On August 24, Linkin Park’s Carnivores Tour performed to a packed Air Canada Centre in Toronto. A spectacle of rock anthems, transcendent visuals and sonic enlightenment in a means to promote their latest album, The Hunting Party. Beginning with the openers, AFI and Thirty Seconds to Mars, the show was one euphoric punch in the face after another, as each band brought their own special brand of angst, rebellion and supremacy. With each supporting act having a fair amount of stage time before Linkin Park, the Carnivores Tour manages to give the audience a festive feel to an encompassing narrative of emotions. With all that said, here are a few key points to take away from the whole experience of Linkin Park’s Carnivores Tour.
1. AFI has still got, never lost it, and are here to stay.
With the concerts first openers AFI starting exactly at 6:30 p.m., it was easy to see that many of the concert goers were not that ready for the concert to begin. With the bands early start time and the fact that the venue had not been completely filled, it could have been the bands doom. But AFI proved everyone wrong, kicking off their set with the melancholic piano in “The Leaving Song Pt. II” that instantly transitioned to a heavy psalm of vocalist Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget, the audience’s spirit instantly rose in an emotional hurricane of kinship, spurred by the familiar band. AFI set lasted from 6:30 to 7:00 and managed to liven up the audience through a slew of familiar tracks from their catalogue in preparation for the rest of the concert.
Full set list here.
2. You may hate him, you may love him, but either way your girlfriends still gonna want to fuck him.
After AFI finished their set and a little bit of wait, Jared Leto and Thirty Seconds to Mars started their set at 7:30 p.m. to an ecstatic crowd (which I believe were all the females), that sent electricity throughout the ACC. Clad as a rock messiah, Leto instantly bates the crowd into excitement, urging them to rise from their seats and participate in something special that him and his band have brought to you. Leading with the track “Up in the Air,” the band played most of their fan favourites like “This Is War” and “Conquistador” throughout their set, but it was Leto’s heavy crowd interaction throughout the show, and a barrage of confetti and balloons that made the audience gush. From his comedic calling out of fans who were not excited, his running throughout the crowd, his outspoken love for Canada during the show (so much so as to bust out a giant Canadian flag), and intimate acoustic set near their end of their run, it was apparent that Leto is a master showman, giving the audience the feeling that we were vital to the experience of Thirty Seconds to Mars.
Full set list here.
3. Linkin Park are the Ministers of Empathy.
Once Thirty Seconds to Mars finished their set, the crowd began to rumble in anticipation. As everyone quickly ran to grab another beer and find their perfect spot for the main event, the excitement continued to build as cheering and chanting for Linkin Park to arrive onstage ensued.The stadium is now completely full, from the general admission floor, to the all the seats in the stadium, up until the 300 level, it was a full panorama of fans waiting for the band to arrive. Then with a roar, the “Mash Up Intro #2” began to play from the PA and the crowd went wild, quickly transitioning to “Guilty All the Same,” Chester Bennington followed by the rest of the band, soars into the lyrics of the song.
Throughout the show, Bennington and fellow vocalist Mike Shinoda managed to command the audience and direct them through songs, leading a legion of moshing fanatics and choral hymns. Their stage presence and effects provided an extravagant pageant of lights and visuals that stimulated the fervour of the audience. As the band played through many beloved tracks, it was their song “Castle of Glass” that brought chills to the audience, cooling down the excitement and replacing it with a sense of communal unity, as thousands of cell phones illuminated the stadium as Linkin Park continued to their ballad medley of “Leave Out All the Rest”/”Shadow of the Day”/”Iridescent” and an instrumental of “Robot Boy.”
After a quick emotional break with the track “Joe Hahn Solo,” the band was back into action ploughing through the rest of the set, highlighting newer track “Final Masquerade” and fan favourite “Numb” and an encore of six more tracks that did nothing but leave the audience only wanting more. Linkin Park has managed to command a show in a way that is only described as masterful, providing a powerful fusion of rap, rock, metal,electro and garage in a way that is truly aspiring and uplifting to those that need a voice, an outlet for anger, and a feeling of bliss.
Full set list here.