High off the release of their seventh studio album One More Light last Friday, Linkin Park hit the State Farm stage at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles to deliver a career-spanning album release party on Monday night.
Linkin Park launched their intimate show with their world conquering hit "Numb/Encore," featuring Chester Bennington driving the performance with lead vocals and Mike Shinoda providing backup hype verses while striking the keyboard. Shinoda and Bennington then swapped on lead vocals during their followup performance of the supportive OML single "Invisible," but quickly returned to their original positions for the live performance of 2012's "Burn It Down" that was adorned with strobe lights.
Before LP continued with OML's lead single "Heavy" sans guest collaborator Kiiara, Shinoda and Bennington spoke to Nikki Sixx and Jenn Marino about their disarming songwriting session with hit-making duo Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. The song -- a clear departure from LP's previous releases -- was inspired by Bennington's studio confessions of "internal conflicts" that drove Michaels to blurt out the line, "I don't like my mind right now," he told Nikki Sixx and Jenn Marino.
"I was like, 'Yeah, I like that! That's me!'" Bennington said. On the band's decision to partner with Tranter and Michaels -- who are responsible for Justin Bieber's massive hit "Sorry," among others -- Shinoda said it wasn't their intention to create a cookie-cutter pop hit, but instead, to find people who could relate to the message on an emotional level.
"You could've put the same emotion and same idea for a song with us and somebody else, but it wouldn't have been the same song. [Me, Chester, Julia, and Justin] related to the subject of the song in a really deep way and it was much more emotional than anything else," Shinoda said. "The intention wasn't like, 'Let's go write something that everybody is going to love to sing!' because truth be told, people don't wan't to sing about their deepest darkest secrets."
After their emotional live rendition of "Heavy," Shinoda and Bennington brought it back to the year 2000 with a rockstar performance of "In The End," during which the duo stood on the metal barricades and held out their microphones for fans to sing back the memorable lyrics. They kept the party going with back-to-back performances of "Talking To Myself," the redemption story "Battle Symphony," and 2009's brassy "New Divide." Before Shinoda could finish his request for crowd participation during "Good Goodbye," Bennington interrupted, "They already know," which prompted fans to respond with the howling melody.
Bennington, overwhelmed with adrenaline, slipped out of his long sleeve and joined fans in the front row once again for an impassioned collaboration on 2007's hard rock anthem "Leave Out All The Rest," that segued into "Somewhere I Belong." Bennington concluded the show by traveling the stage and flexing his vocals for a screeching finale performance of "What I've Done," off 2007's Minutes to Midnight.
Beginning July 27, Linkin Park will launch their North American tour at Boston's Xfinity Center and criss-cross through major cities including Toronto, Houston, and Las Vegas before wrapping up at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on October 22. The trek will feature rapper Snoop Dogg on select dates in October.
LP will also share the stage with Blink-182 for two nights this summer for their joint concert, Welcome to Blinkin Park. The bands are set to collaborate on July 28 in Queens, New York's Citi Field and at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania on July 30. Also on the bill for their Citi Field show are Machine Gun Kelly and one of Shinoda's all-time favorite hip-hop collectives, Wu-Tang Clan.
Check out their album release party set list below.