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Concert Reviews:
Carnivores Tour rocks hard at DTE

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014

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INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- So let's get the obvious out of the way.

The Linkin Park-led Carnivores Tour? Yes, there was plenty of meat on its musical bones Saturday night, Aug. 30, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre -- three solid, hard-rocking performances, all markedly different but complementary. And at least one of the acts clearly won over a bunch of new fans.

That would be Thirty Seconds to Mars, the modern rock troupe fronted by Academy Award-winner Jared Leto. Following a strong 35 minutes from AFI -- whose frontman Davey Havok nevertheless seemed dissatisfied as he left the stage without a word of thanks -- the quartet delivered an enormously entertaining, high-energy hour and 40 minutes during which Leto seemingly did whatever he could think of to win over the DTE crowd. There were giant balloons, two confetti showers and, during "Kings and Queens," a trip off the stage and through the pavilion all the way up to the concourse and back.

Leto also called out individual fans when they weren't jumping high enough and brought a young girl on stage to serenade her during "Do or Die." And before "City of Angels" Leto and his brother, 30STM drummer Shannon Leto, brought out an early birthday cake for Troy-raised bandmate Tomo Milicevic, who turns 34 on Wednesday, Sept. 3. The music didn't suffer amidst the hijinks, either; drawing primarily from its last two albums -- "This is War" and "Love Lust Faith and Dream," 30STM's uplifting anthems made as much impact as Leto's showmanship.

So when he told the crowd at the end of the set, just before 30STM retired to the Pine Tap to sign autographs that "I hope you come back to see us next time we're here," there's no doubt a substantial portion of the crowd will take him up on the invitation.

Linkin Park, meanwhile, was just as exciting, albeit in a different way.

Playing on a high-tech stage set flanked by three levels of LED video screens, the sextet was all business, powering through all or part of 26 songs, plus "Remember the Name" from co-frontman Mike Shinoda's Fort Minor project, during its hour and 40 minutes on stage. There were cursory salutations and sincere expressions of gratitude, but Linkin Park largely eschewed any hype, instead roaring from one song to the next in breathless and breakneck fashion, blending elements of heavy metal, hip-hop and EDM into medley-like stretches that never ran out of steam.

The group did quiet down at one point to combine the ballady favorites "Leave Out All the Rest," "Shadow of a Doubt" and "Iridescent," all giving Chester Bennington room to show off his pipes, but Linkin Park was just as effective during rage 'n' roll moments such as "With You," "One Step Closer," "Numb," "Papercut," "In the End" and "Faint," the shirtless Bennington a model of coiled rage as he howled and growled the angsty lyrics. The group smoothly incorporated five songs from its latest album, "The Hunting Party," and while there was plenty of technology at work in the form of sequencers and samplers, the blazing ferocity that propelled the show was entirely organic.

A briskly paced encore ran from the new "Until It's Gone" through "New Divide" from the "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" soundtrack, "Crawling," "Until It's Gone," "What I've Done" and "Bleed It Out" -- a powerful closing that will insure plenty of repeat visitors for Linkin Park, too, when it returns.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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