Hunting Season Starts in Orlando

By on January 19, 2015

 

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Chester Bennington (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Orlando, Fla. – – The Hunting Party North American Tour is underway. Linkin Park, Rise Against, and Of Mice and Men took to the stage in the Sunshine State on Thursday night in Orlando. This tour may catapult Linkin Park into the category of timeless bands.

During a press conference, Linkin Park front-man Chester Bennington was asked about the pairing with Chicago rockers Rise Against.

“We poll our fans to see who else they listen to, Rise Against is always in the Top Five”

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tim McIlrath & Joe Principe Rise Against (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

After releasing their first album in 2001, Rise Against has spent the last 13 years rocking out venues all over the world, in an effort to share their message. Every song they perform has a message and sometimes those messages come from dark places. Their 2014 release, The Black Market, is a track-by-track roller coaster of emotions.

 

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tim McIlrath Rise Against (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tim McIlrath held back laughter when I asked him how he prepares to excite a crowd while singing about such personal and powerful issues. “It’s like going from Clark Kent to Superman.” It’s easy to see how the energetic front man comes out of the phone booth as an entirely different person from what the lyrics would suggest. While performing Prayer for the Refugee, McIlrath referenced the recent New Years Celebration concert headlined by Billy Joel. “I bet Billy Joel didn’t have a circle pit.”

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Zach Blair Rise Against (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Beginning with their 2006 hit “Ready to Fall” and continuing with other hits from the their early years in “Prayer of the Refugee” and “Swing Life Away,” Rise Against played 13 songs filled with non-stop energy and emotion that spanned their entire catalog.

During “Re-Education (Through Labor),” McIlrath had to be held back by his security as he was teetering into the crowd from the catwalk. The crowd was engaged in the moment and invited him in but without the result they were looking for.

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tim McIlrath Rise Against (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tim McIlrath

Tim McIlrath Rise Against (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

As they concluded their set with “Savior,” Rise Against cemented their place as this generation’s punk band. What sets them apart from the others is that they bring more to the genre then just the normal dose of teen angst.

Before Rise Against would  take the stage, the youngsters would take the stage and show why the deserved to be on this tour. Of Mice and Men have been on the scene since 2009 and have developed a large fan base and they showed up in droves to support original members Phil Manansala and Valentina Arteaga. Along with Vocalist Austin Carlisle, Alan Ashby & Aaron Pauley, Of Mice and Men played a seven song set that included their recent single “Feels Like Forever,” “Bones Exposed” and one of the most played songs on Sirius XM’s Octane in 2014 with “Would You Still Be There.”

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Valentino Arteaga Of Mice and Men (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

During their set Carlisle also came out onto the catwalk and sang and screamed with their fans. It was only the first show of the tour, but his vocals and their refined sound made it seem like this tour had been underway for months.

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Austin Carlisle Of Mice & Men (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

As they closed out their set with what seemed to be the heaviest song of the night in “You’re Not Alone” off of Restoring Force, a few things were obvious. Their fans are rabid for their sound and the years of constant touring and the playing on festivals large and small, has provided Of Mice and Men with a bright future in a genre full of mediocrity.

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Alan Ashby Of Mice & Men (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Austin Carlisle Of Mice & Men (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Formed in 1996, Linkin Park did not make a splash in the music industry until October 24, 2000. Many of us don’t even remember what we were doing 14 years ago. I however, remember exactly what I was doing. I was a young college student working at our campus radio station. I remember opening up packages of CD’s; we received them weeks prior to their release date. Crawling, the bands first single, had been on the air for a few days now and I certainly provided my school with a preview of what to expect on the rest of their debut album. An album that 14 years later, seems so aptly named, Hybrid Theory.

Mike Shinoda (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Mike Shinoda Linkin Park (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 25 song set. That’s right, 25 songs and even though some of them were solos or abbreviated and mixed together, a 25 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 in Hybrid Theory and Meteora.

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Brad Delson Linkin Park (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Chester Bennington is an absolute madman on stage and sometimes to his own detriment as they have had to cancel shows due to his on stage injuries. But it is his intensity and vocal range that sets Chester apart from the others in the so-called numetal genre. The smoothness of his sound on songs like “In The End” and then the take no prisoners approach on the final song of the night in “Bleed It Out,” is why he is so respected by his peers.

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Chester Bennington (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Whether you grew up a fan of Linkin Park or you just recently started listening to them, there is no denying that the band has the ability to span several genres, satisfying even the toughest musical palette. If you are a fan of music, Linkin Park has something for you. Much the same can be said about several bands however, what separates Linkin Park is the stage presence, the collaboration between Bennington and keyboardist/back-up vocalist Mike Shinoda, and the understanding that each of them is a better performer because of the other. Shinoda can be credited with providing the hip hop undertones for several tracks.

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Joe Hahn Linkin Park (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

It has been 14 years since the band reached stardom, there is no telling how much longer they will be releasing albums and touring the world. If you hav not seen them perform yet, you owe it to yourself. When I think about the band, the broad range of music, the generations that their music has spanned; I think of such bands as the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith. The Beatles were performing together as an active band for 10 years yet look at what they have become. If you were born in the 50’s you listened to them, if you were born in the 90’s you listened to them, and I’m sure many of you born in the early 00’s are jamming out to the likes of Yellow Submarine or Here Comes the Sun, as well. The ability to reach several generations of music lovers is something that very few bands have the luxury of doing. There is no question that many of the Generation X’s are listening, and enjoying the sounds of Linkin Park as we speak. The question is, when will it end? What generation will the band take us to next?

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Chester Bennington Linkin Park (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Austin Carlisle Of Mice & Men (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tim McIlrath Rise Against (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Alan Ashby Of Mice & Men (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Austin Carlisle Valentino Arteaga Of Mice & Men (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

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