Linkin Park at Download Festival 2014 review

'A night to remember'

Linkin Park at Download Festival 2014 review

Photographer: Sara BowreyAnna Hyams, Ali Ryland on 15 June 2014

Playing through from start to finish your best loved album has become festival headliner gold for established bands. Metallica nailed 'The Black Album' at Download 2012, while Green Day's run through of 'Dookie' at Reading and Leeds 2013 made too-cool-for-school fans of the largest punk-rock band on earth smile. Just last night, The Offspring started off proceedings with the whole of 'Smash'.

Thus, the promise of 'Hybrid Theory' has drawn the expected large crowd in, despite Status Quo going strong over as the second stage headliner. Released in 2000, 'Hybrid Theory' represents a teenage angst musical awakening in the lives of the twenty somethings at Download, and as the band sail through hit singles 'Papercut' and 'One Step Closer' it's easy to see why Linkin Park are repeat offenders at this festival.

During the prominent and uniquely LP rap sections, some of the very best noughties nu-metal dancing breaks out, the standard point-and-bounce or the two-hands-together-and-push-towards-the-floor are favourites, and 'Crawling' incites a cacophony of howls aimed at the sky in unison.


With DJ 'Mr Hahn' spinning and scratching from a giant set of turntables on a podium, the full and layered sound we've come to expect from LP is strong and gains the awed approval of many. During a short break, Chester calls out "Got Ollie over here from Bing Me The Horizon. He told me something crazy, he said that the first show he ever went to was a Linkin Park show here in the UK, where we played Hybrid Theory, and after that he decided to learn and play music. Just great to think there may be a lot of other people here tonight who will get inspired too". Despite the somewhat self-important undertones, the sentiment of the statement is not lost on Donington.

'By Myself' gains a good reaction from the thousands of fans in attendance but it's 'In The End' that draws the sullen angry teen out of even the most aloof participant. Chester heads down to the front row to meet some fans and has to be pulled out of the clawing fray, yelling "you guys are fucking on fire tonight, love it!" before heading for a break whilst Mr. Hahn is 'Polymapped' onto the big screens.


As a special treat, LP also have something great in store for one lucky/super-fighty fan: "So we've got a brand new album that's out this week, it's called Hunting Party. I have the only physical copy in my hands. Who wants it?"‎ before throwing into the clutching throng and launching into new track 'Guilty All The Same'. It would have been expert comedy timing if said lucky fan had thrown the CD back in disgust following this debut, but alas - the song was decent, despite being a definite departure from their signature sound. Expect new LP to be rockier and less electronic sounding than ever before.

Unfortunately, the end of 'Hybrid Theory' also signals an exodus, as many of the revellers who were just jumping around to their album album are leaving.

'Numb' lacks a bit of oomph but there are enough people singing to fill in the gaps, and as an eerie red moon rises 'What I've done' and 'Bleed It Out' close the night in style.‎ With a few filler songs not quite hitting the mark inbetween hits, it's not been plain sailing for Linkin Park's Download return, but they definitely come out right in the end and seeing 'Hybrid Theory' in full, makes for a night to remember.

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