Linkin Park Manila 2013: DON’T Keep Calm But Rock On!

When Linkin Park is in Manila, DON’T Keep Calm and Rock On!


There was something about Linkin Park Manila 2013.

Linkin Park Manila 8

There was something about the crowd that packed the Standing VIP area way before the concert went under way.

Arriving at the concert venue at around 8:30 PM and navigating through the ever-complicated world of concert photography, I had to squeeze my way through the throng of Linkin Park Manila fans to reach the stage. “Excuse me po, official photographer po,” I politely excused myself in fear of causing chagrin to the fans who might think that I’m trying to afford myself a better view at their expense. Thankfully, the Linkin Park Manila fans present were in good spirits, acknowledging my request, and even asking me to take their photos once I got to the front and into the photographers’ area.

Linkin Park Manila fans kept their cool while the band bid their time beyond the conventional 9:00 PM start for concerts here. The unrest was nonetheless felt as they screamed with excitement whenever the background music halted or a production staff went up the stage. Understandably so, since they’ve been waiting nine years for Linkin Park to return and perform in Manila.

Linkin Park Manila 7

Linkin Park Manila 2013: No Keeping Calm from Start to Finish

Finally, shouts and screams echoed as Rob Bourdon climbed to his battle station and the rest of the band walked out one by one to the tune of his blasting beats. Linkin Park Manila fans welcomed Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington with even more raucous cheers as they performed their first song “A Place for My Head” followed by “Paper Cut” and “Given Up” to set the intense, undying energy of the crowd for the whole concert.

Linkin Park Manila 1

Linkin Park Manila 10

Dave Farrell shined as he owned the verses of “Given Up”, the song that kept on repeating in my head after the concert. Of course, Brad Delson‘s contribution at the bridge and Chester‘s uncanny voice had a lot to do with why it stood out for me.

Linkin Park Manila 9

Linkin Park Manila 5

The Linkin Park Manila 2013 setlist was exceptionally sequenced. The band worked with more familiar material at the beginning of the set and began introducing material from A Thousand Suns and Living Things, beginning with “Lies Greed Misery” featuring Brad Delson on synth.

Linkin Park Manila 15

Interspersing the relatively new with the old, I appreciated how Linkin Park‘s musical evolution come together in this solid body of work. And for a fan who felt “Shadow of the Day” to be a little too similar to U2’s “With or Without You”, I found the band’s medley of “Leave Out All the Rest”, “Shadow of the Day”, and “Iridescent” surprisingly enjoyable and ample (viz., covering the songs without milking the mushiness of these three songs dry).

Linkin Park Manila 6

Halfway through the concert, everyone was screaming their lungs out as Linkin Park performed “Numb” and “What I’ve Done”. Again, for two songs criticized for sounding too similar to each other, Linkin Park performing both “New Divide” and “What I’ve Done” did not sound nor feel like a repeat performance. So to the architect of the Linkin Park Manila 2013 setlist, kudos!

During the same period, Mike Shinoda climbed up the barricade at the central aisle to meet the rushing Linkin Park Manila fans. High-fives abounded as the security pulled on Mike‘s pants in fear of him being pulled over to the other side!

Linkin Park Manila 12

Linkin Park closed their main set with “In the End” and “Bleed It Out”. The fans unceasingly cheered as the band walked off the stage…only to re-emerge minutes later to perform three of their heavier songs in “Faint”, “Lying From You”, and of course “One Step Closer”.

Linkin Park Manila 4

Linkin Park Manila fans started throwing bond papers with the message “Linkin Park, come back soon.” like confetti. Chester Bennington must have gotten the message as he showed his appreciation, stating that the Manila crowd was so far “the most amazing crowd in the tour” and promised to return soon. At the close, it was Chester‘s turn as he jumped down from the stage to shake his crazed fans’ hands, and another near-stampede occurred as he stepped up the barrier at the central aisle to celebrate with the crowd, giving them the mic as they sang, “SHUT UP WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU!”

Linkin Park Manila 11

At the concert’s end, no one wanted to leave. At 11 PM, everyone was still revelling in the solid-as-granite set courtesy of Linkin Park Manila 2013. With ears still buzzing as I left the concert venue, I still cannot fathom the power of Chester Bennington‘s voice and energy. After years of screaming and growling, his perfect-for-metal voice still sounded as pristine as it did when they broke into the scene with Hybrid TheoryEven more impressive was the frantic energy he kept all night. With the amount of vocal force he expended with every belt, every scream, every howl, he was undoubtedly performing at a superhuman level! There was no keeping calm in the effort Chester Bennington and the rest of Linkin Park put into this concert. And the Manila fans made sure that their appreciation was very much heard.

Linkin Park Manila 3

When In Manila would like to thank the wonderful people at Scala Events for making Linkin Park Manila 2013 happen. We cannot wait for their next big concert. Congratulations on the fantastic turnout!


Linkin Park Manila 2013: DON’T Keep Calm and Rock On!