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07.30.08 | Charlotte, NC | Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte


zuben7o7
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Well, I wasn't going to do these but after getting enough entertainment out of Mark's biographies of each show he goes too, I thought I would give my side of the story since all the shows Mark went to in 2008 was with me and my girlfriend Mary Ann. In case you don't know, I am Preston and took it upon myself to pretty much invite Mark (who I started talking to on AIM after Nashville show in February) to all the southeast PR 08 shows since I knew I was NOT going to miss any show down here in the south. We became pretty good buddies on the Internet and we had a lot in common as far as living close to Atlanta and liking a lot of other things outside LP. I haven't really met anyone that I have only talked to online but I never though twice when inviting him on the trip.

 

Flash forward to around the end of July and we were all getting real excited (Also, I'm starting with this review but I have gone to Atlanta 07, Tampa 07, Nashville 08, and Raleigh 08 - I just wanted to start with this one). Raleigh was a blast but as I'm sure you all know Mark was supposed to meet us at this show since he was already in town but never got the opportunity to go. I thought the whole situation was strange but I felt bad for him - Me and Mary Ann starting wondering if he was "real." Lol.

 

To give a little background, the day before Charlotte and thus the rest of the jaunt, I was in a car wreck after visiting my grandfather (who, ironically, was in a car wreck earlier that day as well). I was fine, he was fine, but I did do some damage to the back of my truck as I skidded into the side of a wonderful North GA mountain. I was able to drive my truck home and thankfully we were not taking my truck on the shows but that put a little damper on my mood before the trip. But I was thankful to be safe and the damage was done but nothing drastic like windows or engine was messed up so that eased my tension. The next day came and we were to grab Mark around 2pm from MARTA (Atlanta subway) and head up to Charlotte - which on my driving time is about a little less than a three hour drive from Atlanta. :lol: Mary Ann and I saw all the bands in Raleigh and knew we would have other opportunities to see them later on this trip so we weren't too big on getting there at any time, just sometime reasonable. Me and her ate and went to the bank and finally got to the "Kiss Ride" at MARTA around 1pm. It was hot as fuck. And yes, Mark I want to reiterate - it was hot as fuck. :D Anyways, so Mark had been in contact with us via text messages but it seemed he was sending most of them Mary Ann's way which I thought was entertaining. So we just let the windows down and chilled and talked while waiting for him but his time tables kept dipping further and further. He told us he was running a bit late and and had to cut the grass. Needless to say, after a trip to Walmart, and changing parking spots a few times, Mark shows up at like 5pm. Haha. Now, because this is my version and Mark made a comment about this in his Charlotte review, I wasn't really perturbed but Mary Ann was pretty aggravated. I was totally prepared to miss most of the show but I did expect to get there around the time the Bravery popped on. I knew now that we would have to book it up there but it was fine.

 

When we finally met, we were just glad to find out he was a "real" person haha. We shook hands, did formal what's up, and we bolted for Charlotte. Mary Ann and I, as I'm sure Mark knows, are real laid-back so naturally I wasn't ever gonna say anything about being late - shit happens and we all know that. No need to be a dick and create awkwardness for the rest of the trip so we were just glad to be on our way and we both really liked Mark - for anyone who doesn't personally know him, he is a great guy and after hindsight, we were really glad he came along for the entire trip.

 

We talked a great bit on the way to Charlotte and listened to some LP shows and some other stuff here and there. Mark and Mary Ann decorated a Teddy Grahams box with LP lyrics lmao. I wonder what happened to that box, Mark? Anyways, I had already been to the Charlotte venue about a month before for Dave Matthews so I knew the area fairly well. We got up there around the middle of Chris Cornell's set and when we got out and walked to the venue, we could hear his voice echoing through the lot. It was a beautiful night and I was ready to get in the venue because I knew we had better seats than what we had for Raleigh.

 

We all got in and passed the screeners and I grabbed a free cup of water. I like the Charlotte venue but not as much as Mark does. I think Mark is in love with Charlotte. As we are walking around the venue, it was apparent the sound of Chris Cornell's voice flusterred the great Mark and he dropped his phone and such and it broke into all these pieces haha I thought that was amusing. His phone was OK though so that's why it could be funny.

 

When we got into the amphitheatre seating, Chris was doing his thing and the crowd was bleak. Much smaller crowd than for what I saw MCR have last year at ATL and Tampa 07. Raleigh didn't have a very big CC crowd either. Anyways, we all had different seats but they were in the front sections. My seat was awful, way over to the right side of the stage about 10 rows back. I couldn't see shit. Mary Ann's (the only show we didn't have tickets together) was about the same as mine just 10 rows up. And I think Mark had good seats just on the oppposite side. So we all just kinda stood around my seats and watched a bit of CC, and at this point I was getting a bit weary cuz I knew my seats weren't good and I was tired from the truck thing and driving but Mark made it up to us. After CC got off or sometime before that, Mark met up with some people of the LPU (Jason I think his name was) and he showed some pics of Mike and Chester at the M&G which Mark thought was interesting.

 

LP's stage was getting set-up and this is the time of the show where I get antsy and I get real excited. The last 10 mins of the stage set-up is big time anxiety inducing because I am so excited haha. Sound like such a fanboy haha. We got checked by security because we moved closer to the middle of the venue around where FOH was. We were all good but we had to make a move. There were so many empty seats in the front sections that we were like 'Hell, let's make a move.' So following Mark, who after going to some other concerts with, is great at getting us all good seats, we got front row, dead center seats without anyone checking us. The seats were great but I was like "There is no way these seats can be empty." I got a bit worried that someone would come because those were their seats or something and I don't like to be all unsettled right before LP comes on. I learned that lesson in Nashville lol going to the bathroom 2 mins before they come on. Needless to say some of the seats next to us and in front of us get more filled but NO ONE comes and gets ours. Amazing. Kudos to Marcus.

 

The stage is set-up. And boom, the lights go down. The seats were very bad ass we were a few rows behind the pit but right IN the middle. We had perfect view of the stage. It was the same setlist as Raleigh a few nights before but that didn't stop me from being so excited.

 

SDC intro didn't ever do much for me, live or on the DSP. I just never got into it and no one else really did either. To be honest, I really didn't like it but it did get me a chance to soak it in and I do love the raising of the "Linkin Park" sheet in the back of the stage. They end there 2 minute intro and the machine-gun OSC intro comes back. It was great to be able to see everything I wanted to see. I really prefer this intro rather than the one they used for PR 07 and when OSC started, I started going crazy as usual. But unlike at Raleigh, most people just didn't get that much into it at Charlotte which was a bit disapointing but didn't stop me. I was a bit disapointed Mark didn't get into but I forgot he likes to tapes some shows so I understood what was up there.

 

OSC was a riot and I love the outro and it was a great way to get things going. It's not my favorite song to intro the set but whenever it's played live, it is A GOD like Chester says.

 

LFY, my favorite LP song, was next and I also enjoy the new intro for that. I really like the sample they start off with. Varrry nice. The song is really fun to get into and I enjoyed watching Chester do his "rap star" version and I went all nuts on the bridge. Me and Mary Ann really get into it and its very fun going to concerts with her. She has been a big time LP fan since literally Day 1 (before Mark and I) so its always fun to have someone tag along with you like her to enjoy the show.

 

SIB was next and I have never been a big fan of the studio intro and I really missed the PR 07 intro but this song is a true riot to most fans, which caught me off guard. So many people jump and get into this song, a lot more than I thought. The bridge and outro of the song are really great and this song was great to rock out too. I know Mark likes the outro drums and so do I. Very good song done live.

 

Thing I noticed at Raleigh was (and I assumed it had to do something with Busta Rhymes leaving the tour) was the band hardly talked between the songs like the setlist calls for, SIB being one of those. It was dissapointing but when you're at the show and all that, your there for the music and thats what it was about.

 

Next came the almighty No More Sorrow and I absolutely love that the band puts the full intro to this baby in the middle of the set. It owns and I love seeing everyones face and reaction when the sample and lights hit in the middle of the intro before the ebow. The intro is epic and I love it when they shut down all the lights and build it into this crazy light show. Best lights I have ever seen for a LP song. I love it very much and this song is great to rock to live. I went apeshit on this song and followed Chester with the groovy (and super loud live) bridge riff. That song should be a setlist staple for many tours to come.

 

Papercut was next and this has always been one of my favorites and I love the intro samples and Mike's little speech, although most of them sound very rhetoric to what he did last year at the same venues. This is a part that they need to change along with the whole 'Say whats' in LFY and 'Bring it back y'all' in POA. Those little live things get worn out very easily if you do it every show every tour for a cycle. Papercut is a great song and I love listening to it. The bridge is epic live and the band has always had a ton of camederie on this song, even if it is old-school.

 

Another old-school favorite of mine is POA, my favorite song from Hybrid Theory and I love always wondering what the FM verse will be over the drum sample. It was Bloc Party which I had heard Mike debut in Atlanta last year and also heard in Raleigh the week before. I love the verse so I didn't mind. However, hindsight, POA at this show was a bit weak because its apparent the band just doesn't get into this song like they used to and Joe really fucked up the outro, which I think is the best part of the song live. Either way the song rocked and the outro was great - I hope there is more of that stuff to come in the studio.

 

Wake 2.0 and Given Up were next and I agree with Mark - this version of Wake is much better for the middle of the sets whereas the regular studio Wake is great for opening shows. Given Up is a very fun song but not my favorite. I wish Chester could do the whole scream every night which I know he can't but I just don't think this song live has as much power as it does with the studio version. I still get down with this baby and lights are great - also Chester clearly loves this song as does pretty mcuh everyone in the crowd. I do think its a very good middle setlist song and I could see it becoming a POA-ish song through the years in terms of it getting remixes and stuff - so long as Chester can keep screaming like that.

 

FTI is next and I love the intro. I always have and I always will. The lights are great during the intro as well, I love them. I knew I better rock out this song because the next few is where the set gets calm (and rather boring at times.)

 

Like I said after the initial 8-10 rockin' songs, they slow it down and this is where I catch my breath, look around, and take it in. Leave Out All The Rest I think is an awful song live. I just cannot get into it. Studio, its not that bad, I just think its a very odd song for LP especially as a single. It just does not do much for me and Mary Ann and Mark agree. I also really dislike the fact that Joe will sometimes leave during this song and Brad and Phi leave until the end. I know thats commonplace to do that when at that point of the song you don't have a role but I think unless its something acoustic or piano, all the members should be out there. Anyways, Numb brought things back to life and I think this song is really good live. Chester always nails the bridge and for someone who used to hate this song, I really enjoy everytime this song comes on. It may not be on you bang your head up and down to but its always one I get passionate about sing-a-long wise and even though a lot of people call for its ouster in the set, I think its a great fit in between the slower songs since LP will not rid itself of that part of the set.

 

Little Things was next and after hearing Atlanta 07, no other version of this song can ever stand up to it. The piano intro from Mike is long and drawn out and while I think this is a great song, its way too long for the set and is really a set killer. I hope this song will find the retirement list - its a great song live, it just is too long and and whaney.

 

Breaking The Habit has a Numb-like effect to the set and brings things right back. This song has always been a favorite of mine, studio or live and Charlotte's was epic. As Mark said, Mike went crazy on the keys on the bridge like we have never seen before and it was great to him "break it down" so to speak, with no pun intended. :lol: The song should be a setlist-staple and the outro is fantastic. Really great song live.

 

But look what we have here. The disasterous Shadow of the Day which I really just don't like as a whole. There are certain dynamics about the song that I like such as the dominant sounding drums and the strings (which really dominate the song live, which is a plus). But overall I just don't like the song and I don't like it live but I deal with it. I still sing-a-long and enjoy it but I the song just really doesn't do much for me.

 

Crawling was next and the intro was great. Love the Reani intro and Mike performing the HHH verse as pretty much a silhouette thanks to the excellent lighting is terrific. This is still one of their great live songs, even though I think hearing it live is a lot better than anything on the DSP. I usually skip over this song on the DSP but live, it really is powerful and so many people get into it. So many different aspects about this song make this a terrific LP-style song. Of course, Chris Cornell came out and I could tell Mark seeing that for the first time. I was kinda neutral on him coming out, I enjoyed it as it was different but I didn't get too overly excited about it. It was a good thing to add to the tour though.

 

After that came In The End, which unlike Mark, I think is a bad way to close the regular set. ITE is always a great song but I don't think its every played that well live. I will always prefer the studio version to any live version. Needless to say, I enjoy the song and the bridge parts. LP said its typical good-byes and what not, and then it was time for encore-time.

 

The show thus far had been great, but really quick. I was already shocked they were done with that much of the show but I was still excited as ever. Beating on the seats and waiting for the epic What I've Done intro. I was glad Mark was getting to see this for the first time because it was one of the first things we talked about after I started talking to him after Nashville (which had THE MOST epic WID intro, so loud). He always said to like it but he said he really enjoyed the studio intro, which I dislike. Watching this I believe led him to change his mind.

 

The ambient sample and sirens popped on and people started cheering. There are certain parts of the show that, for some reason, are extremely loud and Brad's guitar in this intro is one of those times. I love this intro and even though it doesn't have the same "vibe" as when I saw it the first time in Nashville, its a great way to start an encore. The song starts and we all go wild. WID is a fun song, its definitely mid-tempo but it still has a very strong beat and the band you can tell really enjoys playing it. Then.

 

Faint.

 

The best live song from the Park.

 

Me and Mary Ann went crazy on this shit in Raleigh and nothing gets me more excited during their setlist when I hear the Faint sample start. We had center view and I was ready to get down. Brad does his famous ass dance and BOOM here we go. The place jumps up like never before and I start going crazy since I have a little extra room because the people next to me left. My favorite thing to do on this song is during the bridge and outro is grab the seat in front of me and just go up down insane-style. I can only imagine what the people in back of me thought but who cares - that song is so much fun. The intro is incredible and the outro is crazy insane. Chester goes crazy on that song and I absolutely love watching him. Probably one of the reasons his back got fucked up. I still haven't seen Faint close a show but I no matter what, this song is #1 live. Man, what a riot.

 

After the riot, LP leaves again and a lot of people start to leave which I cannot stand. I hate that LP does 2 encores. I do take enjoyment in the people trying to rush back after the 2nd encore starts and the looks on their faces. Anyways, the lights were dim and the crew roll out Rob's small drum kit and Rob comes out and does a wave and proceeds with his slightly amateurish drum solo. I enjoy the intro drum solo and it was awesome to see him like RIGHT THERE. The man is a fantastic drummer and he is so tight (drumming-wise) but I really do think he never hits his potential as far as tracks he comes up with for songs or his drum solos. He has always claimed to be a be a man not wanting to show-off and you can still tell in his solos he feels that way. Either way they are entertaining and really gets the crowd going. Brad comes in the with the BIO riff and we are underway. I have seen this song close a set I think like 6/8 times and I really don't think its the best song to close with. I think its a great song to end a regular set with but even with the outro and all the other added extenders, the song has never really done a great deal for me live. I still enjoy it to the max and I do like when SDC comes out for this one, when Rob gets back to his regular drum kit, the beats are insane. They proceed with the bridge and outro and that show number 4 for me is done. We wait around and watch the ending festivities and I always enjoy watching the members and their reactions and stuff until they leave the stage.

 

Me and Mary Ann and Mark do a lot of talking on the way to packing up our stuff and our ears are burning as is the norm after a rockin' show. Mark makes his way up to FOH and meets Pooch and we thought that was cool. I could tell Mark was pretty much on Cloud 9 after seeing the show with as good a seats as we had and I could tell him meeting Pooch was a big deal. We had a good talk going back to the car but as I knew from Dave Matthews, getting out of this venue is AWFUL. We waited about an hour to leave which is ridiculous. But we had a lot of talking to do and it was nice to just chill for a bit before the ride home to ATL. It had seemed like we knew Mark for a decade and I enjoyed that, he added a lot to the trip that would have been missing had it just been me and my girl.

 

We finally get going and we hit up a Waffle House about 10 miles outside Charlotte and eat head down 85 to my house. We got back, did some business, and clonked out for the big 9 hour drive to West Palm Beach a few hours later.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed Charlotte but it wasn't the best show of the trip. I really gotta give it to Mark on guiding us to the seats, the seats were great. I really like the venue, I mean, its a typical "cookie-cutter" amphitheatre much like Raleigh's and Atlanta's. But it's nicely kept and the greenery is really nice outside of the lawn and in the concourses. The people/security were also real nice as well. Linkin Park, as always gave 110%.

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Sick review - way better than mine. Can't wait to read your version of West Palm Beach / all the events surrounding it. LOL @ Mary Ann being livid at my 5pm arrival :)

 

and lmao @ you being able to get ANYWHERE (see: Charlotte, Nashville, West Palm, Tampa, Atlanta) about 1.5 to 2 hours quicker than Google Maps's estimated time. A perfect 2nd viewpoint of the day, nice job :)

 

"And look what we have here" - ahaha @ SOTD.

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