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Review: Linkin Park's "One More Light Live"

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"I mean, if you can't have fun doing this, you're doing it wrong."


This is what we hear Chester say after "Sharp Edges: on Linkin Parks new 'One More Light Live' album, out on December 15th. This is the bands first outright worldwide live album since 2008s 'Road to Revolution' CD/DVD, almost a decade ago. But dont let that fool you - Linkin Park gave fans access to almost every performance from summer 2007 to winter 2012, two hundred and twenty nine shows total, as well as allowing show webcasts and more to occur regularly to present day and finally tacking on DVDs to three consecutive album releases from 2010 to 2014. Phew. Thats a lot of live releases but this one is understandably a lot more significant.

It is with this album that we get to celebrate Chester and his incredible talent once more.


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Coming on the heels of an unimaginably tragic year for the band and its fanbase, OML Live provides an intimate look into Linkin Parks European Tour in June and July 2017. At seventeen shows, this was the largest headlining tour of Europe (really a second home for LP) in the bands career.

While covering the lively tour in great detail show-by-show, we wondered if Linkin Park felt the same way about the tour as we did. In the introduction to OML Live, the band affirms that sentiment and explains, Chester shared with us that he felt this was the best tour we had ever done. If it wasnt the best, it was damn close. 2017s touring felt exciting in a new way huge production elements, Chester spending a significant portion of the middle of the show singing in the crowd with fans, Mike taking requests and adding different verses of (rare) songs mid-tour, and while he claimed it wasnt intentional, Linkin Park never played the exact same set twice the entire tour.

With a mix of festival dates across the continent as well as arena shows, OML Live sticks mostly to the indoor shows of the tour, from Berlin, Amsterdam, Krakow, London, and Birmingham. There is no need for the release to be flashy with rare takes of this or that song - the beauty in the album is sixteen song takes from the tour which highlight Linkin Parks strong performances across Europe.

On a side note, speaking of strong the show at Londons O2 Arena boasts the longest Linkin Park has played in their entire career, a very impressive 28 songs. This was in response to an opening band not being able to be found for the U.K. leg so LP took matters into their own hands and performed extended setlists for three consecutive shows. Its important to mention because it fits right into the lovely story they were writing on this touring cycle, from performing a surprise set in the New York City subway to headlining to over 60,000 fans at a stadium in their first show ever in Peru. A large North American Tour with several stadium shows was up next.

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OML Live kicks off with a crowd chanting for Linkin Park and leads into the haunting (and already a fan-favorite) intro mashup of Fallout and Roads Untraveled which was used before Talking To Myself. Eight of the ten songs on One More Light, released in May, were performed on this tour and all eight are included in the live album - Talking To Myself, Battle Symphony, Invisible (lead by Mike), Nobody Can Save Me, One More Light, Good Goodbye, Sharp Edges, and Heavy. These eight songs are interwoven in the release, which mostly follows the live setlist actually performed this year, with setlist heavyweights like Burn It Down, New Divide, What Ive Done, In The End, and Bleed It Out.

The version of Linkin Park you hear on this release is authentic - theres no over-the-top booming production element added to the mixing, theres no post-show dub-ins to correct any possible small mistakes. Fans that attended this tour are getting a legitimate reflection of what they saw in person, the rest of us a powerful selection of songs from the tour that sent Chester out on top. Mixing songs from so many different shows for a physical release is a first for Linkin Park, but long-time engineer Ethan Mates takes the reigns and delivers arguably his best work in his decade-long relationship with the band.

Linkin Park performs the new songs with confidence, showing they truly take pride in their ability to constantly change genres and directions with each album release. Critics of 'One More Light' should listen to the live album to gain an understanding of how the tracks actually come alive in a live setting. From the heart-wrenching moments like Chesters emotional bridge scream of I do on One More Light to Brad and Chesters beautifully interwoven acoustic guitars on Sharp Edges, the band does a fantastic job transforming the eight new tracks into live set staples.

Picking a favorite song from the release is challenging. One of the biggest highlights is undoubtedly what fans call the 2017 Version of Leave Out All The Rest. Beginning the song in a stripped-down piano form, Mike immediately has 18,000+ fans in the palm of his hand in a huge singalong before the song kicks into a jammy, extended full band intro and finishes with a new ending to the song settling in at almost five minutes long. It was a surprise to see this song in the setlist this year, but it was quite appropriate as it pays tribute to the 10 year anniversary this year of the massive Minutes To Midnight album. Hearing Chester sing, When my time comes, forget the wrong that I've done, help me leave behind some reasons to be missed is undoubtedly heartbreaking, but the band nailed it when they accurately said, His dedication to bringing these songs to life was triumphant.

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Another highlight of OML Live is In The End, which shows that LP can still have fun with a song seventeen years after its original release. Its actually by our count the song performed the most amount of times in their career - almost 900 performances. In 2017, the band began a version of it that they jokingly referred to on setlists as Keep Em Guessing in which theyd all suddenly stop playing at once to allow the crowd to sing a certain part of the track. It varied - at some shows, it was the first verse, at others it was the first chorus, etc. And the crowd always nailed it.

Before Nobody Can Save Me, Mike remarks, As we're making an album, there are always certain songs that always stand out to each of us and to help define the course of the record. For me, this was always one song that I felt like I really wanted to save that I didn't want people to hear until they heard the whole album. That's why we put it first on the record. Along with One More Light, the song has become a favorite in the fanbase since the albums release.

In the talking between songs, we hear Chester reaffirm the bands longstanding commitment to their relationship with fans. For such a large global band, Linkin Park has always made their fans a priority and takes pride in not just always being in touch with them, but by being quite accessible too. Chester remarks before Battle Symphony from his last performance in Birmingham, You know, we have the best fans in the world. I say it all the time because its true. And I want to thank all the people I see every night at all of these shows. You know who you are love you guys. And how great it is that these fans just sent the band home with an American Music Award this year for Favorite Alternative Rock Artist.

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Mike started a hashtag this summer to #MakeChesterProud, and OML Live nails it in that aspect, letting fans remember and reflect on Chesters stellar, energetic, and exciting live performances. The tour had such a celebratory vibe, with Linkin Park playing around with songs and engaging the fans, and this carries over well into the live album. Once again we see Linkin Park appeal to both the casual fan and the hardcore fan in a release and OML Live is no exception - it gets a 10/10 from us.

Catch the album on digital streaming services on December 15th or visit the Linkin Park online store to pick up a copy on CD for yourself.

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It's a good live release. I like how all the songs flow really well (it annoys me greatly when artists put out live releases that don't all blend together perfectly). The performances are also good. When I listened to recordings of the tour in the past, I didn't think it was that great of a tour. But hearing the tour in a HQ release, when everything sounds good and blends, I like it a lot. I'm happy that we got the OML live recordings for each song. Battle Symphony doesn't actually sound shitty with this release, something I'm happy about, because all other live rips I've heard of it sounded bad, but it sounds good here. The whole release is pretty solid, IMO. The first live album we have received since November 2008, next November, that will be TEN YEARS ago. So this is great to have. I forgot completely about that Download Festival 2014 release because it sounded so terrible that I even preferred the fan cell phone quality level bootleg compared to it. Haha. At least this release really sounds great and I'm happy we will have this to remember Chester for.

 

We all know that Chester's favorite thing ever was to be on stage and play songs live more than studio, so this is a really great way to honor him and remember him, IMO. Thank you LP. :)

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Just heard it in full on the Italian Virgin Radio special aired tonight, It s soooo great. I cried like 5 times, can t wait to hear it tomorrow without the host repeating "this is OML Live album releasing tomorrow" every 5 minutes and the commercial breaks. A+ release, anyway, #MakeChesterproud

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Here's an excerpt of my review of One More Light Live. If you want to read the full thing, check it out on my website. pls

 

As 2017 winds to an end, it's time to start looking towards the future. 2017, for me, has been the hardest year I've ever faced. Heartbreak and loss made the month of July the darkest time of my life, and to this day I still feel the pangs of those experiences. The one thing I could confide in was music. Through the words and pain in others voices, I found clarity in my own, and have slowly been healing ever since tragedy struck.

 

The death of Chester Bennington struck the world at its core. It's hard to fathom how many lives he saved, changed, and inspired, and to this day the stories are still being told. Chester was one of my heroes, and little did I think that meeting him at a secret subway show in New York City would be my first and my last time holding his hand. "Thank you for everything" were the words he said to me, full of thankfulness and compassion even though it was just a quick acoustic set in a subway. Chester was a man of integrity and humbleness, his character an inspiration alone.

 

Losing Chester felt like I was losing a part of me. That voice I depended on daily to jam out to or find inspiration for was no longer with us. I'll never forget the pain of waking up the next day and the reality of my situation kicked in. It took me a long time to be able to listen to Linkin Parkagain, but fast forward a few months, from uniting the fanbase through LPLive, building a suicide prevention chat for those in need of someone to talk to, and a trip to Los Angeles to see the band's heartbreaking performance at the Hollywood Bowl in October, and here we are with a brand new release from the band. Linkin Park immortalize Chester's spirit in One More Light Live, a compilation of performances from the band's summer tour (Chester's final tour) that saw the group having the time of their lives and, most importantly, showcased Chester as the man we all know and love.

 

 

Anyone who's ever seen Linkin Park live or even seen videos of one of their shows will know how electrifying their performances can be. From the electrifying energy of 'Burn It Down' to the badass live version of 'Good Goodbye' featuring Stormzy, One More Light Live gives a great look into how fun a Linkin Park show can be. It's a party from beginning to end, from the haunting, gorgeous 'Fallout' and 'Roads Untraveled' introduction that leads into the stadium-rocking 'Talking To Myself' featuring grand vocals from Chester and epic energy to kick off the show to the anthemic ending of 'Bleed It Out' with Mike Shinoda's vicious deliveries and an awesome sing-a-long bridge to make sure the crowd's having a blast right to the very end.

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Battle Symphony doesn't actually sound shitty with this release, something I'm happy about, because all other live rips I've heard of it sounded bad, but it sounds good here.

 

I just started listening tonight and when I got to Battle Symphony I was quite impressed and felt the same way. The CD recording leans more poppy, with mostly drums and synth dominating the whole way, but you really get to hear Brad and Phoenix in the live version.

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Here's an excerpt of my review of One More Light Live. If you want to read the full thing, check it out on my website. pls

 

As 2017 winds to an end, it's time to start looking towards the future. 2017, for me, has been the hardest year I've ever faced. Heartbreak and loss made the month of July the darkest time of my life, and to this day I still feel the pangs of those experiences. The one thing I could confide in was music. Through the words and pain in others voices, I found clarity in my own, and have slowly been healing ever since tragedy struck.

 

The death of Chester Bennington struck the world at its core. It's hard to fathom how many lives he saved, changed, and inspired, and to this day the stories are still being told. Chester was one of my heroes, and little did I think that meeting him at a secret subway show in New York City would be my first and my last time holding his hand. "Thank you for everything" were the words he said to me, full of thankfulness and compassion even though it was just a quick acoustic set in a subway. Chester was a man of integrity and humbleness, his character an inspiration alone.

 

Losing Chester felt like I was losing a part of me. That voice I depended on daily to jam out to or find inspiration for was no longer with us. I'll never forget the pain of waking up the next day and the reality of my situation kicked in. It took me a long time to be able to listen to Linkin Parkagain, but fast forward a few months, from uniting the fanbase through LPLive, building a suicide prevention chat for those in need of someone to talk to, and a trip to Los Angeles to see the band's heartbreaking performance at the Hollywood Bowl in October, and here we are with a brand new release from the band. Linkin Park immortalize Chester's spirit in One More Light Live, a compilation of performances from the band's summer tour (Chester's final tour) that saw the group having the time of their lives and, most importantly, showcased Chester as the man we all know and love.

 

 

Anyone who's ever seen Linkin Park live or even seen videos of one of their shows will know how electrifying their performances can be. From the electrifying energy of 'Burn It Down' to the badass live version of 'Good Goodbye' featuring Stormzy, One More Light Live gives a great look into how fun a Linkin Park show can be. It's a party from beginning to end, from the haunting, gorgeous 'Fallout' and 'Roads Untraveled' introduction that leads into the stadium-rocking 'Talking To Myself' featuring grand vocals from Chester and epic energy to kick off the show to the anthemic ending of 'Bleed It Out' with Mike Shinoda's vicious deliveries and an awesome sing-a-long bridge to make sure the crowd's having a blast right to the very end.

Amazing heartfelt words. From someone who has see them many many times to someone like you who saw them once, it doesnt matter, as your experience in that subway was once in a lifetime and affected you in many ways youll always cherish. Quality over quantity. Most people dont get it, I and we all do.

This year teaches us all to live life to its fullest, never let an opportunity pass to do something meaningful or to even see your favorite band or friend or person. You never know what tomorrow holds in life.

Also try to appreciate what you have now. I think some of us, myself included, never realized the full impact that Chester or the band had in our lives until something tragic happens that makes you realize what you had.

Well all continue on in our own ways, each finding our own unique way, and some needing more help than others and thats ok.

He was, they were, they are and he will continue to be great influencers for us all.

Edited by loulax07

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Amazing heartfelt words. From someone who has see them many many times to someone like you who saw them once, it doesnt matter, as your experience in that subway was once in a lifetime and affected you in many ways youll always cherish. Quality over quantity. Most people dont get it, I and we all do.

This year teaches us all to live life to its fullest, never let an opportunity pass to do something meaningful or to even see your favorite band or friend or person. You never know what tomorrow holds in life.

Also try to appreciate what you have now. I think some of us, myself included, never realized the full impact that Chester or the band had in our lives until something tragic happens that makes you realize what you had.

Well all continue on in our own ways, each finding our own unique way, and some needing more help than others and thats ok.

He was, they were, they are and he will continue to be great influencers for us all.

 

Yeah man, you're right. I've seen LP 19 times and each and every time was special. Makes you really think. 2017 was such a hard year for us all - no matter who, we all went through a lot this year. This release is a good way to honor Chaz.

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great reviews. The CD basically feels like a full circle moment of a very weird rollercoaster of a year. I met Chester and Mike during the Up & Close back in March, saw them during the Amsterdam show back in June. I have listened it with a smile, while crying my eyes out. An amazing way to honor Chester.I also agree that I have not taken things for granted anymore, I noticed i lived too much on auto-pilot and forgot to enjoy things and take care of myself.

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I don't understand why they'd didn't max out the time slot on the CD because they could have fit way more songs and have it be under 80 mins. I wish they also had some of the heavier songs on the tour on this CD such as OSC, Faint, Wastelands, Papercut, APFMH, SIB, etc. At least a few of them, mainly OSC or Wastelands. But I guess in order to have all 8 of the OML songs and still have room for the other poppy singles, they didn't have much choice.

 

As far as the sound of the CD, it's pretty good. I think it sounds better then RTR but not as good as LIT. It might be on par with Berlin 2012 and Madrid 2010. I wish they used a different Sharp Edges (Berlin was one of the worst and featured a mistake still in the release) and there were much better performances of it (my favorite being Birmingham 2017). NSCM also could have used a better performance such as Krakow or Hurricane Fest. I'm glad they kept the RU intro for TTM. BIO is the best BIO I ever have heard, so that was cool.

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18 minutes ago, GarretLP said:

I don't understand why they'd didn't max out the time slot on the CD because they could have fit way more songs and have it be under 80 mins. I wish they also had some of the heavier songs on the tour on this CD such as OSC, Faint, Wastelands, Papercut, APFMH, SIB, etc. At least a few of them, mainly OSC or Wastelands. But I guess in order to have all 8 of the OML songs and still have room for the other poppy singles, they didn't have much choice.

 

DSPs and past Live CDs are why they didn't include them. Live in Texas, RtR:Milton Keynes, Red Square, and Download Festival also had all or most of them as well.

 

With the cancelling of the N America leg, they were going to include the OML songs that many fans never had an opportunity to hear live.

Numb, ITE, WID, BIO are all gonna be staples
BID and ND showcase Chester's vocals
Crawling piano was unique iteration.

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1 hour ago, MrCinder said:

 

DSPs and past Live CDs are why they didn't include them. Live in Texas, RtR:Milton Keynes, Red Square, and Download Festival also had all or most of them as well.

 

With the cancelling of the N America leg, they were going to include the OML songs that many fans never had an opportunity to hear live.

Numb, ITE, WID, BIO are all gonna be staples
BID and ND showcase Chester's vocals
Crawling piano was unique iteration.

 

DSP's aren't the same as LIT, RTR, OMLL or any other live release from the band, though, so I don't count DSP's whatsoever. They also included some songs on OML Live that we have 1000 performances of too so your argument is invalid with that anyways.

 

I agree about adding all 8 OML songs played live because of course they'd want to throw them on there. OSC was a single, Faint was a single, Papercut was a single, SIB and Wastelands were singles, etc. The entire set was basically singles but I would have liked to see a few added on the CD, especially since they had up to 80 mins for a standard CD and didn't come close to using it all.

 

Would have been cool if they had done LPU 17 and just gave us a CD of those heavier tracks excluded from OMLL like they did with LPU 3 and LIT.

Edited by GarretLP

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Song selection on OML Live is fine IMO. Only complaint is I wouldn't have minded having COG or WFTE in there, but otherwise I think it's a pretty solid tracklist. Every OML song the band did, the new versions of Crawling and LOATR, and then the big singles.

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1 hour ago, SasstielExperience said:

Song selection on OML Live is fine IMO. Only complaint is I wouldn't have minded having COG or WFTE in there, but otherwise I think it's a pretty solid tracklist. Every OML song the band did, the new versions of Crawling and LOATR, and then the big singles.

 

I honestly only wish OSC and Wastelands were on the CD. I don't even really care about the rest of the heavier tracks. For a live release it isn't horrible, like I said, I consider it better than RTR which IMO was one of the worst shows for the entire MTM cycle and Jay-Z sounded cringe worthy on both tracks. Webster Hall 2007 would have been a better live CD/DVD for MTM if it were mixed and mastered by Ethan Mates for a release, honestly, that was a solid set of HT , Meteora and MTM songs and the band sounded good.

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I think excluding One Step Closer is a big mistake. It was the first single the band released from Hybrid Theory, it's been played at nearly every Linkin Park show and with One More Light Live (presumably) being the last main release with Chester it would have been a great inclusion to kind of bookend the Chester Bennington era.

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16 minutes ago, leftshoe18 said:

I think excluding One Step Closer is a big mistake. It was the first single the band released from Hybrid Theory, it's been played at nearly every Linkin Park show and with One More Light Live (presumably) being the last main release with Chester it would have been a great inclusion to kind of bookend the Chester Bennington era.

 

QFT!!!

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On 4/9/2019 at 6:29 PM, GarretLP said:

 

DSP's aren't the same as LIT, RTR, OMLL or any other live release from the band, though, so I don't count DSP's whatsoever. They also included some songs on OML Live that we have 1000 performances of too so your argument is invalid with that anyways.

 

I agree about adding all 8 OML songs played live because of course they'd want to throw them on there. OSC was a single, Faint was a single, Papercut was a single, SIB and Wastelands were singles, etc. The entire set was basically singles but I would have liked to see a few added on the CD, especially since they had up to 80 mins for a standard CD and didn't come close to using it all.

 

Would have been cool if they had done LPU 17 and just gave us a CD of those heavier tracks excluded from OMLL like they did with LPU 3 and LIT.

 

Doesn't invalidate the argument, Geki. I pointed out why the Non-OML songs were included despite possibly also being popular in past releases. Again:
Numb and ITE and legendary level popularity. They're gonna be included

WID, LOATR, BID, and ND are both extremely popular among even casual fans. They also showcase Chester as the main vocals and showing his range.
BIO is the closer. It's been the closer to main set or encore for countless shows.

Crawling was included.

 

Of those, LOATR, ITE, WID, BIO, and Crawling all had some kind of change that made them special and more than just a standard live version. LOATR and WID had incredible intro/outros. ITE had the "mix up the audience" bit they talked about where they would stop singing and have the crowd only randomly. BIO had singalong, Crawling was stripped to piano. They could've used more space, yes, but they didn't and they chose to include just the standard version songs, so the jimmies can cease their rustling.

 

Idk which DSPs you've been listening to but the quality on a ton have been amazing, especially the 2007-2008 ones. Pitt and WPB are excellent. ATS Tour had some with a little "eh" mixing due to the quick turnaround, but the Paris, London 2, and an Australia (whichever one Pez played) show were same quality.

 

Take it up with the band

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19 hours ago, MrCinder said:

 

Doesn't invalidate the argument, Geki. I pointed out why the Non-OML songs were included despite possibly also being popular in past releases. Again:
Numb and ITE and legendary level popularity. They're gonna be included

WID, LOATR, BID, and ND are both extremely popular among even casual fans. They also showcase Chester as the main vocals and showing his range.
BIO is the closer. It's been the closer to main set or encore for countless shows.

Crawling was included.

 

Of those, LOATR, ITE, WID, BIO, and Crawling all had some kind of change that made them special and more than just a standard live version. LOATR and WID had incredible intro/outros. ITE had the "mix up the audience" bit they talked about where they would stop singing and have the crowd only randomly. BIO had singalong, Crawling was stripped to piano. They could've used more space, yes, but they didn't and they chose to include just the standard version songs, so the jimmies can cease their rustling.

 

Idk which DSPs you've been listening to but the quality on a ton have been amazing, especially the 2007-2008 ones. Pitt and WPB are excellent. ATS Tour had some with a little "eh" mixing due to the quick turnaround, but the Paris, London 2, and an Australia (whichever one Pez played) show were same quality.

 

Take it up with the band

 

I guess you have a point but the point I'm trying to make is that all of those heavier songs were singles too. I guess they didn't fit the overall sound of what OML was trying to convey, though. I guess the CD really does highlight all of the special things they did on the tour, too, which is cool. Eh, I guess you're right. Just wish they had OSC at least included. It could have fit on the CD without removing anything.

 

The DSP's have always been hit or miss to me. Some sound decent, some sound bad. None of them have ever sounded amazing to me though like some of the live tracks Ethan Mates has mixed for LP (excluding a few of his mixes like HT at Download). Mainly his mixes of live tracks from LT and before, since I didn't care for his mix of ALITS or UIG, either. A lot of the DSP's sound very quiet though (mostly 2008-2009) and a lot of the 2010 ones sound bad. 2011/2012 were meh. 2012 was probably the best the DSP's sounded besides some of the 2007 ones. I don't care though I mean I'm glad they did DSP's for so long and gave fans that stuff. Just saying I don't count them alongside like live tracks released by the band.

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