Honda Civic Tour 2012

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This review will encompass two shows that I went to; the opening date of the tour – August 11th in Bristow, VA (where the accompanying photos were taken) and August 17th in Camden, NJ – where most of the review will be coming from.

Mutemath:

I’d never really heard anything from Mutemath prior to this show. I’d heard they were pretty good and I was definitely not disappointed. Incubus didn’t play the first two dates of the tour so the transition from Mutemath to Linkin Park seemed really out of place and awkward. With Incubus back in the line up for my second show, Mutemath definitely worked well as an opener for Incubus.

Though they’re not really my style, I did enjoy them a lot live. There was great stage presence from vocalist and pianist Paul Meany. Great sound, great style and great opener (even if they were slightly out of place).

Vocals: 7
Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 8.5
Overall Rating: 8

Setlist:

1. Blood Pressure
2. Spotlight
3. Chaos
4. Tell Your Heart Heads Up
5. Sun Ray
6. Odd Soul
7. Prytania
8. Reset
9. Typical
10. Break the Same

Incubus:

Sadly Incubus didn’t play the first date of the tour so I wasn’t able to shoot them, but I will review them anyway. I love Incubus. I think their music is amazing and they’re one of the few bands that actually manage to sound better live than on CD. I’ve had the luck of seeing them three or four times over the last few years and they’ve been fantastic every time.

This show was no exception. Vocalist Brandon Boyd has one of the best voices in rock and the vibe that Incubus gives off teeters between relaxation and moshing. One minute they’ll be playing a song that makes you want to head bang, like “Pardon Me” and the next they’re soothing you into total relaxation with “A Certain Shade of Green”. I loved that they pulled out a b-side with “Rebel Girls” but I wasn’t a fan of them ending with “Tomorrow’s Food”. Great song, but huge downer right before Linkin Park hit the stage.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 7
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Adolescents
2. Nice to Know You
3. Just a Phase
4. Megalomaniac
5. Blood on the Ground
6. Dig
7. Drive
8. A Certain Shade of Green
9. Made for TV Movie
10. Hello [Lionel Richie cover]
11. Anna Molly
12. Promises, Promises
13. Here in My Room
14. Pardon Me
15. Rebel Girls
16. Sick Sad Little World
17. Tomorrow’s Food

Linkin Park:

Linkin Park is easily one of my favorite bands and one of the last ones that I hadn’t been able to photograph yet. I was supposed to cover their ill-fated tour in February of 2011 that was cancelled and never made up. Thankfully I was given another opportunity. They were definitely worth the wait. Vocalist and guitarist Mike Shinoda was phenomenal and vocalist Chester Bennington was better than I’ve ever heard him. His screaming was on point from start to finish, especially during the scream in “Given Up”.

In 2004 I had the opportunity to see Linkin Park for a second time. It was at the same venue (though it was called Tweeter back then) and as we watched from the lawn it started to pour. Eight years later as I watched Linkin Park from that same lawn (now known as Susquehanna Bank Center) it started to pour. As a few hundred people left their spots on the lawn to run for cover from the downpour, my friends and I just stood out there and screamed along, even when we were soaking wet and cold. It was kind of surreal, actually.

Photographing the same bands over and over again the last few years has made me kind of cynical to the concert experience. I still love what I do and I love experiencing bands live, but I rarely find myself as into concerts as I used to be. This was one of the only shows in the last few years that I went to as a fan, watched as a fan and enjoyed as a fan. I didn’t have to worry about how the lighting was, whether my pass would be at will call or if the security guards were going to be pain in our behinds. Instead I just got to watch one of my favorite bands and Linkin Park made it even better by sounding amazing live.

Both shows had relatively the same set list, with the second show getting “A Place for My Head”. I was really excited to see how songs from their last album A Thousand Suns would sound live since I wasn’t able to see them on that tour. I was one of the few people who loved A Thousand Suns and I was definitely impressed. Even “The Catalyst” sounded great live. I wish “Blackout” and “Wretches and Kings had been included, but I was definitely impressed with “When They Come for Me” and “Waiting for the End”. Even though I didn’t like their newest album Living Things as much as A Thousand Suns I loved those songs live; especially their first single “Burn it Down”.

Obviously the best part of the set list was how much the band played from their first two albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Of the twenty-two songs they played (twenty-seven if you count medleys and mash ups) eleven were from their first two albums. Another great highlight was the mash up of “Bleed it Out” and the Beastie Boys’ song “Sabotage”.

This was easily one of the best concerts I’ve been to in recent years and I can’t wait to see them again.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. A Place for My Head
2. Given Up
3. New Divide
4. Victimized/QWERTY
5. With You
6. Somewhere I Belong
7. When They Come For Me
8. Lies Greed Misery
9. Points of Authority
10. Waiting for the End
11. Breaking the Habit
12. Leave Out All the Rest/Shadow of the Day/Iridescent
13. The Catalyst
14. Lost in the Echo
15. Numb
16. Burn it Down
17. What I’ve Done
18. In the End
19. Bleed it Out + Sabotage [Beastie Boys cover]

Encore:

20. Faint
21. Lying From You/Papercut
22. One Step Closer

Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

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