LINKIN PARK, Thirty Seconds to Mars, AFI Carnivores Tour at Jiffy Lube Offered Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

Chester Bennington leans into the microphone.

Mike Shinoda, of LINKIN PARK, said in a recent interview that the his named Carnivores Tour is about “an appetite for something visceral and substantive. I feel that’s exactly the hunger this tour will feed.”

When LINKIN PARK, Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI played at the Jiffy Lube Live outdoor amphitheater in Bristow Aug. 13 as part of the Carnivores Tour, that is exactly what they delivered.

During the show, each frontman make a point of interacting as directly with fans as possible, be it playing from the audience, walking through the audience or inviting fans onto the stage. Additionally, each band, dug deep into their repetoire to play new and old hits, rare solos and fan favorites.

Arriving at the venue, those familiar with Jiffy Lube already could tell something was different about the show. The tour had constructed a long catwalk from the stage extending into the general admission pit. This could only mean one thing: the bands were serious about getting close to their most hardcore and adoring fans.

However, even as far as the Carnivores Tour is concern, the Bristow show was a standout. One reason was because it had special guest stars AFI, to kick off the show with a nine song set.

AFI's Davey Havok kicks off the concert, singing from the catwalk.

Much like LINKIN PARK and Thirty Seconds, AFI are serious rockers with a deep song list from which to pull. Although best known for their millennial hits, AFI (Fire Inside) has been around since 1991 and has since produced nine studio albums. But most of all, AFI is a great rock band that is a lot of fun in concert because they sound great and bring a tremendous amount great energy to the stage.

Lead vocalist Davey Havok, bassist Hunter Burgan, guitarist Jade Puget and backup vocalist Adam Carson, of the band alternatively described as melodic hardcore or goth-punk, succeeded in getting the audience pumped for the extended show. They started their set with “The Leaving Song Part II” and led into “Girl’s Not Grey” both from their 2003 album, Sing the Sorrow.

By their third song, “I Hope You Suffer,” from 2013’s Burials, Havok was walking the catwalk and even walking on the hands of audience members who held him up, while others flashed their smartphone cameras at him.

By the time AFI ended their set with popular songs “Silver and Cold” from Sing the Sorrow and “Miss Murder” (2006 Decemberunderground), it was still bright and sunny out, but the crowd was ready to rock.

Havok with guitarist Jade Puget.

Second to the stage was Thirty Seconds to Mars, the alternative rock band led by film and TV Star Jared Leto, along with brother, Shannon Leto, and band members Tomo Milicevic, Matt Wachter, Kevin Drake and Solon Bixler. Jared and Shannon are hometown boys, in that they grew up and attended school in Mclean, Virginia, and shared their excitement to be back on their home turf of Northern Virginia.

And, while much has been made of Jared’s charmed career, his performance proves he is ever much a talented performing musical artist as he is an actor.

And real Thirty Seconds fan are extremely dedicated.

Thirty Seconds to Mars started out as a concept band, and some of that concept still resonated with their fan base. Before they even took the stage, fans held large flags with their inverted triad symbol, and one woman held a sign that simple said “LUST,” a reference to their most recent album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams.

However, to the chagrin of some fans, Leto’s appearance on stage somewhat masked his good looks. Stepping onto the stage, Jared, with long hair and a full beard, also wore oversized sunglasses, long white coat and a paper crown. Altogether it created a Christ-like like appearance, it not a realistic one, but perhaps what one might expect from a Sunday-school play or a Wes Anderson movie.

Jared Leto comes on stage dressed as a rock-star Messiah.

Thirty Seconds started their set with “Up in the Air” from their 2013 album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams as Jared twirled about the stage almost manically as lights and smoke created mythical ambience. Jared managed to work up the crowd, asking them to hop up and down, get down low and raise their arms up high.

By his third song, Jared had taken off most his long jacket and by fourth song, “This is War” from the 2009 album of the same name, colorful giant balloons lifted onto the audience. He also rallied the crowd to chant with him “this is war,” and pointed to himself as “the Messiah.”

After getting everyone jazzed up from the stage, Jared moved out into the larger audience, stopping on small makeshift stages that made it easier for him to interact with the audience. From there he reach out and touch hands with his fans, while the band continued to play from on stage.

Before playing hit song “Kings and Queens,” from This is War Jared asked the audience who lives in D.C. or in various towns in Virginia? Jared said that he and his brother lived in Mclean. He asked if anyone in the audience went to high school or grade school with him.

“Did we steal any of your parents cars? Maybe we did and you didn’t even know,” he jokingly told the crowd.

Later from the middle of the audience, Jared began playing his accostic guitar. He told the crowd, “I’ll play any song you ask me to play.”  And, listening to song titles, audience members shouted to him, he chose to played excerpts from “Hurricane” and “Attack,” which he followed up with “The Kill” and “From Yesterday”

Jared Leto did not allow photographers close ups during his show, but reached out to fans.

Jared brought one teen female fan onto the stage, and asked her where she was from. “I’m from here,” she said. After asking her what town, she answered, “15 miles from here.” After getting over here initial star-struck nervousness, McKayla eventually revealed that she was in fact from Woodbridge, Virginia. Jared pulled her in for a hug.

Then Jared asked the other audience members if any of them were from Manassas, Alexandria, Williamsburg or Fairfax. He thanked the fans of AFI and LINKIN PARK for supporting them while they were playing.

Thirty Seconds to Mars ended their show on a high note, by inviting members of the audience onto the stage. He played “Closer to the Edge” from This is War and oversized rainbow-colored pieces of confetti rained down on the audience.

Like afore mentioned bands, headliner LINKIN PARK continued to show their fans love and attention, while playing an excellent music that incorporated various facets of their unique sound that blends of melodic rock, hardcore, rap, hip-hop and techno.

LINKIN PARK works as a collaborative performance primarily between front man/ lead vocalist Chester Bennington, and Mike Shinoda, who in addition to being rap front man, guitarist and keyboardist, is the band’s primary songwriter.

However, during this performance, all band members had a change to stand out, as it featured a drum solo by Rob Bourdon and a Jo “Hahn Solo” performance on turntables accompanied by Shinoda on keyboards.

While Bennington, Shinoda and lead guitarist Brad Nelson and bass guitar performed on and off stage, Hahn and Bourdon, performed in raised stage platforms. Adorned with digital flashing red lights and projected images that the band members sometimes disappeared behind, they appeared to be in futuristic sound booths, creating visual complexity for the audience.

Chester Bennington takes the spotlight.

Bennington and crew opened with “Guilty all the Same,” and got the audience really rocking with “One Step Close” from Hybrid Theory. A little later, the band mixed “Shadow of the Day” with “Leave out all the Rest” and “Iradescent.”

LINKING PARK played the melodic “Castle of Glass” from Living Things followed by some instrumental pieces. Next, turntablist produced a “Jo Hahn Solo” with Mike Shindo on keyboards, which was followed by radio hit “Numb.”

During their set, LINKIN PARK, made their songs more interesting, teasing with different openers before leading into the son on their play list. LINKIN PARK appeared to end their concert with well-know “Faint” from 2003’s Meteora, that include lyrics “I won’t be ignored.”

After a three-band performance, some may have thought that was the end of the show, but no one budged from their seats. Fans would not easily accept that as the show’s end and started drumming on their chairs, chanting “encore,” “encore.”

After much anticipation, LINKIN PARK returned for a full six-song encore that began with mega-hit “Burning it Down,” followed by their up-beat synth/rap hit “Lost in the Echo.” They followed that up by melodic ballad/rock anthem “New Divide” from Thousand Suns, 2010. Then it was “Until It’s Gone,” “What I’ve Done,” and they ended with a rendition of their well-know “Bleed it Out.”

LINKIN PARK's multi-talented Mike Shinoda plays guitar at Jiffy Lube Live.

All during the encore, Bennington and Shinoda reached out into the audience and even crowd surfed. Just as the show had begun, it ended with a consistent message that the artists were there to give a visceral experience for their fans, something that could break them out of the dull-drums of digital life and get them to look up from their smart phones.

Written by Stacy Shaw & Alana Beck. 

Photos by Stacy Shaw. 

© 2014, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

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