The traffic on I-95 North was backed up from the Pattison Ave. exit for over five miles on account of the sellout capacity crowd trying to make its way into Philly for the Meteora World Tour, featuring Story of the Year, Hoobastank, P.O.D, and headliner Linkin Park.The show kicked off at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20 in the Wachovia Spectrum and from the very beginning the venue was practically full.
Story of the Year and Hoobastank played for about a half hour each. Both played good shows, with Story of the Year promoting their debut album Page Avenue and Hoobastank working off both their self-titled first album and sophomore release The Reason. The crowd sang along a little, and a few mosh pits broke out, but overall the atmosphere was average.
It lifted slightly for P.O.D. as they came on playing songs off all four of their albums, but with still not much response from the fans. This particular crowd consisted of all ages. There were some older adults, some pre-teens, but mostly people in the 18 – 24 range. A few students even stood out, in particular some of our very own sorority girls and WCU athletes wearing their respective T-shirts.
The lights were dimmed at 9:30, but the Spectrum turned electric.
Linkin Park took the stage to an almost deafening roar of fans and wasted no time in showing why their live performance is considered to be one of today’s hottest tickets. It started with the Grammy-nominated instrumental “Session” performed by Mr. Hahn.
The rest of the band then took stage and Chester Bennington set the tone with his spine-tingling screaming throughout “With You” and “Runaway.” They continued their play off of multi-platinum-selling debut album Hybrid Theory with radio singles “Papercut” and “Points of Authority.”
Before their next song, Chester, or better known to Linkin Park fans as “Chazzy Chaz,” grabbed a beer from the crowd, sipped it, and then handed it back to the ecstatic fan who more than likely saved that cup.
The band then ripped through “Don’t Stay,” “Lying From You” and the first single “Somewhere I Belong” off of their new album Meteora.
Mike Shinoda then displayed some of his stellar rhyming skills by spouting off the opening verse of the X-ecutioners “It’s Going Down” without instrumental backing and then dove into “Nobody’s Listening.”
The show was in full swing when a piano was brought on stage and Mike used it to accompany Chester’s vocals on “Breaking the Habit” and current single “Numb.” Linkin Park then gave some props to the Philly audience for their energy just before banging out “Faint” with the vocal help from a fan that the band had met before the show and brought on stage.
At this point, the crowd in the pit could barely be contained. At the conclusion of the song, a man came out in nothing but a chef’s apron to present Linkin Park drummer Rob Bourdon with a cake. That night also happened to be his 25th birthday and the rest of the band members led the crowd in singing to him.
The show concluded with singles from Hybrid Theory, “Crawling” and “In the End,” and the Reanimation version of “Pushing Me Away” that left the fans screaming for more. They wanted more, and they got it. Linkin Park came back on after a short rest for an encore. Mike Shinoda saw a sign in the crowd asking for “My December,” a song only found on the band’s DVD “Frat Party at the Pankake Festival.” They played it and the crowd couldn’t have been happier. Glow sticks and lighters flooded the floor and the fans singing along practically overtook the band.
The calm atmosphere soon turned crazy when the band rocked out with “A Place for My Head” and ended with their infamous first single “One Step Closer” which gave the audience one last shot to get out any aggression that wasn’t already vented in the mosh pits.
P.O.D.’s lead singer Sonny Sandoval came out to help Chester with the vocals, which threw the crowd into even more of a frenzy.
The show ended and Linkin Park left the stage. Most of the crowd hung out for a while and fans could be heard saying phrases such as “best concert ever,” and single words like “wow,” which probably summed it up best.
The show was amazing and although 18-and-up night at The Rat is tempting, there is no place that could have been better on this Tuesday evening than inside the Spectrum.