Last Night: Linkin Park At Toyota Center
More pics of the Linkin Park concert can be found in our slideshow.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."
Rock writers cannot change what we see, but we can change how we see them. We can glean new ways to digest what we hear, or see live. It's a funny profession where you merely observe, because most of us suck at doing anything but listening to music and writing our thoughts.
Imagine having to have an opinion on everything you see. What if you had to write a review for every gas station and restroom you visited?
Linkin Park should be critic-proof, out of the regard for the almost universal derision that's been rampant since they debuted with 2000's Hybrid Theory. It's like telling someone that McDonald's is bad for them or that the Speedo is a bad idea, unless you are Michael Phelps.
No, the thing about LP is that they show flashes of brilliance amidst the muck and mire. True it is that we just watched a whole Toyota Center full of people chanting, fist-pumping (well, there's no other term for it), and waving cellphones.
Their Rick Rubin-produced albums, 2007's Minutes To Midnight and last year's A Thousand Suns, made even the most vicious detractor tilt their head like a puppy hearing a whistle, scratch their heads and say "hmmmm..." So that's what they needed, a genius producer who could strip away the extraneous fat to get to the songs.
But what you get left with live is a crowd still amped on the older stuff - the screaming, the rapping, the digital manipulations, the last gasps of the '90s nu-metal brigade. Lead singer Chester Bennington has a better voice than people give him credit for, and the band knows how to write an anthem, even if your allegiance isn't there.
Thursday's Toyota Center gig had been postponed for a few weeks due to an illness involved Bennington, and the Houston date would be the last date on this leg of touring behind Suns.