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Linkin Park and Thirty Seconds to Mars bring thunderous Carnivores Tour to Texas

By George Gonzalez
On September 26, 2014

DALLAS, TX - It was a rainy and stormy Saturday night as the Carnivores Tour featuring alt-rocker’s Linkin Park and Thirty Seconds to Mars made its stop at the Gexa Energy Pavillion in Dallas, Texas on September 6th, 2014.

Despite the heavy rainfall, the crowd never showed any signs of slowing down, nor did the bands. Performing before headliners Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars smashed opened their set with their energetic hit single, “Up in the Air.” Consisting of lead singer Jared Leto, drummer Shannon Leto, and multi-instrumentalist Tomo Miličević, the band blasted through power-pop ballads such as, “Do or Die,” “City of Angels,” and “Kings & Queens.”

Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman, Jared Leto applauded fans for still making it out to the concert regardless of the pouring rain. In fact, it was that transparency and engagement with the crowd that painted both Mars and Linkin Park as classy, professional showmen, as opposed to the angsty rockers that they are often depicted as. In fact, Leto was so engaging, the actor-turned-singer would repeatedly jump off the stage to run and sing alongside with both the crowd in the mosh pit area, as well as those seated further up in the amphitheater.

The majority of their 12-song setlist was made up of tracks from the trio’s latest two albums, 2013’s “Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams” and 2009’s “This Is War;” with five songs played from each of album. Strangely enough, the only song performed off their breakthrough album “A Beautiful Lie” was an acoustic rendition of the 2006 radio smash, “The Kill.”

However, it was the groups instrumental rendition of the heavy-metal classic, “Enter Sandman” by Metallica that was both unique and surprising. By that point there was so many fans on stage that it looked more like a party, rather than a rock show. Lastly, the LA-based band ended with, “Closer to the Edge” making way for the headliners Linkin Park to take the stage.

At around 9:20pm the six-member hard-rock outfit took the Texas stage with thunderous applause. Consisting of lead singer Chester Bennignton, drummer Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, DJ Joseph Hahn, bassist Phoenix Farrell, and multi-instrumentalist Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park kept the raw and heavy theme of their latest album, “The Hunting Party” as a template for the evening. The California-based rockers started their set with an all-out assault of heavy guitar-driven songs. Beginning with “Guilty All The Same,” the band followed it up with their most aggressive single, “Given Up” and then the classics “Points of Authority” and “One Step Closer.”

Notably, despite the heavy nature of their set, the band didn’t let go of the DJ scratching elements that had been more apparent during their first two albums “Hybrid Theory” and “Meteora.” In fact, turntablist Joseph Hahn had an entire solo in-which he mixed and twisted several different Linkin Park songs with synchronizing, EDM-like lights to accompany the music. It was very intense and created a great balance of electronica and D-tuned guitar samples. Even the bands electronic, dubstep, rendition of “Castle of Glass” was very unique and a lot of fun. The vastly different and very danceable song was an incredible surprise, creating a perfect break from their heavier songs. For a moment, it really felt like being at a Deadmau5 and Skrillex concert.

Interestingly enough, however, was also Linkin Park’s choice of shortening many of their songs by eliminating the second verses. Songs such as, “Papercut,” “Runaway,” “Lost in the Echo,” “New Divide,” and “Crawling” all got trimmed down renditions during the show.


Nevertheless, it is the bands innovative mixing and matching of instrumentals and melodies that showed how versatile and flexible they can be with their music. For instance, rapper Mike Shinoda did the first verse of “Wretches and Kings” as well as “Remember The Name” (from his 2005 solo album) over the instrumentation of  “Skin to Bone.” Another example of this was a piano melody section in their set that combined “Leave Out All The Rest,” “Shadow of the Day,” and “Iridescent” as one big, longer song.

Towards the end of the night, Linkin Park closed their set with a five-song encore, ending with an extended rendition of their hit single, “Bleed It Out.” Overall, the band really encompassed everything that makes them who they are, while also putting more of an emphasis towards their raw and heavier side. Though admittedly the band hasn’t had much of a mainstream influence these past few years than they did in the mid-2000’s, that hasn’t compromised the energy and velocity of their live show whatsoever.


linkin park chester at gexa pavillion.jpg

Chester Bennington on stage performing at the Gexa Pavillion in Dallas

Photo credit: David Orozco

(George Gonzalez may be reached at

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