Coming from Linkin Park’s induction to the Guitar Center Rock Walk of Fame, Victoria & I took a short drive to Burbank where the iheartradio Album Release Party with Linkin Park would be held later that evening. Almost at our destination, she brought my attention to the large Hunting Party ad on the side of Elektra Records near the venue.
We found parking just around the corner from the venue & we made it in line being about 20th in line which wasn’t bad for arriving just 2 hours before will call. At 90% of the Linkin Park shows I’ve been to I have been in line with friends as early as 6am so I felt it would be nice to hang back a little and enjoy the experience regardless of where I ended up standing. We talked with friends in line which always helps time go by. I even met some friends who I had met through LPU, chatted here and there then finally met in person.
At 5:30 it was time for us to be checked in & we were equipped with red bracelets by LPUHQ & iheartradio theatre employees then equipped with blue wristbands for the 21+ attendees. (once we were inside we found out that it was open bar for attendees so everyone enjoyed a few beers before the show started) After the check in process, we started back at the spots we were in line & at 6:15 the line slowly moved as we made our way inside. As we walked inside the theatre, we walked along a red carpet which led us to the venue. Before the entrance to the theatre was an intimate lounge where I saw some familiar faces including Adam Ruehmer of Warner Brothers who was the previous head of LP Underground as well as some members of LPUHQ. I didn’t stop to say hello since I had noticed the area in front was already filling up.
This is what the general admission looked like before doors opened
I found my way to some friends who were at the very front of Brad’s side. There was a tiny space for me to fit in and within a few minutes after those around me got comfortable. I found myself at the very front on this white line. “NO BARRICADE?” I said to myself. We were about 3 feet from the barricade which was about 2 feet from the stage. I’m glad I was a part of this night because I was with my friends but also because despite what I thought I wanted, I was going to have a great view for what I could already tell would be a great show. At all of my shows except 2 I’ve been on Phoenix & Rob’s side but it wasn’t always because I chose it. I’m vertically challenged and so I would find a place that I had a good view. Phoenix’s side just happens to be where I end up! I swear! When friends of mine noticed where I was they joked, “You’re not on Phoenix’s side?!” with a giggle and surprised expression on their faces. I said I would rather be with friends plus I was excited to try something new!
While we waited for the band to come out, the security personnel made an annoucement that the band would be playing for 1 hour and then take a short break and then perform a few songs for us that would be aired on Jimmy Kimmel live. This was a sweet surprise for us.
The band came out & they started off the show with Burn it Down from Living Things. It’s one of their poppier tunes but definitely gets the crowd going as we were so excited to be there with them celebrating the debut of their album The Hunting Party which was released the day before. After Burn it Down, they went into Waiting for the End which has an extended intro of Mike rapping a verse from Until it Breaks playing into the song with an amazing apaches outro where the band goes hard and gives me shivers when they play it. When this version made at the LPU show at the House of Blues in LA, I was in love & I still am. Here’s a shot from Phoenix’s side of the bass he uses during this song which was taken by a friend (Eliot Lehrman).
Host Jenn Marino came to talk to the band. She jokingly pretended to not know Chester & then talked about the new album. If you haven’t already purchased the album, I’m sure that anyone who doesn’t would go and buy it just with the way Chester describing it, “We wanted to kick ass from beginning to end on this record & that’s what we did. It was really inspiring super fun to make. One of the most fun songs we’ve been playing off the record is Wastelands. Let’s do it. This is for you!”
AND ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW!!! Mike with his rappy raps, Chester and his vocal range during this song, Rob going hard on his drums, Phoenix rocking his Music Man bass, Brad looking like he was having a kick ass time on his guitar, Mr. Hahn doing his thing… you could definitely see the band was having fun playing the song. I was very excited to hear the songs off the new record live & WOW! I was blown away with it!
After Wastelands, Jen Marino came back out & she said what the audience couldn’t say since we were speechless!
“Everytime we do an album release party & they say album release party & hunting party. I feel like there’s a better way to say it. Hunt album hunting release party. You know what I’m saying? Too many parties. Actually there’s not enough fucking parties!” says Mike then Chester adds, “I think there’s more partying. Album party. Release Party. Hunting Party. Today party,” and the crowd goes wild. It was definitely a hint of the energy the band was going to give us and what kind of show we were going to have! With the band being in Europe since May 30 & arriving just a few days after playing Download Festival on Saturday, it was so great to see the band with such energy, enthusiasm, & crowd interaction after traveling all over Europe. It definitely felt like we were at a party celebrating the release of their new album as well as their induction into the Rock Walk of Fame.
A little tired of hearing Numb live, I was happily pleased when they played their rendition of Numb/Encore of their Collision Course Album! I won’t go into every song & detail because I could go on about the amazing show it was. I’m sure everyone watching at home was enjoying it as if they were there. As I write this, I’m Reviewing over the webcast for some notes & I can hear the crowd as if I was at the show again.
The setlist was titled Pop Version and included many fan favorites as well as 3 songs off The Hunting Party. It was an amazing show with so much interaction from the band, tremendous energy, laughs, & excitement for the upcoming Carnivores tour in August!!! After a short break and some fun conversation on stage, they played Wastelands, Until It’s Gone & Guilty All the Same for the Jimmy Kimmel show.
Once the show was finally done, the band said their thank you’s, walked the stage, & I am pleased to say that I caught my very first drumstick from Rob. It was a fun party and I am so thankful to have been a part of this night. I am proud to call myself a fan for life with every album they record as they show us the love they have for making music.
Phoenix didn’t make his way to the other side of the stage so as we were exiting the venue, my friend had brought my attention to Phoenix who was standing by his bass vault talking with Dan Caldwell of Tapout. I didn’t want to rudely interrupt so I waited patiently for a minute & got his attention. Without hesitation, he came around the barrier to say hello. I usually have something to sign and I don’t usually shake the band member’s hands but I put my hand out anyway. He then reached forward with arms open and gave me a hug, “Good to see you Irene!” With as tired as he looked from their tour in Europe he still took time to chat with me. He then asked me if I wanted to take a picture.
As the rest of my friends were asked to leave the venue, he & I chatted about some things and then he took a picture of me with his White Fender precision bass which he used during Waiting for the End earlier in the show. As we said our goodbyes he said, “See you in August!” as I then said “Get some rest!” and he said with a smile, “Oh I will!”
Somehow Phoenix found a way to make my amazing night even more amazing! I am always so thankful for the time he has and for always making these shows more special than they already are.
I wanted to give a big thank you to iheartradio theatre for hosting the event & their personnel for keeping us safe, Lorenzo & Lulu of LPUHQ for the opportunities given to the LP Underground, to Victoria for everything & being there for me, to Brandon for you know what (haha!), Kristina & Joy for having my back and staying positive for me when they knew that I was going to have “MY NIGHT,” to the LP Crew members who help the band execute an amazing show, & of course to Mike, Joe, Brad, Rob, Chester, & especially Phoenix for making the night a little extra special. I am excited to see what the carnivores tour brings to the table because I’m hungry for more!!! Congratulations on another amazing album, your induction to the Rock walk of fame, & thank you for continuing to do what you love for the fans. We love you & can’t wait for more!
(Photos taken by myself & Eliot Lehrman with venue photos by Kristina Davis)