So, after being at the show in Leipzig yesterday, here's my point of view:
In advance, I only have seen the Rock am Ring show in full, no Carnivores or Brazil show.
In my opinion, this Set is one of the best they have ever done. Let me tell you why:
1: The shortened songs - I was really nervous before the show, thinking of how all this shortened stuff may appeal live. All in all, I have to say I liked it. The tempo is just so much higher and everything blends really well, especially in the encore. Honestly, I have seen Crawling and New Divide that often, I don't really have to hear the whole song again. And the live-version of Until It's Gone definitely makes the song better, since the studio version is pretty repetitve with the 2 verses sounding nearly the same.
But I dislike two things: Papercut (we all know how awesome this song is and that it should not be shortened in any way) and Lost In The Echo (that one is just too short, it doesn't make sense without a bridge). I would say Runaway is too short, too, but because it blends really well with Wastelands, I liked it.
2: The Ballad Medley - I honestly don't get all the hate towards this beauty. I would take this over any of these three songs in full any day. It is really well arranged, normally these three songs would have me getting bored but this just keeps 'em fresh. Also, the light show is perfectly synced to SOTD and Iridescent, absolutey stunning.
3. Castle Of Glass (Experience Version) - To argue about this, you have to see it live. The moment when Mike is like "You guys ready? 3-2-1" and the bass kicks in is just priceless. Just like the Ballad Medley, I normally dislike the song because it's too poppy and not "raw" enough, but this keeps things interesting.
4. The ATS pieces - I absolutely loved A Thousand Suns and the whole concept about it, the speeches by Oppenheimer and King still give me chills, so it had me amazed how well they built all these small parts of the album into the set. Blackout Intro, Robot Boy Intro, WJL and Radiance over COG (which is another reason why I love this version), Catalyst over BIO, fucking awesome! I understand they don't want or can't play all these songs in full, but this is a great compromise for all the fans of the album. They will recognize every single bit and they will love it.
5. The solos - I have seen videos of Joe's solo and was like "meh". But yesterday, my god was that awesome. The bass was really kicking and everything, man I honestly don't have the words to describe it. Loved Mike's solo, too, another bit for the ATS fans with W&K, and Remember The Name was awesome, too. Rob's solo is pretty much the same since years but it gets me everytime. These three are just geniune and I think they should stick to the whole solos thing.
All in all, of the five times I have seen the guys, this is definitely in the Top 3, maybe even Top 2. They definitely were on fire, you could see they had lots of fun and were pleased by the crowd. Even Brad, who is known for doing nearly nothing on stage was moving around, encouraging the crowd. Fun fact: Mike got a soap bubble machine from someone in the crowd, he was like "Can you give it to me? I like bubbles, man" and then moving around having fun with it