(Note about this blog: I'm going to be releasing a series of blogs about the 1st Madison Square Garden show in 2008 leading up to my review of MSG show #2 taking place on Feb. 4th 2010, so stay tuned here and LPAssociation.com for more.)
The arena went dark. Mike starts to play 'Wake' and the band works their way to the front of the stage and right in front of me for the entire show is Dave 'Phoenix' Farrell on bass. Excellent.
'Wake' ends with everyone cheering and the show starts with 'Given Up'. The crowd is screaming, jumping, and clapping. It was insane. I also come to find out that one of the DSP microphones is right dead in front of me. Linkin Park plays straight through with shoutouts to NYC and New Jersey to 'make some NOISE!' and for everyone to put there 'hands up like this!...and put em' down like that! HELL YEAH' My mind was blown for a good 15 minutes as they went through 'Wake', 'Given Up', 'Lying From You' and 'Somewhere I Belong.' The boys finally took a breather and talked to the crowd.
'What the fuck is up!', Chester yelled out and everyone goes nuts. 'Tonight's the nights, Sal's 40th fuckin LP show man, what's up...fuckin love you dude.' As 'No More Sorrow', fat and drunky to my left screams out Shadow of a day and I yell out 'Yeah, Sal!' which can both be heard on the DSP. My friend Nick says 'No More Sorrow baby, fuck yeah!' and everyone starts clapping with Rob's drums. Dave gets up on the ledge in front of us, Brad starts to play and Nick screams. The band goes on to perform 'Don't Stay' in which Chester jumps over to our side of the stage several times. They follow up that with 'Points of a Authority', which surprised me cause it sounds alot more hardcore live than it does on the album and Chester let's out the final scream for Points as they go into the bridge to 'In Pieces'. The highlight of that song is Brad's solo in which Brad is standing atop of the whole stage with a single spotlight pointed down right on top of him as the screens begin to tilt and move. That was awesome.
'In Pieces' was followed with a array of beautiful songs. 'Numb', 'My December' (ironically it was February but it did snow after the show back in Jersey. That's what you call band magic.) and 'Breaking the Habit'.
From there, they start to play 'Shadow of the Day', which I had heard once before at the PNC Arts Center for Projkt Revo, but man...being down there in the pit at MSG was something else. EVERYONE was singing that song. It was an amazing sight and sound just to be there and witness that and you could hear it too. You could literally hear everyone singing, not just the band. The screens then moved in different directions once again and went from shades of blue to orange and reds as 'Crawling' began to play. Joe begins to play on the pads and smoke begins to fill around the stage from the top. Man, if you didn't feel like you were in the video! That was Incredible.
Chester began to work his way down to the crowd, he started on the far left of the barricades shaking hands with each fan before reaching half way down the line to start 'In The End' and on the 2nd verse just before the chorus I finally shook hands with Chester. He keeps going down the line and makes his way just over to the right side of the stage where several fans are screaming out to shake his hand. This is the first time I ever saw band photographer Mark Fiore too. As to thinking 'why does this guy look exactly Phoenix?' I didn't know that Mark had been in the same band as Dave and since then he's become one of my favorite photographers out there. I later on in life shook hands with Mark at the ATS/Best Buy show but that's another story for another day.
'In the End' well...ends and LP leaves the stage with just Brad under a single red spotlight...then Brad starts teasing the crowd with a guitar riff that sounds rather familiar to everyone.
'A Place for my Head'
When the band re-appears on the stage you can kinda tell that this is about to get REALLY heavy and Mike jumps down to the crowd to get the pit going and soon every is just going insane. There's just a sea of people jumping and moving around. Finally, the main setlist closer ends with 'One Step Closer' and the band once again leaves the stage for about 6 minutes leaving everyone in anticipation as to what's to come. The crowd is cheering 'Linkin Park' and the band enters the stage once again. Mike begins to play 'In Between' and then they follow it with 'What I've Done'.
Show's over right? Yeah, right.
The double encore starts. Mike and Chester up front and center when Jay-Z pops out right in front of us and the crowd is now ballistic with excitement. They perform to songs off of Collision Course, 'Numb/Encore' and 'Jigga What/Faint'. Jay's presence at MSG was huge and the crowd went nuts every time Madison Square Garden was said during 'Numb/Encore'. Chester yells out one final shoutout, 'LP-Jay-Z-New York fuckin' City!' Jay says goodbye to the Garden and walks off the stage.
Last but not least Linkin Park plays one final song. 'Bleed It Out' and Rob plays a killer drum solo. They finish performing and give their final waves and goodbyes to the crowd and the show ends. It was truly, the most amazing show I had ever been to. I can't imagine what they have in store this time.