by Helen M. Ryan
Linkin Park held the audience captive even before they came onstage. The amphitheater was shrouded in darkness and man-made smoke billowed out. Suddenly, the Street Drum Corps, clad in black-light sensitive clothing and reflective instruments, burst onto the scene and broke into tribal drumming. Then, as purple and blue lights engulfed the stage, Linkin Park opened their set with the powerful “What I’ve Done,” from their Minutes to Midnight album and the 2007 movie soundtrack Transformers.
Linkin Park kept the party going and rocked the crowd despite a long day. Bands from all over the country had congregated at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheaterin Orange County, performing on two stages from 2 p.m. until well into the night.
The Projekt Revolution tour’s fifth installment featured both established and lesser-known bands. On the Irvine stop, the Revolution stage housed the smaller, but no less passionate acts until 5 p.m. when the well-known artists took command. The main stage showcased the Street Drum Corps, Ashes Divide, The Bravery, Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden and Audioslave fame) and Linkin Park, keeping fans pumped up with their differing musical styles and energies.
The outdoor venue provided for pleasant breezes in the evening, which helped keep the audience somewhat cool during their frenzied mass sing-alongs. Sound quality was poor in the higher seats, and for those with “lawn” tickets the trek up the hill proved difficult, even for those who had not been drinking. However, the “party atmosphere” and freedom to dance made up for the lack of sound and visibility. Two large screens hung on either side of the main stage, displaying close ups of the performances.
Since 2002, Projekt Revolution has played host to bands such as Cypress Hill, Korn, Snoop Dog, and My Chemical Romance. 2008 marks the first time the tour has been brought outside of North America, with stops in Germany and the U.K, pleasing a large European fan base.
Linkin Park not only sounded good, but they are doing good as well. The band stated it would donate $1 from every Projekt Revolution ticket sold to the band-supported Music for Relief (www.musicforrelief.org) organization. It also recently announced that during its upcoming Music for Relief concerts in Shanghai and Beijing, a portion of the proceeds would be contributed to the earthquake-hit areas of China, with World Bank matching funds.
Projekt Revolution’s heart may be big, but its ambitions are large as well. With each year the tour gets bigger and better, introducing newer bands and infusing life into established ones.
There are worse ways to wrap up your summer than with good music, rocking beats, and a little charity. Who is on for 2009? Only spring will tell.