Carnivores Rock A Diamond

By on August 12, 2014

 

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

The Carnivores Tour:  A show for all ages came to Legends/George A. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.  Three well known and very successful bands,  A Fire Inside (“AFI”), 30 Seconds To Mars and Linkin Park provided their fans with a memorable performance under the sun, moon and stars  on a field known more for Hall of Famers on a diamond than rockers on a stage. You see, there hasn’t been a concert at Legends Field since 1996 and the venue and the staff did themselves proud. The audio sounded great throughout the stadium with the security and the vendors doing a great job under very hot conditions.

 

Davey Havok (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Davey Havok (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

AFI took the stage at 7 pm and put on a strong performance wearing all black with the sun beating down on the stage. I had never heard their music but obviously throughout their career they have been doing something right. They have millions of views on Youtube and have also sold millions of albums.

AFI has been together for 18 years with vocalist Davey Havok and drummer Adam Carson being the two members left from the original lineup from Ukiah, California.  The other members of AFI include bassist Hunter Burgan and guitarist Jade Puget, who both play keyboards and also contribute with backup vocals.

 

Hunter Burgan, A Fire Inside (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Hunter Burgan, A Fire Inside (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

It was obvious from the start of AFI’s set that they weren’t just another opening band. Vocalist and frontman Davey Havok commanded the crowd throughout the set starting with the track

“The Leaving Song Part II” and then continued with seven more songs that included two from their latest release, Burials with “I Hope You Suffer” and “17 Crimes.”

 After photographing the band, I was able to catch the rest of AFI’s set. My main observation was that their sound seems to be a combination of punk, hardcore and a dark pop emo, like The Cure, and they have spawned other bands to follow in their footsteps and opened doors for post hardcore- horror punk bands.

 

Davey Havok (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Davey Havok (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Havok definitely has a Robert Smith type look and the girls were swooning when he came out on the stage ramp and walked into, or should I say, on top of the crowd. This is where the security came into play and handled the situation well by maintaining order while allowing Havok to engage with his fans.

AFI finished their set with two of their most popular songs from the Crash Love release in “Beautiful Thieves” and their Billboard Modern Rock number 1 song in ‘Miss Murder.’  After they finished their set, I spoke with some of AFI’s fans up on the rail and while they enjoyed their performance, they wished that AFI could have played longer.

 

Jared Leto, 30 Seconds to Mars (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jared Leto, 30 Seconds to Mars (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Next up was the Los Angeles based, 30 Seconds to Mars. Fronted by Oscar winning actor Jared Leto,

30 Seconds to Mars incorporated their fans into their performance from the start by providing some lucky fans with flags bearing their logo. They waved them with pride and admiration as the band played a thirteen song set starting with “Carmina Burana: O Fortuna.”

 Leto came on stage wearing a long flowing white robe, a gold crown, and sporting a full mustache, beard and hair reminiscent of the late 60’s counterculture or ancient Rome. It was very clear to anyone who watched this performance, that Jared Leto was the main focal point along with great “on stage” visuals and crowd interaction. The crowd and the cameras followed Leto’s every move and he responded by  having the crowd sing with and without him throughout the set. The music and lyrics seem to be very uplifting and almost religious like. I thought during AFI’s set that the girls were nuts over Havok, well the attention that 30 Seconds to Mars and Jared Leto, received was “Beatlesque.”

 

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Highlights of 30 Seconds to Mars’ set included “Kings and Queens,” “Conquistador” and “City of Angels.”

Throughout the set, the band’s assistants threw out monster multi-colored beach balls to the fans in the stands and also allowed a group of fans on stage while 30 Seconds to Mars performed. I can’t say enough about 30 Seconds to Mars’ interaction with the fans, as their formula works perfectly. They know what their fans want and they give it to them in spades.

 30 Seconds to Mars closed out their set with an acoustic performance of their biggest and most recognizable hit, “The Kill.” Leto performed “The Kill” at the end of the ramp that extended out into the middle of the crowd and he didn’t have to sing a note as the crowd sang it like they wrote it themselves.

30 Seconds to Mars put on a very impressive and complete performance. They are not my cup of tea but I understand why there are millions who drink it.

 

30 SECONDS TO MARS (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

30 SECONDS TO MARS (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

There was a bit of a wait until the headliners of the Carnivores tour (Linkin Park) was able to take the stage but that provided ample time to observe the crowd once again.  It was amazing to see the variety of people that attended this show.  Young and old, black and white, and future generations of fans brought to a concert by their parents for the first time. The one underlying trait of everyone in attendance was the smile on their faces.

 

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Closing out the night as the sun set on Legend’s Field and the SuperMoon cast its spell one day early, Linkin Park arrived on stage in support of their latest release, The Hunting Party, and absolutely killed it.

Lead singer Chester Bennington showed no effects from falling ill or injured from the previous night which caused Linkin Park to put on an abbreviated set in West Palm Beach to many fans dismay.

 

Chester Bennington showed no effects from falling ill or injured from the previous night which caused Linkin Park to put on an abbreviated set in West Palm Beach to many fans dismay. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Chester Bennington showed no effects from falling ill or injured from the previous night which caused Linkin Park to put on an abbreviated set in West Palm Beach to many fans dismay. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Opening with their hit and first single from The Hunting Party in “Guilty All The Same,” Linkin Park set the tone for their 26 song set. That’s right, 26 songs and even though some of them were abbreviated and mixed together, a 26 song set is pretty unheard of these days. Playing their hits from all their previous releases, it seemed that the biggest pop from the crowd was when Linkin Park played their hits from their first two albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora.

 

Mike Shinoda Brad Delson, Linkin Park (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Mike Shinoda Brad Delson, Linkin Park (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Linkin park broke onto the national music scene in 2000 with the release of Hybrid Theory and by fusing rock, metal and rap into one package.   Hybrid Theory sold 4.8 million copies and was the best selling album of 2001. Other bands combined these forms of music but did not receive the commercial success up until this point like Linkin Park did with Hybrid Theory.

Chester and the boys, which includes Rob Bourdon on drums, Brad Delson on lead guitar & keyboards, Dave Farrell “Phoenix” on bass, Joe Hahn on turntables and Mike Shinoda on vocals, proved once again why they are still at the top of their craft after all these years. They are always in perfect synch, especially when Mike Shinoda and Chester are doing their thing. Shinoda can rap with the best of them and Bennington provides a multi-octave range that they combine in their writing and performing to perfection.

 

 (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Standout songs for me were “In The End” with the crowd drowning out the band vocally and the aggressive and heavy and the third song of the encore, “Bleed It Out.” The only surprise of the night from Linkin Park was the omission of “Breaking The Habit” from tonight’s set, but I didn’t even realize it until days later.

 

Linkin Park rapper Mike Shinoda (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Linkin Park rapper Mike Shinoda (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

The 2014 Carnivores Tour stop at Legends Field was a huge success and answered many questions. The most important one was asked by Chester Bennington in a conference call earlier in the week when I asked him if he knew they were playing the first concert in that venue since 1996.  Chester said that he didn’t know that and questioned if the power would come on. Well Chester, the power did come on, and only four hours later, memories of a phenomenal show were made which will be remembered by fans young and old for years to come and a new venue staked its claim as a concert mecca in the near future in the Tampa Bay area.

 

For more info:

http://www.linkinpark.com/

http://www.thirtysecondstomars.com/

http://www.afireinside.net/

For full set lists from this show:

http://www.setlist.fm/search?query=steinbrenner+field

 

BONUS PHOTOS BY TRAVIS FAILEY / RSEN

Mike Shinoda (Left) and Chester Bennington (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Mike Shinoda (Left) and Chester Bennington (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Chester Benningon (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Chester Benningon (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Davey Havok, A Fire Inside (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Davey Havok, A Fire Inside (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

 (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

YANKEES (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

YANKEES (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

JARED LETO, 30 SECONDS TO MARS (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

JARED LETO, 30 SECONDS TO MARS (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

DAVEY HAVOK (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

DAVEY HAVOK (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

 (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

CHESTER BENNINGTON (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

CHESTER BENNINGTON (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

JARED LETO (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

JARED LETO (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

 (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

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