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About zuben7o7

  • Birthday 08/03/1988

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Atlanta, GA
  • Interests
    Music | Sports | Media | Politics | Concerts
  1. As much as you and I have personally learned about the music industry over the past few years, I am shocked you actually think the band tells their management and booking agent "Oh yeah, let's hit some cities we don't go to a lot." The band probably doesn't even have any idea where they are even going. "Mad props" to the band? Because they made up a quote from Chester lol? Please. Only props should be going to their booking agent who routed the tour and got it booked up. With that being said, it certainly is cool to see the band go to these cities again. Nashville 2008 was one of the best LP shows I've seen and definitely the best one that has been held in an arena. I was already contacted by Whitney from Music for Relief yesterday on what shows I'll be able to do on the tour. Orlando and Nashville seem to be the only locks for right now. And with that being said, it is also bizarre the band continues to pass by cities like New Orleans and for whatever reason, Atlanta now.
  2. I don't think the venue opened in 2007. And it is not the home of the Buccanneers. It is home to the Yankees in Spring Training. Very underwhelming first show last night. Not impressed with much even though Chester definitely having personal/physical issues during show.
  3. I've been a fan of Linkin Park since I heard Lying From You on 99x in Atlanta every hour in the Spring of 2004. That song is still my favorite to this day and Meteora is my favorite Linkin Park album. I have seen the band many times all over the USA and consider myself a well-versed and respected fan in the Linkin Park community. Although I haven't been an absolute huge fan of an entire album of theirs since Meteora, LP has still brought the jams and are one of the best alternative rock bands of our generation. With that said, I still don't feel like they ever reach their true potential on albums. I think they focus so much on a certain direction and that floods their minds on what an album should sound like. The reason their first two albums are so popular, especially amongst the early fans and casual fans, is the unique nature of bringing all the elements that are Linkin Park into one: loud guitars, riveting dualing lyrics from two great and very different vocalists, and electronics that kept it all together without ever gravitating to an electro sound. With Minutes to Midnight, the band shredded that approach for an almost completely stripped down sound. There are some quality jams on MTM and I appreciate the album more now than I did in 2007, but even I only listen to this completely 2-3x a year. A Thousand Suns saw them go in the completely other direction, dropping the noticeable loud guitars for an almost completely electronic-rock sound. For a concept album, the album is overall very good. But much like MTM, I only truly love a few tracks. However, I feel if ATS was an album placed in an earlier decade, it would have much more respect than what it garners now in the mainstream. Then you have Living Things, the supposed mashup of everything the band has ever done into one big album. They failed miserably. Living Things is easily their worst album, with half of the songs sounding like a bunch of "seeds" strewn together and put on an album. Now, we arrive at yet another mission for the band. The Hunting Party. Great album name. From the sound of it, this album was going to go more in the indie-pop-rock lane but quickly dropped (thankfully). Only this time, the band wanted to go straight back to loud guitars, raging screams, and newly-found hardcore drums. Its just the product that came out seems forced, almost garage band-ish if you will, and unpolished. I just got done listening to The Hunting Party for the first time. I was completely underwhelmed, much to my disapointment. I like hard, heavy rock. I like jams. I was expecting jams and did not get what I was looking for. While I surely will enjoy this album with more listens, it overall doesn't pack the punch I was quite looking for and does little to change the current landscape of modern rock, much like the band said they were aiming for. THE HUNTING PARTY First Listen Review KEYS TO THE KINGDOM I had heard many times over the course of the past week that this song was the definition of filthy jams. I was expecting something that would just blow me away and a track I would probably want to play 5x over before getting to the second track. Unfortuantely, that did not happen. The elements are there. It's loud, it's heavy, Chester is roaring, and Shinoda sounds good. It just didn't translate right on my first listen. Going to take a bit to get used to way Chester sounds. I was expecting just a full on onslaught by the band here but it didn't deliver. I think Given Up, Lost in the Echo, Don't Stay, and Papercut are all better album openers. Seems shorter than it is. Chester sounds a bit like Chino from Deftones on their song Elite, although I much prefer the ladder. 5/10 ALL FOR NOTHING (FEATURING PAGE HAMILTON) This song was almost completely forgettable upon first listen. The intro straight from Keys is unimpressive. Shinoda rapping in the verses... I thought he should be brought up in the mix vocally. The chorus sounded a bit catchy, if not poppy. Another generic guitar piece. Bass is loud and noticeable, which is cool. I think I will end up enjoying this track more way down the line and it has great potential live but upon first listen, it did little for me. I am completely unfamilar with Page Hamilton or Helmet so I didn't know how this song compared to them or shared his influence. Sounded similar to some of Rise Against's mainstream stuff. 4/10 GUILTY ALL THE SAME (FEATURING RAKIM) The first time I listened to this track was the night it was suddenly debuted on Shazam. I was driving on the interstate and had to listen right then. I put my iPhone 5 speaker to my ear and listened while driving. Terrible idea. So underwhelmed. I thought Chester sounded so weak, thought the intro was borrowed from fellow Warner Bros. rockers A7X, and thought the Rakim rap section was miserable. After about a month, I finally got into the track and now, I love the whole thing. This track also seems much shorter than its huge running time. Chester sounds great and the band is really jamming after the second and third choruses. The instrumental part of the bridge with Rakim might be the highlight of the album and he drops a really great 24-bar filthy verse. As of right now, this is my favorite track on the album. 9/10 THE SUMMONING Typical LP prelude instrumental track. Not a whole lot going on music-wise but I do enjoy the piece and hope it is played live as an intro for a track. Reminds me of a longer Empty Spaces from A Thousand Suns. 7/10 WAR First thing I noticed about this track is how completely raw it sounded. Very interesting mix. I heard a lot of people say it sounded like early Green Day and I don't hear it. Chester has a good delivery here. Better than I expected. Quality riff from Delson, much less punky that I figured, which is good in my opinion. I'm not a fan of quick 2 minute songs but this completely destroys Victimized from Living Things. Overall, I enjoyed this track more than the first two upon first listen. 7/10 WASTELANDS I had heard a brief clip of this song and that was it, none of the live versions. The riff is definitely crunchy-jammy and up my alley, one of the better ones on the album. Shinoda drops some quality stuff here but it didn't stay with me. The beginning of chorus vocals are very poppy sounding, I do not like, but it gets better in last part of chorus. A solid, if not odd, track overall. I need to listen to this more to really get a better grasp on if this is my type of jam or not, but that could probably be said for most of the record at this point. 6/10 UNTIL IT'S GONE Another typical LP mid-tempo radio single. At least the overall tone of this song is darker and moodier than, say, New Divide, Burn It Down, or even What I've Done. The intro is great with the synth but it's way too short. More generic guitars and uber-generic lyrics. Chester sounds good during the verses but not a huge fan of the first few choruses. The last chorus with the progression and last scream is a good change but overall, the song is too plain and repetitive. 5/10 REBELLION (FEATURING DARON MALAKIAN) Definitely my least favorite song on the album upon first listen. I am not a huge fan of System of a Down and I can definitely hear Daron's influence here, altough System is much more brutal. Shinoda is cool in the verses singing but I hate the chorus. Guitar doesn't jam enough for me and the drums don't do much either. More forgettable, forced screaming. Really not sure about this song, was really hoping for a massive breakdown bridge or something. 3/10 MARK THE GRAVES I've heard Thrice and Foo Fighters comparisons for this song and I can hear both arguments, especially the Thrice one. I am a big fan of both bands. Definitely an experimental rock song. I couldn't translate one thing Chester sang in the verses. Really all over the place kinda song but the guitar is good in a lot of places and the bassline is unique. I think I will end up liking this number much more after a few listens. 7/10 DRAWBAR (FEATURING TOM MORELLO) Another interlude piece, but this is much different sounding than any of their other album interlude stuff. I really enjoy it. The piano and drums sound good together and you can hear Morello in background. He may not be jamming like he did on a Rage song but this is a good 2 minute piece that is subdued but interesting enough for repeat value. 8/10 FINAL MASQUERADE Cool drum intro. Chester sounds good but not over the top amazing like I've seen in reviews. A good, quality ballad. Super generic guitars and overall song structure. Lyrics are definitely good. Much better than Powerless or Iridescent. I think this song might have been better on more piano-based stuff than guitar actually. WIsh they could make a Breaking the Habit-type track again (without rehashing old sounds). Quality track for a ballad but I'd prefer something more heavy at this part of the album. 6/10 A LINE IN THE SAND I really enjoyed this track overall. It's not super epic like I had heard but it has a lot of great parts to it. Interesting to hear Shinoda sing regular verses and choruses then rap over a quiter part of the song. Chester sounds a little odd on the chorus. Some good jams going on in this song, but again, not exactly what I was expecting. The drums are very, very good on this track. Definitely heavy and definitely long enough for a lot to be going on. I hear more Thrice influence, but not much Metallica. Definitely better than the last few album closers. 7/10 The Hunting Party. I hope it grows on me. (I wish there were 2-3 more just gnarly rock tracks that exploded.) I think it will but it still doesn't stir the pot enough for me. It's great to have the band jamming on guitars again, and introducing more complex drums and basslines but a lot of the album feels unpolished and unoriginal. Was hoping for more signature riffing from Delson from the earlier days. Shinoda lays down some of his typical solid rapping but none of it stood out to me and he sounded far back in the mix compared to WTCFM and W&K on ATS (some of his best rapping, period). Chester is here and there on the record, great to have him screaming, but I prefer the screams of the early days, Given Up, Blackout, etc. These screams on this album are frequent but didn't rattle my core like those tracks did upon first listen. Chester doesn't feel epic on this album. I wish they still could incorporate more of their signature electronic sounds (Joe??) without sacrificing the overall goal of creating a visceral rock record but it seems like the band has a hard time getting it all together in one package like they did back in the early-2000s. Overall, I feel like this is a step in the right direction for the band, I just feel the album didn't quite live up to the hype from the band (surprise, surprise). The album name and art, along with song titles are clever and better than its predecessor. The album destroys Living Things on all levels, which tells you how much Living Things sucks in my book. I look forward to disecting more of The Hunting Party and will update my review in a month, as my outlook on songs will surely be different, and hopefully for the better.
  4. Pretty positive they've opened for Metallica in recent years but last time they opened for anyone in the states was Tool at the California festival in 2009. Zero question LP plays last every night on this tour.
  5. By far, the worst I've ever heard Chester. Where is the ferocity? The track would be wicked if he was screaming at the end of the chorus but he sounds horrible. The jam during Rahim verse is great. And it's great they have found heavy guitars again but this proves that just because the song is built around a guitar and fast drums, it isn't Necessairily gonna be good. I see no reason to bring a collaborator on this song. I don't care how "legendary" they are, Shinoda should do that part. Not sure on a final opinion. It's headed in a direction I think I'll like but for Christs sake I hope Chester sounds better on other songs.
  6. I see me a good 2-3x in this video. Einziger was definitely a last minute deal. I watched the whole soundcheck. I'm not sure he had even heard What I've Done before the rehearsal. He is nasty, though. Shinoda demanding Castle of Glass being played 9x or something with the Heart girls just proved how much of a disaster it was. Sounds terrible in this video, sounded terrible each time they rehearsed, and sounded terrible during the show. You can tell Shinoda is like "Thank God this is over" right after the song is played. This is definitely one of the more interesting shows I have seen and been a part of. Nowhere near top of the list though, although it was intimate as hell. It was cool helping out with Machine Shop and Warner Bros/LP people for most of the night from MFR booth, ticket envelope booth, VIP room, etc.
  7. I was privileged to once again make my second trip to the western United States in less than six months for personal vacation/jam time and to see to Linkin Park at two unique shows in their neck of the woods. I first saw Linkin Park on Projekt Revolution 2007 and have seen them close to 20x since then. Ever since 2004, they have been one of - if not – my favorite band. The operation of the band, in the studio and on stage, has changed throughout the years, as it does with any performing group. While some shows I have seen throughout the years have been better than others, there is no doubt Linkin Park is one of the best live bands out there today and despite the daily armchair critiquing by us fans, they bring it big every single night. I got involved with Music for Relief with Mark on the U.S. arena tour in 2011. We did the first three shows of the tour (Sunrise + Tampa, FL & Atlanta, GA) and after the tour, we agreed we just about enjoyed the MFR booth as much as the shows itself. We were also fortunate enough to be a part of the first six shows of the Honda Civic Tour in 2012, helping coordinate the booth with Missy, Paul, and all the great volunteers in each city. Even the great Jonas was brought along for the first five shows and it was a great experience for all of us. Linkin Park brought it especially big that tour and it is two weeks I will surely never forget. Fast forward to 2014, and now I’m getting invited to run the booths at these shows in Vegas and LA. A true honor. I helped run the booth on my 25th birthday at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in August 2013 – that booth turned out to be the biggest and best booth since MFR started. We raised nearly $3k at that one show alone! It was truly historic and ultimately surreal for me personally to see the band perform in North Hollywood, just feet away from some of the venues they got their start at such as The Roxy and Whisky a Go-Go. I flew to Vegas from Atlanta last Wednesday. After a brief stop there, I finished my travel for the day by taking a short flight from Vegas to Phoenix to meet with Haley, a great friend and supporter of Linkin Park for many years. This was my first visit to Arizona and I enjoyed it greatly. I am a Southern boy at heart, but I could easily see myself living in this environment for a few years down the road in life. The next day, we took the trip from Phoenix to Vegas, stopping at the massive and stunning Hoover Dam. What an absolute treat it was to see something I had studied since elementary school. I knew this was the beginning of a truly epic weekend. I have to admit – I wasn’t impressed with Vegas at first. I love touring cities, I love jamming, and I love doing the best of what cities have to offer. I noticed immediately that the strip wasn’t as big as I thought it was, although still an impressive sight. However, after settling into the Luxor hotel, and setting out for the night, I quickly fell in love with the vibes, weather, and true marvel of Sin City. The next day was Friday – show day. When I was younger – Mark can attest to this too – I would get antsy and an excited feeling with a hint of anxiousness to see the band. As I’ve gotten older, this doesn’t occur as often but still doesn’t diminish the fact I was excited to see the guys again and be a part of Music for Relief once more, an organization I would support even if it wasn’t driven by Linkin Park. Vegas during the day is just as great as during the night. Beautiful weather engulfed the city, a welcomed change from the harsh (to me) weather I had experienced in Georgia just a few days before. I really enjoyed going to each of the casinos, up the Eiffel Tower, and watching the Bellagio fountains. I had to be at the venue at 6pm to meet with the wonderful Missy, MFR’s volunteer coordinator on the road. I knew this beforehand but when I arrived at the venue, I was reminded that this would be, to that point, the smallest venue I had seen LP at. The Joint is tied into the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and creates a great vibe for preshow festivities with loyal fans. The booth in Vegas was easily the smallest I’ve ever had. Instead of a booth, it was a small table and we had a minimal setup with bandanas, ear plugs, bracelets, and the solar box that hadn’t seen light since we had it out at the SSMF. I had some familiar faces volunteering with me and it’s always good to know people in different areas of the country – it really makes you appreciate the nation more. It was great getting back into the MFR swing of things and we ended up raising over $200 at the show, which seems modest but not a bad number considering the small booth and not the best location in venue. Missy has always been a sweetheart to me, and her & Lorenzo allowed me to be a part of the meet & greet last minute. It was upstairs in a small room, so small there had to be two groups go in at separate time. I was part of the second group. Haley had gotten a meet & greet as well. This was her second time meeting the band while this was my fifth time. I’m not a big fan of autographs, especially ones I already have, so I didn’t have or need anything to be signed. I prefer a good chat and a picture, if it can be done. We went into the small room, and it was a typical meet & greet vibe. Mark Fiore, Jim Digby, venue people, security guards, and the band goofing with each other. This is always one of the great times to observe the band and their camaraderie with each other. They’re still relatively new way of meeting with fans is far better than their old way of being at a table sitting down, leaving little chance to talk or interact with the band other than having something signed and a quick handshake. Having the fans line up and the band come down the line is far superior and much more enjoyable. There were probably 25-30 fans in the small room. Haley and I were right in the middle. We took the group picture first. Brad was first to come up to me. I like all the members of the band but Brad Delson definitely has a unique personality. I didn’t have much to say to him and had nothing for him to sign so he decided to sign my shirt, which I have to admit, I really didn’t want but in the end, it doesn’t really matter, ha. I was solely set on one thing in the meet & greet: showing Chester the great in-my-face video of Sex Type Thing from the Stone Temple Pilots-headlined festival in Jacksonville, Florida a month earlier. Joe Hahn came by briefly but I don’t even think I said anything to him as I was trying to get pictures of Haley and Mike. I talked to Mike briefly, told him I hoped Lying From You was in one of the set lists for the two shows and he just kinda laughed. He made a comment about my Atlanta Falcons hat and also signed my shirt since he saw Delson had. Phoenix came by and I’ve always had good talks with him. He wanted to know how MFR was going and we talked about me coming from Atlanta, etc. We also asked him about Lying from You (my favorite song) and he hesitantly said “I, I don’t think we’re playing it tonight, ha.” He seems to be a pretty balanced guy personality-wise and I enjoy talking to him. Rob came by and the first thing I noticed was the gray in his beard haha…. and he’s the youngest one in the band! He signed my shirt as well and we had a nice, if not purposely awkward, exchange haha. Chester came up and I immediately threw the 75-second badass video of him in the crowd in JAX and he exploded, watched almost the entire video. Immediate smile on his face, he talked to me for a good while about how much he enjoyed that particular show, all the different bands that were on the bill. It was a great chat and you could tell he was legit pleased to have an LP fan at an LP meet & greet talk to him about seeing him at an STP show and loving it. He hugged me, and told me appreciated the support on both sides, and I have to say, although I don’t get “star-struck” or anything like that, it was a legit cool moment for me. Haley got the last bit of conversation on video along with a few solid pictures that can be found on my FB (Preston Bonner) and Instagram (pbones7). Meet & greet was done for us as the show was set to begin in 20 minutes. I still had to bring up the MFR stuff and cash to production offices so I did that then Missy escorted me through backstage to a great spot in the middle of the pit. I don’t believe the show was sold out (surprising) but the place was jammed pack. Typical for the band at one-off shows, there was minimal stage design but plenty of lights and production to assist the band in a great night of jamming. Lights dimmed and the band immediately came out to play Wake, something that took me off guard for a second. I enjoyed Wake opening with the kabuki in 2007 but it seemed a bit anti-climactic this go around considering some of the other epic intros the band is known for. The band went straight into Given Up, a great rendition of a song that I am, honestly, a bit tired of in the set. Not going to post a review of every song as I know this has been quite the read thus far and thank you for reading if you still are haha. The band was in good form, especially Shinoda. He has really commanded the stage the past few times I have seen the band. In fact, this might have been the most energetic I’ve seen Shinoda ever and that’s certainly not taking away from previous performances. It was interesting to see Chester back with LP after just seeing him rock JAX to pieces with STP in a truly epic performance. He sounded good but it’s obvious the band is phoning in some of the old songs such as Faint, Numb, Breaking the Habit, etc. Shinoda had the place bouncing good on With You, a song I was happy to still see being played. A welcomed surprised in the set was When They Come For Me, one of the band’s best songs (studio & live). They nailed it, as they do everytime. Shinoda really jams with the verses and Chester has impeccable concentration during his vocal parts. The end of the song with the megaphone siren from Brad and Chester’s war cry are easily some of the best parts of any show the song is a part of and this was no exception. The band also really gets into Lies Greed Misery, a song that I think is pure junk to be honest with you. However, they also really get into Lost in the Echo, and that song live is one of their best in the current set lists. The extended intro into the guitars and heart-shaking bass really hits hard and gets the crowd going midset. Shinoda was A+ in the crowd on In The End, taking pictures of fans with their phones and cameras. The encore seemed a bit botched as they were going to play A Light That Never Comes but that idea was scrapped last minute as techs were seen scrambling last second before an uninspired Faint started. The band still jams large during the outro however. To end the show, One Step Closer never ever fails to bring the jams from the band and the crowd. It was like a bomb went off and it was great to see the place and whole band going nuts, old-school style. All in all, I really enjoyed the show. It was unique to see the band in a smaller venue like The Joint. I was disappointed that classic songs such as Papercut, Points of Authority, Lying from You, and A Place for My Head weren’t found in the set but the band still rocked it and the crowd was solid. Next day, we headed out for my second trip to California. I enjoyed California in August and the weather was outstanding this time out. We got into Downtown Los Angeles about an hour before I had to be at the venue for MFR at 4pm. I knew, even after last night’s show, that this would definitely be the smallest venue I had seen the band in and was looking forward to it as I knew there would be collaborations, etc. Whitney, the director of MFR, had emailed me a week before and asked me to run the booth at this show and I was honored to be able to once again. Club Nokia is located on the third floor of a real plush, small district in Los Angeles adjacent to the Staples Center. I was very excited to be a part of this exclusive show. I got in the venue around 4pm and met with some of the other volunteers. Bad Religion was sound checking with Jim Digby running the operation, as expected. The venue was super-dark, super-small for LP standards, but super-nice. Our booth once again only contained a few tables on the left side of the venue just passed doors with a great view of the small rotating stage. The booth was geared specifically for the Concert for the Philippines. We were also auctioning off close to 40 different items donated by LP and other bands such as Alice in Chains, Muse, Metallica, System of a Down, and more. We were also auctioning Brad’s sweet guitar used in the Burn It Down video. Bids for that started at a mild (ha) $3,500. The same volunteers that were in Vegas were volunteering in LA as well so we had a great veteran group. Love all those guys. Always a lot of fun to hang with people I don’t get to see often, all while spreading the word on a great charity and bringing in donations. As there were at the SSMF and I imagine all LA-area shows, there were a lot of people from Machine Shop, Warner Bros., Music For Relief and people who work directly with the band. A few times, I was even asked to help with the guest list and giving fans, press, family, etc. their tickets, laminates, wristbands, credentials, what have you. This was outside on ground level of the district and was a really cool experience. A unique situation occurred when Richard Patrick, the lead singer of Filter and former guitarist for Nine Inch Nails, casually strolled up looking for his tickets. All tickets were in alphabetical order in five boxes along with a guest list just in case an envelope was missing. I immediately recognized him while the other girls working alongside of me didn’t. I didn’t make a comment about his fame, although I wanted to. It was hilarious holding this man’s ID, looking for his envelope, which actually wasn’t there. He was on the list however, but he told me he’d find his own way in venue. Ok, buddy. Not a fan of Filter after stories I’ve heard about him from my good friends in 10 Years and the one time I saw them open a gig in Corpus Christi, Texas was very unimpressive. I also had the privilege of giving tickets to Lisa Ling of CNN fame. Her sister was caught up a few years ago in North Korea and was held hostage until President Clinton went over to negotiate and ended up bringing her back (a rather unique + impressive diplomatic move). I went back upstairs to the venue where Linkin Park was sound checking. This is my third time getting to see the band sound check/rehearse and it’s very unique to see them in this setting. Mike and Jim Digby immediately pushed doors back an hour to 7pm to get more work in on songs especially Castle of Glass with the Heart girls. Chester and Joe were the only members of the band not present for sound check. They quickly went through Faint. There was a TelePrompTer for the Heart women for Castle of Glass as well as Stryker, Whitney Showler, and Mike for his Thank Yous at the end of the show. All in all, the band went through Castle of Glass 6-8 times, sometimes full song, sometimes with Mike huddled with Heart women, singing the chorus over and over again. As if we didn’t already know, Shinoda fully commands the operation with Digby close by at all times. He will start and stop songs at any time during a rehearsal. He told Rob that he would have to start the song with the pads because they were not going to be on a click track as usual for this song. Shinoda seemed to be a little pressed with Rob and Brad, as well as the Heart ladies during the multiple plays of the song but kept his professional demeanor at all times. Mike Einziger then came out for What I’ve Done and In The End. Brad was showing him some of the parts to play and honestly, he didn’t add much, other than some short but sweet solos during both songs. It was still cool to see him on stage with the band and he seemed to be enjoying himself. Mike joked with Einziger about the In The End guitar parts having a “super difficult rhythm that may be out of his league.” …of course, a joke on the mega easy ITE guitar parts. They rehearsed the song and Mike went through the verses, rapping very uninspired, very interesting to hear him “perform” the song in this particular tone, although it was just simply a practice run. He used the time to try and navigate around the interesting stage design to see where he could come into the crowd during the performance. He even tried walking on the barricade to not much success. It was also interesting to hear him lightly sing Chester’s part of this song, if just to keep the song in balance, perhaps for Einziger. They then went into What I’ve Done or perhaps it was the other way around and it was a similar deal to ITE. Not much could be heard from Einziger until the bridge solo. Mike also sang some of Chester’s part of the song. I could not get any of this on video as there were phone Nazis everywhere. There were only about 15 people in the venue for their soundcheck, mostly venue staff, my volunteer crew, and a few VIPs. They brought out Travis Barker’s green drum set for Bleed It Out but Barker never made an appearance at this sound check. They just set up the drums so Mike could see how it would be. They went through Bleed It Out and that was the end of the soundcheck. Doors opened. People rushed the floor. It was an unusually small crowd, especially for a small venue. The place couldn’t hold more than a thousand people, if that. Even the right and left sides of the balcony were curtained off. I went back and forth from MFR booth to the will call table downstairs, really enjoying the vibes. I saw Bad Religion briefly, they sounded OK, not my type of jams. The Offspring played a short set and they jammed big. I really liked what I could see from them even though I am not familiar with the band members, I knew some of their big hits and was jamming with fellow volunteers. The place was still half empty for Offspring and didn’t get much larger by the time LP came on. I traveled up to the balcony during Whitney’s in-between set speech on MFR and the Philippines and most of the balcony was empty. Very odd vibes considering most of the the time, I’m seeing LP pack out arenas and amphitheaters. Stryker of KROQ was the host of the show and he was dressed in a suit. He did a good job navigating the show forward, although I think he was a bit awkward at times on stage. We shut down the booth with over $350 raised; something I thought was a good number considering the crowd and what we were giving out for donations (bandanas and bracelets). We were close to Linkin time. The band quickly came out with no intro or lights out to One Step Closer, again much to my surprise. My fellow volunteers and I rushed the pit, only to be held up by a typical dickass security guy. I had a working pass and laminate and he wasn’t impressed with either. I even got Lorenzo on the situation while the song was playing (albeit, no matter where we were for this show, it would be about as close as I’ve ever been to an LP show considering the small stage/venue this was). Lorenzo was denied after a valiant effort to escort us down there, which is bizarre considering he has an All-Access pass for the band. I think bands and venues needs to be on the right page more often on shows like this regarding passes, VIPs, etc. because this is not the first time issues have arisen with security about passes. I took us to the other side and after much deliberation with that guard, I got us in. I was not particularly happy at this point as I missed most of OSC and Faint. However, considering the small amount of people in the pit, I was three rows from front and center, with cameras flying everywhere. It was very weird to see the band in such a small setting with no stage backdrops but again, good lighting. Chester wore shades the entire show, perhaps because he was sick or perhaps for other reasons, not sure. The show was good but it was a bit sloppy and I was disappointed it was so short – I definitely was expecting close to a full set. This was an uber-single show. It was cool being able to see the band so up-close though. Chester didn’t move much from the micstand, but to his credit there wasn’t much room to jam. Highlight of the show was Mike’s UIB verse drop on the center platform and Barker coming out to close out Bleed It Out. Einziger was cool, and I am a huge Incubus fan, but he didn’t add much to the songs and his guitar was hardly audible until his solos. The Heart women seemed unready again even with the TelePrompTer and I was highly unimpressed with this rendition of Castle of Glass, a song that is fair live with the band but not a favorite of mine song-wise. Shinoda even seemed to know it wasn’t particularly good but I’ll credit all performers for coming out and playing with the band. The show was just over an hour, my shortest LP show to date. There were plusses and minuses for the show but probably more minuses. Chester did say during the show that he appreciated everyone for donating serious money and for being there and I was reminded that was what the show ultimately was for: to help the Philippines in a dire situation most of us will never know. All band members had friends + family there, as you could tell by their expressions during songs looking into the balcony. You could also tell they were surprised at a half-empty club in Downtown LA. With that said, if this was a regularly sold show, it would have sold out instantly. Chester came down in between the stage and barricade and stayed for an hour, meeting with fans, taking pictures, doing almost anything. Although he seemed sick during the show, he was in great shape post-show and wanted to talk to everyone. There were a few rabid fans that I’m sure the band aren’t fans of but I was privileged to once again chat with him briefly and get a cool picture right next to stage. He really is a calm, genuine guy and although his voice has seemingly gotten a bit worse for LP shows over the years, he still is one of the best and most popular lead singers in rock music today. I told him I am a huge fan of his: LP or STP and he loved it. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. I’ve traveled a lot of places around the world and seen a ton of shows by a lot of bands, but being a part of the LP community is always something I am passionate about. I am looking forward to a big 2014 from the band with an album drop and International tour. I have a personal feeling that after this next album’s touring cycle, the band will go on a hiatus, if even for a short while. I have no particular reason to feel this way other than just a gut feeling. The band still has chemistry on stage, and in more lax situations like meet and greets. In a time where members of rock bands are changing all the time, I appreciate the continuity the band has brought the last 13-14 years. Thanks for reading an absolute novel! Until the next jams commence…. “The journey is more important than the end or the start.”
  8. LOL @ all of you saying no way Honda Civic Tour is possible.
  9. Both Bristow & Uncasville are indeed make up dates but are part of the Honda Civic Tour.
  10. Extremely! Very impressive by Pooch. Very cool I was in room while part of this was being mixed! 84 different mics on stage/in crowd... Pooch has a heck of a job.
  11. NICE! We were in the fucking room with Pooch when he was mixing this shit! That is awesome! Can't wait to see the mike.flag pic, that's our flag!
  12. Here is the first video I took from the Sunrise soundcheck we got to see, tons more coming tonight. This video is basically Mike's speech once all the contest winners came in. We (Mark, Mary Ann, I) were actually the first people in when Joe and Shinoda were on stage just fuckin' around with Savio speech and tons of Wretches samples. AWESOME material.
  13. Hey guys. Sorry about the video being set to private. We are uploading it to Mark's account right now at a mall in downtown Tampa. Should be up soon. Also, please know that if we/I say something in a little video we are doing for fun that you don't like or agree, don't get all worked up about it. Just because someone likes/dislikes something doesn't mean it's truth. Opinions are like bellybuttons.... everyone has one. Just enjoy some entertainment! We're having a BLAST on this trip and its coming along really smooth. Really looking forward to a solid, solid show tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa! This is my third Tampa show and the crowds usually BRING it!
  14. LOL I've been so hidden from the forums I'm now described with as a "friend." Hilarious.
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