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Review: Mike Shinoda's Post Traumatic Tour


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October brought a great month for us here at LPLive, with Mike Shinoda's Post Traumatic Tour arriving in the southeast US. Of course, we knew we had to see multiple shows of the tour just as we had done for 10+ years with Linkin Park.

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However, this time things were different for two reasons.

For one, Mike is performing a uniquely different show each night and incorporating a wide variety of singles, fan favorites, and deep cuts into his show, and two this tour is the best possible way you will get to experience a special in-person tribute to Chester Bennington.

Our journey took us from Charlotte, NC to Tampa and Orlando, FL and finished with a show in Atlanta, GA.

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These shows are a different type of statement than the solo shows we saw Mike perform in June when we traveled to New York City for his extremely intimate album release show at the Gramercy Theatre (which sold out in a mere two or three minutes) and to Philadelphia for a radio show. Those shows featured only Mike on stage and were in a way, more of a tribute to Chester by themselves. At that time, Mike's logical next step after releasing the Post Traumatic album was to get on stage for fans - by himself.

When it came time to take the tour around the world, Mike elected to bring in two musicians that are new faces for the Linkin Park / Mike community - Dan Mayo on drums and Matt Harris on keyboards, guitar, and vocals. It became apparent almost immediately that the vibe of the shows had shifted to more a fun, celebratory manner. Each night on stage, Mike takes the time to mention that one of the big reasons he is out on the road right now is to personally say thank you to the fans in person for supporting him throughout his career but most importantly during the past year.

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To say Dan and Matt have been warmly embraced by the fanbase is quite an understatement. They add quite a lot to the show and are fantastic musicians. Mike has moments in the shows where each can shine - Dan has a drum solo in the middle of "Sorry For Now" while Matt takes guitar and vocals on "Sharp Edges" in a special moment that undoubtedly Makes Chester Proud.

With a 23+ song show, that is a LOT of room for music and it's divided pretty much into thirds between Linkin Park, Fort Minor, and Mikes new solo music. With the Fort Minor shows in 2015 (the first time Mike had truly performed solo) and with a few Linkin Park intros here and there, we knew how masterful Mike was already at creating mashups. Besides, that' how he first learned to create music in the first place... so we werent surprised to see a few fun mashups in this show as well.

Undoubtedly, there is a level of spontaneity right now which Mike has not experienced before. Never before in his career with Linkin Park or Fort Minor has he been able to change his show on-the-fly at a moments notice. While Linkin Park focused on a few "perfected" setlists, Mike is now able to pull any song out of his back pocket at a moment's notice without having to run it by a full band first. Having seen four shows, we've come to learn quickly that Mike's planned setlist is merely just a suggestion - in a good way.

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At our shows (which were six through nine on the tour), we saw several songs receive their tour debuts (which means the first time performed on the tour) like "Watching As I Fall", "Until It Breaks", "Cigarettes", and "Its Goin' Down" - a wide assortment of tracks from Mike's expansive catalog. Whether you are a fan of Linkin Park, Fort Minor, Post Traumatic, or Mikes guest spots on other artists songs, you're going to find something in the show that you will really enjoy.

During the show, Mike acts as sort of the emcee of the evening, directing the show to become more upbeat or to take it down to an intimate, emotional level. Most of the set is upbeat, featuring bangers like "Petrified", "When They Come For Me", "Ghosts", new single "Make It Up As I Go", and an amazing mashup of "About You", "Over Again", and "Papercut" which leaves the crowd roaring for more every night.

Another highlight is "Roads Untraveled" from Living Things, which actually received its live debut at Linkin Parks Celebration of Life show for Chester last year. Mike proves he can impressively handle lead vocals on a large number of Linkin Park songs, perhaps (from a fans perspective) an optimistic nod towards the possible future of the band.

In a stripped-down portion of the show, Mike takes time to tell touching stories about the beloved Chester Bennington before leading the crowd in a singalong of "In The End" and "Numb". Many of these stories are exclusive to the city Mike is performing in that night and have gained tens of thousands of views on YouTube already. At several shows, we commented that it was worth the price of admission just to listen to Mike tell intimate stories about Chester from their time together in Linkin Park for 10+ minutes. While an emotional moment in the show, things pick right back up with songs like Post Traumatic lead single "Crossing A Line", Linkin Park hit "Castle Of Glass", and the new closing song "Running From My Shadow" where Mike comes down to the crowd to sing with fans each show.

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Just like the song selection, fans at this show are a big mixture as well - some have come alone to see Mike, some have come with friends to remember Chester, and some have traveled great distances for the full experience. Between songs, fans sometimes choose to shout "thank you Mike!", "we love you and Linkin Park!" and other kind words. Everyone is cordial and spends the time between bands talking about shows they've seen, great memories they've had with Mike, Chester, and Linkin Park, or how much respect they have for the band as a whole for always being so humble and gracious to their fans; the whole show feels like a giant moment of appreciation for everything from Mike but also from the fans. This is a show where you're going to walk away with a dozen new friends.

Behind the scenes and away from the general admission crowd, we watched Mike's VIP experience and LP Underground Meet & Greet before the show, where he took the time to take photos with fans, give them tattoo suggestions, personalize drawings for them, take song suggestions for the show, and sign anything they happened to bring to the show with them. It is no secret that Linkin Park and Mike go out of their way for their fans and have always treated them with great respect.

If you're on the fence about attending this tour, do yourself a favor and go see it. If you missed out, you truly missed something special. And if you were there you know how special it was. Fans are saying that this is a once in a lifetime type of tour and we agree wholeheartedly.

Catch Mike Shinoda on the Post Traumatic Tour through November in North America.

We would like to extend a very big thank you to Mikes management team for being so kind to us and for allowing us to shoot the Atlanta, GA show for our tour review. Photos by Preston Bonner, a great friend of LPLive for over 10 years.

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Charlotte was an epic show, that surprise performance of It's Goin' Down still blows my mind. Mike really has made this tour a blast to watch and especially follow. I look forward to seeing the setlists every night, and seeing how Mike switches it up. If I had more money/time I'd DEFINITELY would have seen more than just the Charlotte show on this tour... Hoping Mike continues touring into 2019, he needs to hit Australia (which I think hasn't seen an LP related concert since 2013) and India (talk about a country long overdue for a LP related concert).

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I wish I could've attended any of the shows near and around me in Florida...most feasable would have been Atlanta or New Orleans, tampa & Orlando are just too far away. ...And, with a broken Ankle I can't "jump" "jump" as Mike requests...but I'm damned good at making some noise! lol Anywho, I feel like I make new friends everytime I drop a line to comment your great work, or to just play a silly game. If you've got any pull (and/or clout) with Mike, please convince him to come to Pensacola, Fl. They booked there once and cancelled last minute. I was soooo sad about that too...Also, my birthday is this up coming Sunday and this Rocker girl will be 64 years young....Mike has to know there's a little old lady waiting to add another something to her bucket list. The LPFamily, I've found since Chester's passing is and has always been so respectful of each other in any group I go to and THAT makes my heart smile soooo big!!! I'm also workinr a;;p closely with Talinda, thou she doesn't it yet. I've got a be a [part of "know the 5 signs cards" and I keep my eyes open for when and if she post something about it, I will follow her lead and pass out cards here. (working with VFW) My parents were retired military themselves and my dad hit his watering spot daily. He was very well liked by the other bar flies and it kept him busy in the days passing since my mother passed.I don't have much to offer folks, but I try here and there and speak with our local homeless. I make what I call "Blessing Bags" for them. It's a gallon sized zip lock bag filled with travel size products i.e. shampoo/conditioner, box of matches, tums, gum, peanut butter crackers, lotion, tube of toothpaste and brush, combs, soap, 2 wash closths and $3 cash they can spend any where they want...The want food? Gp get it, or perhaps they want a quart of beer instead or maybe they smoke and have any cigarettes, also included is razors and shave cream. My Theory on doing this is to hopfully give them an incentive to clean themselv"es and get a Job!!That article you wrote up there was surely special Thanks bunches for allowing me change his set list in my mind, I am so incredible proud of Mike for moving forward in his career, I can't even begin to tell you how much it warms my heart to see him pick up the pieces and move forward. A;sp, if you could possibly remind him of the devastation in Panama City Beach from the Hurricane, Those people are truly hurting. Thanks for letting me vent!

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