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From the archive: In 2003 show at Spokane Arena, Linkin Park electrified

Chester Bennington, pictured at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards in 2012, has reportedly died. The lead singer of Linkin Park was 41. (Matt Sayles / Invision/AP)
Chester Bennington, pictured at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards in 2012, has reportedly died. The lead singer of Linkin Park was 41. (Matt Sayles / Invision/AP)

Editor’s note: On April 23, 2003, Linkin Park headlined an electric night of rock at the Spokane Arena. Then-staff writer Isamu Jordan was there, and here we republish his review that appeared in print on April 25, 2003.

Halfway into an absolutely electric performance, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda reminded pit dwellers of two basic points of concertgoing etiquette.

One: “If someone comes crowdsurfing by you, don’t grope them. That is not cool.”

And two: “If someone falls in the pit what do we do?”

“Pick them up!” the crowd responded.

Keeping those simple courtesies in mind, a fully adrenalized audience and an eclectic band lineup made Project Revolution a superpowered show at the Spokane Arena on Wednesday night.

The tour marries the most extreme elements of rock and rap, with Swedish punkers Blindside, L.A. rapper Xzibit, Illinois hardcores Mudvayne and Southern California rap-metalheads Linkin Park.

It takes a headliner like Linkin Park to make such a diverse roster work. Whether it was Blindside’s monster guitar riffs or Xzibit’s Dr. Dre-endorsed vocal hooks, the crowd didn’t segregate itself. The same kids that were slamdancing to Mudvayne were bouncing with Xzibit, and with the same fervor.

Wrecking the stage with physical, guitar-wrenching punk rock, Blindside was the ideal opening band - fearless and more pretentious than it deserved to be.

Lead singer Christian swung the mike over his head like a rodeo cowboy while guitarist Simon cartwheeled across the stage. (Apparently, these guys are too cool for last names, as none are printed in their press material).

Between the featured bands’ sets, the crowd was kept entertained by hip-hop consortium the Guerilla Unit All Stars, featuring freestyle emcee legend Supernatural, DJ Rocky Rock and dizzying breakdancing moves by the Urban Action Figure.

Xzibit stepped onstage through a smoky mist, out of a globe with a huge California state shape in the center.

X stuck to his Dr. Dre-tailored hits while the crowd sang the hooks. The vocals seemed to take a back seat to the bass-heavy beats until he performed his breakthrough 1996 single, ““Paparazzi.”” Xzibit stood still, rapping to his shadow about the dangers of chasing fame.

The following act, Mudvayne, couldn’t have been more different. Its screamcore vocals quickly pushed the laid-back, head-boppin’ vibe into a full onslaught of strobe-lit pit-fighting.

Bodies were launched into the air and caught by security almost constantly while Afro-wig-wearing lead singer Kud and guitarist Gurrg screamed demonic choruses.

Somehow, as amped as the crowd was during Mudvayne’s performance, the energy doubled when Linkin Park appeared. Just about everyone in the nearly filled Arena stood for the entire show.

Shinoda and fellow vocalist Chester Bennington had an intimate rapport with the audience as they ran up and down the stage and out into the floor, shaking hands and slapping fives with fans.

Easily the high point of the concert was Linkin Park’s chart-topping “Hybrid Theory” single, “In the End.” The crowd’s singing could be heard as clearly as Bennington’s.

For an encore, Linkin Park performed songs from last year’s “Reanimation” remix album. They were joined on stage by Kud, Xzibit and Christian during various songs before closing out the night with “1stp Klosr.”


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