Projekt Revolution with Linkin Park, Chris Cornell, The Bravery and more
Friday, August 1, 2008
Cruzan Ampitheatre, West Palm Beach
Despite torrential downpours at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on Friday, the 2008 edition of Linkin Park’s more-or-less annual Projekt Revolution tour packed the venue. Monster Energy Drink sponsored the event, ensuring from the get-go that the kids were pretty hyped from sugar and the start of a long, 98-degree day.
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The Revolution Stage featured performances by 10 Years, Armor for Sleep, and Atreyu, with Hawthorne Heights notably absent, thanks to a last-minute cancellation. As the rain and the crowd both poured in, Atreyu took the stage. The young, sopping wet crowd instantly went crazy over lead singer Alex Varkatzas, throwing up fists and devil horns. “Becoming the Bull,” the band's most recent hit, was the obvious set favorite. The reaction overall, however, might have been too intense for some -- four songs in, a young girl was carried out by paramedics due dehydration and another kid, probably in the middle of the mosh pit, got a bloody nose.
Close to 5 p.m., anticipation of sets by Ashes Divide and the Bravery switched over the attention to the main stage. But this stage also featured a performance by a lesser-known band that proved to deliver one of the better performances of the day -- Street Drum Corps. A sort of Stomp-meets-punk-rock-trio, their stage setup looked like a barely-organized industrial mess. There were three drums sets, a giant gong drum, gas tanks, exhaust pipes, and electric tools. On the band’s 2006 self-titled release, vocals were scarce, but 2008’s We Are Machines features member Bobby Alt singing as well, taking the band to an even more entrancing live show. Alt worked the crowd, jumping into the pit as he sang “Knock Me Out." If the crowd didn’t know the song before, they were chanting along by the end.
The main stage also featured Chris Cornell, who luckily appeared around the same time as a much-appreciated drop in temperature. Some fans commented on the irony that the Seattle-era legend was opening for the newer Linkin Park. Still, Cornell mesmerized the crowd with his deep, melodic voice, giving a near-epic performance. Among the highlights were a drum solo by Cornell as well as an acoustic version of the Audioslave song “Like a Stone.” His set consisted mostly of songs from the catalog of both that band ("Doesn't Remind Me," "Show Me How to Love,") and, of course, Soundgarden (“Black Hole Sun”), as well as solo material like “You Know My Name."
But despite all these earlier performances, Projekt Revolution was still very much Linkin Park’s show. The band, who played a two-hour set, entered dramatically, just silhouettes in the dark. The audience instantly went crazy, banging on seats and jumping up and down, a sea of girls screaming at the top of their lungs. Undeniably, they put on a great show, which featured songs like “Pushing Me Away" and “What I’ve Done." However, the highlight came in the middle of their set, when Joseph Hahn played a passage from "Cure for the Itch," a solo breakbeat session from Hybrid Theory, that segued into “One Step Closer.” And, of course, it wouldn't be a Linkin Park show without the band's biggest hit ever, "In the End." -- Nicole Hoffecker