Sleek and styled but not quite what the crowd were expecting
From the buzz of the crowd a lot of people had been waiting all day, just to see Linkin Park, and they were ready for an absolutely top notch set. From the murmurs in our part of the crowd, some people were ecstatic just to see the band a lot were disappointed with what they were given.
With long instrumental intros and outros there were rarely more than two songs played in direct succession. Mind you, when those songs were being played, they rocked the crowd and can only be classed as amazing.
Mixing in the new songs with the old the crowd clearly responded best to songs from the first album, Hybrid Theory. However, everything they've released produced an immediate and committed response from the fans. The less well known songs still made an impact, albeit a slightly less passionate one.
Chester Bennington has complete control over the vocals and has managed to keep the quality and timbre of his voice over the years. Songs live sound as good as, if not better than, songs recorded. Without any tricks he holds the long notes, keeping them strong and powerful throughout. Mike Shinoda switches between guitars, keyboards, MC duties and backing vocals seamlessly and, with the rest of the band, generates a full and rich sound in support of the lyrics.
After finally managing to build the passion and interest of the crowd to a peak, the band left the stage. Shortly thereafter Bennington's side project, Dead By Sunrise appeared. Making their UK live debut here at Sonisphere their style is quite different to Linkin Park's. Presenting their mainstream alternative rock style to a pumped up crowd, the mood in the arena quickly deflated. While it might have seemed a good idea to debut a side project at the festival, it wasn't the best idea to do so towards the end of the headlining set.
Three songs later Dead by Sunrise were done and Linkin Park returned to end the night. Closing the set with their newest single, 'New Divide', and their oldest single, 'One Step Closer' they won back the crowd to end the night on a high.