After taking all of 2016 off from performing live, Linkin Park returned to 2017 in a big way. The new album, One More Light, provided the band’s largest European headlining tour in their career and paved the way for plans for a very large North American Tour that included two stadium shows with Blink 182.
To start the year off, the band released their new single Heavy to mixed reactions amongst the fanbase. They spent February, March, and April promoting the song and for the first time, both Mike and Chester would head out on a promo tour of their own, performing stripped-down versions of songs in Toronto, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Hamburg, and Tokyo. A second new song, Battle Symphony, was debuted at these performances along with piano versions of Crawling, What I’ve Done, Burn It Down, and of course, Heavy.
Linkin Park snuck in a few television shows too, debuting Heavy and Invisible on The Late Late Show with James Corden in February and performing Heavy again at Berlin’s ECHO Awards in April. At an intimate party at Warner Bros. Records in March, Mike, Chester, and Brad played stripped-down versions of Heavy, One More Light, and Talking To Myself, showing off how versatile the new material was.
The first tour for One More Light was a South American Tour in May, sandwiched on the front and end with Maximus Festival shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Sao Paulo, Brazil. In the middle lay headlining shows in Santiago, Chile and a monumental show in Lima, Peru which actually sold out twice. Lima was a show performed to over 31,000 people… a massive show for Linkin Park.
On this tour, a brand new setlist was debuted with a haunting Fallout intro with Roads Untraveled lyrics sampled over it. The Catalyst took the honors of opening Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, but Talking To Myself opened the two headlining shows and it stuck at the number one spot in the set when Linkin Park traveled to Europe. At these shows, Invisible and One More Light were debuted full-band. Other highlights included a new version of Leave Out All The Rest that clocked in at almost five minutes long and paid tribute to the ten year anniversary of Minutes To Midnight, a throwback 2007-2008 style intro for One Step Closer, and a long setlist of at least twenty five songs.
Almost immediately, Mike started rapping verses over the end of Castle Of Glass Experience...something that carried over to Europe where we saw verses like A Place For My Head, It’s Goin’ Down, and A Light That Never Comes pop up. The band was out to have some fun on this touring cycle and the excitement grew as they traveled across Europe.
But first, there was a little promo to do in the United States as the album’s release date drew near. Up first, the band performed a surprise set in the New York City subway at Grand Central Station for Good Morning America and even took a fan request for In The End at the end. The world was shocked to hear of the passing of the legendary Chris Cornell on May 18th, the same day Linkin Park was set to play Jimmy Kimmel. The band came out and played an incredibly heart wrenching version of One More Light, dedicating it to their late friend. Chester and Brad would perform later that month at Chris’s funeral in Los Angeles as well. Linkin Park closed out their promo shows with a headlining club show in Las Vegas and another iHeartRadio Release Party in LA.
In Europe, eleven of the shows were festivals with full headlining shows in Berlin, Amsterdam, and the UK (three shows). Unfortunately, the Manchester show to close the entire tour for the eighteenth show was canceled due to a terrorist attack that damaged the venue in May, setting the (new) last show in Birmingham.
Across Europe, Linkin Park had a great time with their setlists, rotating in fan-favorite Points Of Authority and after a Twitter poll by Mike, both From The Inside and A Place For My Head as well. New intros were jammed live on-the-spot during the shows for songs like One More Light and Heavy, and live debuts happened for Sharp Edges and Nobody Can Save Me. Already, eight of ten songs from the album were performed live, taking a different turn from the Living Things and Hunting Party albums where minimal tracks were added to live sets.
In the UK, an opening band was not able to be found in time for the shows, so Linkin Park decided to perform extra songs to make up for it. The show at London’s O2 Arena on July 3rd clocks in as the band’s longest set in their career… an incredibly impressive 28 songs. Webcasts were allowed during a few shows of the tour and after hitting a grand slam on the European Tour to massive crowds, the tour winded down in Birmingham where Chester gave a heartfelt speech about the Manchester bombing for the show that was supposed to be held the next day.
Seven days before the North American Tour was set to begin in Mansfield, MA, the world was shocked and saddened to hear of Chester’s passing on July 20th. Almost immediately, according to Phoenix, the band began thinking of ways to play what was supposed to be the last show of the tour at the legendary Hollywood Bowl venue. A memorial show was scheduled for October 27th for Chester and sold out immediately. Linkin Park performed an incredible three hour setlist of thirty two songs and an immense list of guests, even taking time the night before the show and after the show to meet with fans who had traveled from around the world for the show. In an emotional tribute, Mike debuted a brand new song entitled Looking For An Answer, dedicated to his late bandmate and friend.
Rest in peace, Chester.
Great audience recordings
2015.07.19 Shenzhen (DVD - full show)
2015.08.23 Hockenheim (AUD - full show)
2015.08.29 Moscow (DVD - full show)
2015.09.03 Berlin (AUD - full show)
List of professional recordings
2015.05.09 Las Vegas (Webcast - full show)
2015.05.17 Columbus (TV / Webcast - full show)
2015.07.26 Beijing (Webcast - full show)
2015.11.07 Anaheim (Webcast - full show)
South American Tour: Rise Against, Of Mice & Men
2015.05.09 Las Vegas: Metallica, Rise Against, Hollywood Undead
European Tour: No opening bands.
2015.08.20 Hasselt: Rudimental, Limp Bizkit, Dropkick Murphys, Sigma, Jurassic 5, Seasick Steve
2017.07.07 Manchester - Reason: Terrorist attack damaged venue.
North American Tour and Japan Tour