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Loud, louder and loudest in Linkin Park concert

When Linkin Park's Meteora World Tour made its stop at the Tacoma Dome Friday night it could have been a scene straight out of "This is Spinal Tap," because the amplifiers were notched up to 11 for an evening of near-deafening arena rock.

The rap-metal sextet headlined a show so loud Brad Delson, the band's lead guitarist, was wearing headphones.

While Delson normally wears a large set of headphones onstage, it would be no surprise if his ears were ringing due to the three acts that preceded his band.
Brief and energetic sets from nu-metal band Hoobastank and St. Louis-based rockers Story of the Year started the night of noise the right way. Both bands were well received and knew to keep their sets short so fans could see the main act.

P.O.D., a nu-metal group with hip-hop and Latin influences, followed suit with its jarring guitars, upbeat rhythms and high level of intensity. Singer Sonny Sandoval's thick dreadlocks flew in his face as he jumped up and down while singing. A face full of hair did not affect him though; his intensity brought life to the group's trademark songs, "Alive," "Boom" and "Southtown."
The band's Christianity-influenced lyrical content is odd for a metal group, but P.O.D.'s grinding guitars and hard-hitting style won over the crowd before its first song was finished.

While Sandoval was the main focus of his band's set, the six members of Linkin Park provided plenty to watch.

The group's dual vocalists, Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington, patrolled the stage while one rapped and the other sang. Shinoda's rhythmic flow accompanied by Bennington's gravelly screams is what gives Linkin Park its distinct sound, and it makes for an outstanding live show.

Songs from the band's first album "Hybrid Theory" were scattered throughout a set heavy on material from its latest release, last year's "Meteora," which the band almost played in its entirety.

Before the encore, Shinoda announced a portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to the Pacific Northwest Research Institute for cancer research. The donation is in memory of a friend of the band's drummer, Rob Bourdon, who passed away due to cancer.

The night of raucous arena rock ended when the singers of the other three bands on the bill joined Linkin Park for "One Step Closer."

Settle PI - February 14, 2004


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