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.
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.