Linkin Park’s Newest Tour and Interview

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Three words: DIGITAL SOUVENIR PACKAGE!!! This is probably one of the BEST ideas I have heard in a loooong time ladies and gentlemen. I am an avid concert-goer and wish I could relive all of the concerts I attend. Linkin Park is now making that possible. Here is how Chester Bennington, lead singer of LP, explains this new feature on their upcoming tour:

“What will happen after that is you go to the show, you watch your show, enjoy that, come home, and in your e-mail inbox you’ll have a link to the show, to the MP3s of our set from the show you went to. In other words, you get to take home the hopefully memorable concert that you went to.”

As if that isn’t enough incentive to buy tickets to the tour, fans also get to have a professionally mixed version of the audio from the concert created my the band’s very own mixer who goes on the road with them. This will not be some crappy version of the songs that you normally try to capture with your cell or camera (aka like ME). What you hear will be top-quality stuff, almost just like the CD.

One thing I either love or hate about concerts where I go to more than one show on the tour, is when the artist plays the EXACT same songs in the EXACT same order and even says the EXACT same things in between the show. How disappointing is that? I went to three shows for Fall Out Boy’s Black Clouds and Underdogs tour in 2006 (Grand Rapids, Detroit, Chicago) and they played the SAME SET at each of those three cities!!! Pete Wentz even gave the same freaking speeches in between each song – how original. I always go to a concert hoping that the artist will say something to the audience to make them feel special in the city they are in. Just a little shout out for us here in Chicago can make my night!

According to Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park, fans will not be hearing the same songs every night of this Spring’s tour. Here is what he had to say about their sets:

“Our sets change. We play songs maybe one night that we don’t play the next, and so if you want to get those songs, we encourage our fans to go on and trade them and kind of get to know each other. Now we’ve got all these songs, and we can kind of pick and choose and fans want to hear different things at different times. It’s a pleasure to be able to get on stage and switch up the set every night.”

I LOVE talking to other fans at a show about the shows they have gone to and comparing stories from our respective cities and tour stops. Looks like LP is trying to make this happen, which seriously shows just how much they care about their fans. I don’t know about you, but I now have a much greater respect for this band. I am hooked.

I used to work for Warner, the band’s label, and I promoted Minutes to Midnight like no other! I held a listening party the night before it came out (at midnight we started to play the new record) with a friend at the University of Chicago and went to see them at this summer’s Projekt Revolution. I was third row in the GA Pit with the hard-core fans and LOVED their live performance. SO MUCH ENERGY! Because I know how hard Warner made us reps promote the band’s newest record in our markets (I was Chicago), I agree with Chester when he says “we should say kudos to Warner for doing a great job in helping making it happen.” It being the success of Minutes to Midnight. I am not sure what the details are between the band’s troubles with their label a couple years back. All I know is that Warner Brothers put all of their marketing and promotional skills to use to make Minutes to Midnight the biggest-selling album (for Warner) of the year!

I was surprised (pleasantly) that one of the members of the press on their conference call was from the Grand Rapids Press (where I grew up) and asked about Chiodos. I have pretty much known them since they were nobodies (not to brag, simply because we are all from little old boring Michigan). When asked about why they are bringing Chiodos out on the road with them, Mike Shinoda says that

“Chiodos is one of those groups that’s kind of making a lot of noise right now, and we felt that they would add to the bill. A lot of people aren’t going to know who they are, but there are going to be some hard-core kids out there that are fans of theirs that are really going to be excited that they’re on a bill like this with us.”

Well, he may think that a lot of people will not know who they are, but let me tell you, the Chiodos show at the Chicago House of Blues was SOLD OUT and there was a line of fans wrapping around the venue, down the street, over the river on the bridge, down the NEXT street, etc. And this is in downtown Chicago for crying out loud. I mean, the blocks are not short!

When it comes to musicians and politics, I enjoy hearing their opinions. I am a HUGE Green Day fan and when they put out American Idiot, I fell in love with their in-your-face anti-Bush views, which were expressed in their lyrics. Mike Shinoda has a different take on things though, “we try and stay out of that. I think that our fans don’t need us preaching politics to them.” I admit, I was a little shocked to read this, but I have to respect him for it. Sometimes we just all want to listen to really good music and nothing else.

One question I always ask artists when I interview them or just chat with them is about their songwriting process. One reporter did ask this during the Projekt Revolution press conference call and thank god he did because I would have been PISSED if nobody asked this type of question. I loved Mike and Chester’s response. This was the first time I got to learn about how the six guys in Linkin Park write their music that I love. For those of you who do not know, Mike and Brad used to always write the music together and Mike and Chester would write the lyrics and melodies. With LP’s latest album, all six guys wrote every part of every song. If one out of five did not like something, it would be worked out until it everyone agreed it was good to go.

A few more details to end this report…Linkin Park will be back on the road again in the U.S. promoting Minutes to Midnight this spring with their Projekt Revolution tour. This time they will play indoor arenas versus outdoor amphitheaters, usually reserved for the PR summer tour route.

Pay attention everyone, Mike Shinoda has something to say to you: “there are a few songs that we have never played before on this tour. I’m not going to tell you which ones, but there are going to be some tracks we’ve never played before live, as well as bringing some of the good oldies back….”
All right guys, I’m out for the count! Peace.

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