Linkin Park: Live In Texas (2003)

DVD Cover (Warner Bros. Records)
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Linkin Park's insanely powerful concert set is now available on the CD+DVD package Live In Texas. With the DVD featuring 17 songs (plus backstage footage), recorded in August at Houston's Reliant Stadium and Irving's Texas Stadium, Live In Texas expands on the continuing momentum of the band's #1, nearing triple-platinum album Meteora. --Amazon
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Review by Crispy
Added: July 30, 2017
Last week, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington committed suicide. He's battled depression and substance abuse his entire life and it seems the suicide of his close friend, Chris Cornell, was the final straw. While I haven't really cared for anything they've done since switching up their genres in 2007, the first two albums gave them a undisputed spot in my top three back in high school and I'd say a memorial review is certainly warranted.

Considering my fondness from Linkin Park is based on their original sound, it's only right to go with the live DVD that covered this tour cycle. Live in Texas takes footage from the two Texan dates of 2003's Summer Sanitarium Tour and the seventeen-song setlist consisted of:

~ Don't Stay
~ Somewhere I Belong
~ Lying From You
~ Papercut
~ Points of Authority
~ Runaway
~ Faint
~ From the Inside
~ Figure.09
~ With You
~ By Myself
~ P5hing Me A*wy
~ Numb
~ Crawling
~ In the End
~ A Place for My Head
~ One Step Closer

It's a very nice balance between "Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora". Considering the sophomore album had been out mere months when this concert was filmed, I wouldn't have been surprised if it was heavier in the ratio but the even split fit it as a DVD release much better. With that said, 'P5hing Me A*wy' was something of a weird addition. It's off of their remix album, "Reanimation", and while I do like the way they altered the chorus it's still, well, a remix and doesn't quite translate well as a live song. Now, I'm not quite sure about the way they went about editing things. MTV still played the occasional music video in this day and age and that was obviously the mindset going into this, frequently using slow motion video to accent certain parts of the video. While it wasn't nearly enough to be annoying or distracting, I put a DVD like this in because I want to see the concert. Likewise, any times there's an extended break where the band is talking to the crowd, they instead show backstage footage from earlier in the day. Sure, it's fun watching Joe Hahn throw a ninja star at the wall but again, it's not what I'm looking for with a DVD called Live in Texas.

As it turned out, this was a great video to remember Chester by; his passion and energy on display here is a fine example of what made him so loved. Sure, the nasal quality of his voice is much more prominent live than it is on album, but he covers that with sheer power. Hell, even his backing vocals on 'Papercut' and 'Place For My Head' lifted those songs far beyond their studio versions. Now, I'm certainly not saying Chester carried this show on his own. After all, he's got five band mates and they didn't slouch either. Fellow vocalist Mike Shinoda handled both the rapping and the melodic backing vocals, rhythm guitar in a few songs, and even keyboard once or twice. He handled the multiple roles nicely and as you'd expect from a dual vocalist act, he blended with Chester very nicely. Now, the rest of the band is made up of guitarist Brad Delson, drummer Rob Bourdon, bassist Phoenix Farrell, and DJ Joe Hahn. While there's no question that they left everything on the stage (Phoenix damned near face-planted at one point), but LP's early stuff is very basic stuff musically, so none of them really get the opportunity to show off. Although watching Hahn work the turntables was nice, since it showed how he was actually able to use the unorthodox equipment as an actual instrument.

While the band would shift away from the rap/rock fusion that defined their early career shortly after this period, Live in Texas is a great release for fans who didn't make the transition with them. 8/10.

Rest in Peace Chester Bennington
3/20/1976 - 7/20/2017
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