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Linkin Park - Kino Sports Complex - 5/24/2014

Linkin Park headlined the 2014 edition of Tucson rock station KFMA's annual radio show on Saturday at Electric Park in Tucson, where the band debuted new material from its forthcoming The Hunting Party record, due out next month, and played a lengthy number of mash-ups and medleys of their back catalog.

The band hit the stage right around 8:30 to a huge crowd, waiting to see the band for the first time in Tucson in 11 years. As the lights dimmed, vocalist Mike Shinoda appeared from the shadows as he cued the show's intro and first mash-up with "The Requim/The Catalyst," before lead singer Chester Bennington showcased the bands latest single "Guilty All the Same."

You'd never know the band was playing its first date on a lengthy tour based on the execution of how they blasted through tracks like favorites "Given Up" and excerpts of their first single "One Step Closer." The band continued to visit previous material, like "Papercut" "With You" and "Runaway" from the record that put them on the map, 2000's Hybrid Theory.

They also debut new track "Wastelands," which was received well. "Castle of Glass" had fans raising their cell phones in the air and singing along. The mellow tempo continued during a medley of "Leave Out All the Rest/Shadow of the Day/Iridescent."

It's no easy task for a band that has put out so much music to include so many songs from its present and even future, but Linkin Park did its best to give older fans what they came for, while giving them a glimpse of what they could expect from the new record. A shortened version of the heavier "Victimized" was soon followed up by "Waiting For the End," and Bennington's voice was a powerhouse.

The medleys continued as the band revisited "Wretches and Kings" and Sinoda's Fort Minor side project's "Remember the Name" before a remix of "Skin to Bone."

"Burn It Down" followed my a portion of the massive hit "In the End," which had Bennington singing along with fans in the front row. A topless Bennington not only showed that he has been spending time in the gym but also showed why he is still one of the best rock singers in the game.

"Faint" for the operation of the song the band played was still a monster in a live setting as fans screamed along. "Until It's Gone" made its live debut next and portions of the Steve Aoki collaboration "A Light That Never Comes." got strong reactions. The band closed the evening with medleys of "Lost In the Echo", "Crawling", "New Divide", "What I've Done" and "Bleed It Out" and silenced anyone's questions as to whether or not Linkin Park was still relevant.

Critics Notebook:

Last Night: Linkin Park at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson.

Overheard: There were some allegations of improper behavior. Read about them here.

The Crowd: Packed house with fans of all ages.

Personal Bias: I've been friends with Chester for almost 15 years and have been covering Linkin Park almost as long.

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