Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars + AFI Sink Teeth Into Massachusetts on Carnivores Tour
Armed with some of the most passionate fanbases in modern rock, the ‘Carnivores’ tour featuring the co-headlining prowess of Linkin Park and Thirty Seconds to Mars rolled into the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Mass. on Aug. 16 for their sole New England appearance.
AFI was tasked with kicking the night off with a short but potent set. Their nine-song offering was heavy on the hits like most recent singles ‘I Hope You Suffer’ and ’17 Crimes’ from 2013’s ‘Burials’ to a trio of songs from 2003’s ‘Sing the Sorrow’ with ‘The Leaving Song Pt. II,’ ‘Girl’s Not Grey,’ and ‘Silver and Cold' making the cut.
While it felt strange to take in the moody musical musings of AFI while the sun was still shining, Davey Havok made the most of it, launching himself into the crowd before the third song even started, getting up close and personal with the fans while bassist Hunter Burgan and guitarist Jade Puget took turns bouncing from side to side as drummer Adam Carson remained calm, cool and collected behind the kit. And just like that, their set was over.
Next up would be a tale of two headliners – Thirty Seconds to Mars emphatically invited the crowd into their self-proclaimed cult, conducting a straight up rock 'n' roll sermon, while Linkin Park took things a different direction fueled by the latest in technology and good old-fashioned angst. Strangely enough, the combined forces made for one of the most memorable tours of the summer.
Arming strategically placed fans throughout the audience with 30STM branded flags to wave throughout their performance, things took a turn for the dramatic as the trio known as Thirty Seconds to Mars hit the stage. Gregarious frontman Jared Leto is equal parts door-to-door salesman and messiah and burst onto the stage decked out from head to toe in a white flowing affair, topped off with a gold crown fit for a king.
It’s fairly obvious why Thirty Seconds to Mars has such a loyal fanbase, as Leto made everyone in the shed that night feel like they were a part of the show. The overall veil of camaraderie cloaked the audience like a warm hug, from Leto instructing fans to sit on each other’s shoulders to encouraging strangers to hug the person standing next to them to running through the crowd taking photos with fans as he continued to perform. Theme after theme of being a part of something bigger kept their set afloat. Then there was the music, of course.
Never a band to back away from a challenge, Thirty Seconds to Mars went through a very public dispute with their former label when they tried to cut ties. Now on their own, Leto encouraged fans to help support the cause by purchasing their latest single ‘Do or Die,’ one of many songs performed from their latest disc ‘Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams’ including ‘Conquistador,’ ‘City of Angels’ and ‘Up in the Air.’ Their 12-song set also covered fan favorites like ‘The Kill,’ ‘Kings and Queens,’ ‘This is War’ and ‘Attack.’
Probably one of the most poignant moments of the evening was when Leto showed up in the middle of the venue armed only with an acoustic guitar. He pulled a young fan up on the small stage with him and the two sang together as the crowd screamed out requests. A collective “Awww” rang out through the night as the little boy sang the chorus with Leto.
Before their time onstage was done there would be confetti, sing-alongs, gigantic balloons and their set closed out with Leto inviting a slew of fans right up onstage with the band to cap the evening off with ‘Closer to the Edge.’ It’s safe to say that Thirty Seconds to Mars converted a few new followers that night.
Things got a lot less warm and fuzzy and a hell of a lot more intense when Linkin Park hit the stage -- not that that's a bad thing. Coming out of the gates like a caged bull, Linkin Park exploded onto the stage with a fiery vengeance.
Linkin Park have experimented with their sound throughout their tenure, consistently reinventing themselves and continuing to evolve, something that is vital in the ever-changing world of music. While lead singer Chester Bennington and rhyme-slinger Mike Shinoda lead the charge vocally, the contributions onstage are widespread from Brad Delson on lead guitar to Dave “Phoenix” Farrell on bass and Rob Bourdon on drums. Linkin Park also has the hidden weapon of John Hahn on samples, turntables, keyboards and overall programming, only adding to the layers and textures that the band bring to life onstage.
With six albums and double digit hit singles, Linkin Park have a fully loaded arsenal to draw from when it comes to their set list, and they’ve been switching it up a bit throughout the tour. Their 27-song set on this night was fast-moving and coupled with the LED screens flanking the stage, there was a lot to take in.
Out in support of their latest release, 2014’s ‘The Hunting Party,’ Linkin Park delivered on both vintage and current material, aiming to please old and new fans alike. Closing out the night, the encore had the effect of a machine gun, with the force of six back to back smash songs kicking off with ‘Burn It Down’ and ending with ‘Bleed it Out.’
Linkin Park have been doing this a long time and they’ve obviously taken a few notes along the way. Their passion for embracing the latest in technology and willingness to try new things has allowed them to continue to thrive in an industry where only the strong survive. Personal success is not enough for the band though, their charitable contributions are a big part of who they are and what they stand for and that is reflected in the community they've help foster with their fans to support causes close to their hearts through Music For Relief, their non-profit organization.
Don't miss Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI’s ‘Carnivores’ tour as it continues through September. Check out the remaining dates here.
Photos From the Carnivores Tour Featuring Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI: