Linkin Park took their legions of fans on a trip down memory lane during their headlining set at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday night when they recalled playing their first shows at venues dotted along the fabled street.
The rockers performed an 80-minute set of hits and singer/rapper Mike Shinoda even revamped a rap from an early song, titled “Read My Eyes,” that never made its way onto any of the band’s albums.
Clearly emotional onstage at the full circle concert, he told fans, “Our first shows were at the Whisky (A Go Go) and Roxy. We played the majority of our first 15 shows there and it was our, like, dream… the Key Club used to be called Billboard Live and it was our be dream to be like, ‘Dude, one day we’re gonna be big enough to play Billboard Live!. And we would never have f**king thought that the dream wasn’t to play Billboard Live; it was to play in front of f**king Billboard Live.”
Bandmate Chester Bennington added, “Back when we were recording (album) Hybrid Theory and writing music for Hybrid Theory we’d have these crazy dreams, like, ‘Wouldn’t it be f**king cool if we shut down Sunset…?'”
Shinoda later recalled performing with Jay-Z at The Roxy, which was among the venues taking part in the SSMF, after spotting the club from the stage.
He added, “This is the most nostalgic show we’ve ever played,” prompting Bennington to add, “I teared up, like, twice already.”
The festival also gave Stone Temple Pilots fans a bonus – as both the band’s current frontman Bennington and former lead singer Scott Weiland hit the stage on the same night, hundreds of yards apart – the Linkin Park star took over as STP’s semi-permanent singer when Weiland was fired from the band earlier this year.
Weiland and his new band The Wildabouts added a second night to their Friday night Viper Room gig and were performing there as Bennington left the main stage with Linkin Park.
Bennington made no mention of his other band during his set and Weiland made sure there was no bad blood between the two rockers by telling Rolling Stone magazine last week, “I’ve known Chester for a long time… I don’t think Chester did it (replaced me) in a spiteful way.”
Weiland and the remaining members of STP are currently locked in a legal dispute over the rights to the band name.