This past September, the effusively adored (and often reviled) Linkin Park released A Thousand Suns, a sprawling studio experiment that challenged the band's oft-constrained standards as well as those of the pop-rock world at large.
The seeds of change were planted a few years ago, when Linkin Park first enlisted wild-bearded producer and cred-booster Rick Rubin. That go-around with Rubin, 2007's Minutes to Midnight, hints at this transformation at times. But it never pushes into full art-rock territory the way A Thousand Suns undoubtedly does. Exemplified by piano ballad "Robot Boy" and lead single "The Catalyst," this is an album that's actually converting critics.
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Now, after spending the fall honing this new material in a string of live shows overseas, Linkin Park has spent the winter unleashing their experiment upon North American audiences. And this show should find the band well-tuned; originally scheduled to take place on February 17, but rescheduled after frontman Chester Bennington fell ill, this show will now be the band's second-to-last in North American before returning overseas for some more dates in Europe.