For the past 23 years Southern California radio giant KROQ has held their Almost Acoustic Christmas charity concerts. This year I had just heard about it for the first time after hearing one of my favorite bands, Linkin Park, would be headlining the first day on December 8th, 2012. This event took place at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California. The bands for that day were: Linkin Park, Rise Against, Bush, Garbage, Slightly Stoopid, Awolnation, The Lumineers, Walk the Moon, The Gaslight Anthem, Two Door Cinema Club, and Youngblood Hawke.
The only band I was truly familiar with was Linkin Park so I will focus my review on them as well as other events throughout the night. Every band except for Linkin Park got a 1/2 hour set. The stage was a rotating stage in the form of a half-circle. So while one band was playing, the other side was being prepared for the next band. So once the current band finished, they left the stage and there was a 1 minute intermission, then the stage rotated and the next band started with the band ready to play and wasted no time.
During Bush’s performance, Gwen Stefani came out to sing “Gylcerine“ . Rise Against was one of the highlights of the night, they had the audience pumped up the whole time. Once Linkin Park came on, the whole place went berserk. They started with the first track off of their new album, Lost in the Echo. Throughout the night they did a good job of mixing it up with old and new songs. They played primarily singles from throughout their career such as “In The End”, “Numb”, “What I’ve Done”, “Breaking the Habit”, and “Waiting for the End”. The stage was a bit small so they weren’t able to move around as much as they usually do. Chester Bennington, the lead singer, sounded amazing as always and pulled off his screams perfectly. When they were finishing up with “Bleed It Out”, singer/rapper/guitarist Mike Shinoda, went out into the crowd and crowd-surfed for a bit and eventually made his way to the middle walkway on the floor and ended up a few feet from. I would’ve loved to get up close and personal with him but there was a wad of people surrounding him and if I had gotten in the way, I would’ve been turned into a tortilla for sure.
With me primarily being a metalhead, I felt out-of-place being at a show like this since the crowd consisted of people who look like they had no clue who the bands were or were just there to take up space. Regardless, I had fun seeing my favorite band for the 5th time.
Full recording of Linkin Park, Rise Against, and The Gaslight Anthem: KROQ: Linkin Park, Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem 12-8-12