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Concert Reviews:
Rockers Stage Successful Revolution Despite The Heat
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- With arguably the most potent package lineup of the summer, the Linkin Park-headlined Projekt Revolution Tour didn't need to get any hotter when it rolled into town Wednesday (Aug. 22) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre.

It did, however, thanks to some real heat.

Sweltering temperatures and high humidity baked the near-capacity crowd throughout the 10-hour hard rock fest, which featured 11 bands playing on two stages. The DTE pavilion provided no relief, either, as the concentration of bodies was bathed in bright, and hot, floodlights from four lighting trusses suspended above for the benefit of the tour's DVD shoot.

Fortunately, Motor City headbangers tend to be a hearty bunch and didn't wilt -- or go too terribly crazy from the heat. Just from the music.

And as solid as the undercard was, particularly the bludgeoning Mindless Self Indulgence and the burgeoning Placebo, there was no denying the Projekt Revolution's headliners topped the bill for a reason. Linkin Park's 90-minute set showcased a vastly matured band, one now comfortable delivering ballads such as "Pushing Me Away," with Chester Bennington singing solely to piano accompaniment by MC Mike Shinoda, and more ambient, U2-like fare like "Shadow of the Day," one of seven songs the sextet performed from its latest album, "Minutes to Midnight." Bennington and Shinoda also began "Breaking the Habit" as a duo before the rest of the band joined in, while the first encore, "Little Things," was given a more stripped-down, acoustic treatment.

Linkin Park's stock in trade is still aggression, however, and its 21-song performance was loaded with angsty, molten moments like "One Step Closer," "Somewhere I Belong," "Papercut," "From the Inside," "Numb," "Crawling" and "In the End." Bennington turned into a growling Cookie Monster on "Given Up," while "Bleed it Out" featured an extended drum break by Rob Bourdon.

Shinoda also took a lighthearted swipe at preceding act My Chemical Romance; as fans held lighters and cell phones aloft during "Shadow of the Day," he cracked that "this is OUR pyro."

Then again, nobody was really complaining about MCR's dynamic, pyrotechnic-laden performance, either. The group is continuing to focus on its latest release, "The Black Parade," taking nine of its hour-long set's 13 songs from the album. But while frontman Gerald Way sported the military-style jacket that was the group's "Black Parade" costume, the show itself mixed the songs' sequence and also touched on previous favorites such as "I'm Not OK," "Give 'em Hell Kid," "You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison" and "Helena." The outgoing and outspoken Way also proved the day's most charismatic frontman, though his attempt to fire the crowd up before "Teenagers" fell flat enough that he had to instruct that "you're supposed to cheer now."

Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara gave Way a run for his money, however, with some preacher-style between-song pattern and some deft microphone twirling. And while the New York quintet hasn't had the same commercial success as Linkin Park or MCR, its bare-bones performance and punk rock energy -- as well as a few radio hits such as "A Decade Under the Influence," "Liar (It Takes One to Know One" and "Madedamnsure" insured the group was not eclipsed by the other Revolutionaries.



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