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Issue 1084

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Linkin Park, Incubus & MUTEMATH: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta

Linkin Park: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta
Linkin Park: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta Linkin Park: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta MUTEMATH: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta MUTEMATH: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta MUTEMATH: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta Incubus: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta Incubus: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta Incubus: Honda Civic Tour 2012, Atlanta

Memorable concerts are a lot like riding around in nice automobilesâ¦not only are they nice to look at, but theyâre intense, exciting, thrilling, occasionally blowing out a little smoke but always full of precision!

Such was the case at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park when Linkin Park, Incubus and MUTEMATH all performed as part of the 2012 Honda Civic Tour on Sun., Aug. 19. Concert goers kicked off the dreary and rainy evening in style experiencing two of the automobile brandâs signature models. Beginning with a simulator of the 2012 CBR250R motorcycle inspired by Linkin Parkâs single âBurn It Down,â the bike was trimmed in pale blue accents, black undercarriage, burnt orange around the seat and wheel, deep brown and flame highlights. The SI Coupe adjacent to the bike followed suit with a motif of a shattering gray crust across the body and orange 18â spokes: inspired by the bandâs current Living Things sleeve.

As Honda Civic Tour curators, each act individually possessed strong degrees of musical diversity, respect and integrity that might not otherwise be detectable: proving great strengths not only for the bands, but for the Honda Civic Tourâs appeal outside of rock music. There was something for every lover of musicâ¦period.

MUTEMATHâs fusion of alternative rock, blues and electronica, running approximately 45 minutes, kicked off the evening. I was running a tad bit behind schedule, so I didnât get to peep much of their set, but from what I could hear echoing from the will call window, the New Orleans-based quartetâs momentum really set the tone for some stellar performances. Once Incubus hit the all-black stage around 7:20, the blankets of sonic guitars and fist pumping morphed fluidly and quickly. The Calabasas, CA bandâs 90-minute set introduced its fair share of alternative rock and melodic pop, too (i.e. âQuicksand,â âDrive,â âPromises, Promisesâ and âMegalomaniacâ): yet, bringing to the surface some heavy rhythmic and deep pseudo-funky bass riffs, electronica and drum ân bass-styled drum cadences (âRebel Girlsâ and âThe Warmthâ), cuts and scratches from the turntables (âPardon Meâ), orchestral Middle Eastern sounds (the sitar-laden âAqueous Transmissionâ) and syncopated funk-looped congas (âCleanâ) along the way. Lead singer Brandon Boyd even improvised covers of the 1984 Lionel Richie ballad âHelloâ â great guitar accompaniment by Mike Einziger, I might add -- and INXSâ funk-pop hit âNeed You Tonight.â

While weâre on the subjects of better performance, full features and smooth shifting, Linkin Parkâs headlining 90-minute set was nothing short of being one hell of a spectacle and ultimate live extravaganza. The Agoura Hills, CA alt-metal band definitely put on one of those rock-doc-styled concerts: intercut with high definition projections of shattering images, M.C. Esher-styled pixelated silhouettes of the band members, news footage, their corpus of music videos, live concert footage and sporadic pyrotechnics to the rear of the three-dimensional hologram stage. Taking center stage precisely at 9:20., Linkin Park â one of this generationâs most successful bands with two Grammy Awards and over 50 million albums worldwide to their credit â magnificently blurred the lines of punk, alternative, metal and hip hop. Chester Benningtonâs patented jagged wails and croons kept the crowd on its feet and the edge of the seats singing along: especially during performances of âCrawling,â âGiven Up,â âPoints of Authority,â âLost in the Echoâ and âNumb.â I honestly didnât know what I was looking at on-stage: rock or rap.

Try to overlook the absolutistic rock music and concert aesthetics for just a moment. Thereâs a colloquial term us diehard hip hop fans use â âridinâ the beatâ â when an artist can catch a melody with ease and perfectly marry and layer the lyrical delivery over the music. Mike Shinoda â Linkin Parkâs founder and possibly one of hip hopâs lost and underrated talents â clearly demonstrated this to a tee â crankinâ out the polyrhythmic bounce over some killer rock riffs on âPapercut,â âBleed It Out,â âA Place For My Head,â âLies Greed Misery,â âWith Youâ and âLying From Youâ -- with his exponentially, well-crafted rap cadences alongside Benningtonâs vocals and his bandmatesâ modern rock and electronic grooves. There was even a moment when the band impressively covered a crowd pleasing rendition of Beastie Boysâ âSabotage.â Say what you must (whether you think so or not), but dude got some stellar flow on the mic. Not to mention, Linkin Parkâs DJ, turntablist Mr. (Joe) Hahn, did his thing cuttinâ and scratchinâ on the ones and twos along with a sampler: pattering these semi-rugged drum machine rhythm tracks. Rather than head banginâ, I found myself head noddinâ!

Once Linkin Park returned to the stage post-guitar echoes and crowd euphoria, the moment only heightened to see an encore of âFaintâ with the band facing the audience this time (remember, the Mark Romanek-directed short featured the bandâs silhouettes in front of screaming fans from the rear) along with âSomewhere I Belongâ and âOne Step Closer.â Again, trust me when I tell you that any true fan and lover of hip hop will indeed become a fan after checking out Linkin Parkâs epic live set; their energy and stamina alone is enough to keep anyone wanting more.

For more information on Honda Civic Tour, log onto Honda Civic Tour like Honda Civic Tour on Facebook or follow @hondacivictour (#hondacivictour) on Twitter.

Photos: Troy Browder (of FromThePit.net)
Words Christopher Daniel

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