the Range, etc).

True in 2007-08 he screamed really well. And i'm forgetting my first show too. But I was talking in general. His scream was so amazing during these shows.

 

Yeah setlists were amazing, QWERTY, RME, Pushing, Don't Stay, With You,...Reading My Eyes or And One should be in setlists even today, it's part of their history, like HT songs.

That particular Summer Sonic Setlist was sick! top notch performances and I agree, I would LOVE to have And One or Reading My Eyes back!

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I don't think it's talking negatively about Chester if we say he might have been at his prime at these 2006 shows. I don't know how drugs, alcohol, etc affect the voice but we all know he was going through some serious shit around this time (05-06). His voice at the 2006 shows sounded abnormally ridiculously good and I'm not sure if he later injured it in the studio recording for Minutes to Midnight screaming. These shows have a really unique sound to him...look how effortlessly and flawlessly he switches between screaming and singing. From The Inside is epic.

I agree that he has had fantastic performances since then. I saw the Orlando 2015 show (my 30th LP show) and I immediately recognized he hadn't sounded that great to me in person since 2012. Rock am Ring 2007, Summer Sonic Tokyo 2013, Orlando 2015, etc are all good examples of his voice being in great shape. Why we don't see this at Milton Keynes on the Road to Revolution DVD is that it was the third show in three days for him. I hope the band eventually takes a day off after every show or at least every two shows to preserve his voice as long as possible...it's worth it in the long run. He isn't BAD but you can easily tell which shows are two in a row or three in a row for him.

Anyway these 2006 performances are just strangely incredible vocally, at least in my opinion. The entire show he's bringing it 110%...he's never sounded exactly the same since.

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