I wasn’t expecting to be this lengthy with it but here’s the short version if you don’t want to read it all.
To date, this is my favorite Linkin Park album.
Minutes To Midnight was a turning point in Linkin Park’s career, sure, but when I first heard that album, I took it as a sign of things to come, in pushing themselves increasingly more outside of the (I hate using this word) “nü metal box.”
Around June 2010, I remember some cryptic messages showing up on LP.com
Around that time, too, Mike was hanging out a lot on Ustream (I just looked at the link, and some of the archived videos are still there), and making impromptu appearances in the LPU chat room and the chat room linkinpark.com used to have.
I remember hearing a lot of the remixes in “The Catalyst Featuring YOU” contest…I still have all the samples they sent out that I never actually did anything with. I actually just listened to NoBraiN’s remix for the first time in a long time the other day.
Was I at work listening to the radio the first time I actually heard The Catalyst? I think so, I can’t remember now. I just remember when I heard it for the first time, feeling happy. Happy to hear something completely different from the band I loved so much. It felt like it was a much-needed change for them, and it kept me wanting more.
September 14, 2010
At the time, I was still working on an on-call basis, so my work schedule wasn’t all that steady by any means. I ended up not having to work that day, so I spent my whole day walking through the mall, to get to the Best Buy on the other side. I bought the Best Buy version of the album (which came with NoBraiN’s remix, and a t-shirt), then walked back to the mall and bought the clean album and the deluxe version. Then I visited Hot Topic since they had new LP merch in stock to promote A Thousand Suns.
I think I went across the street and ate at McDonald’s afterwards before walking back home.
I came home, locked myself in my room, put the CD in my stereo on loud, jumped on my bed. The rest, as they say, is history.
That first-listen. Oh. My. God. What a rush. What a journey.
I was really drawn to all the different musical layers and sound effects within each track, and how Mike’s and Chester’s vocals were crafted around them (not to mention, the gang vocals). The album as a whole was like a journey from cover to cover, and that’s what I love about it the most; It’s mot just a collection of songs that sit together on a disc, but rather it tells a story, lyrically and musically. Much like a lot of Pink Floyd’s work.
As for the artwork, I do miss the days of Joe and Mike handling it, but the art of A Thousand Suns was really well-done. Even more so in the super fan box set. I also found it interesting the way the lyrics acted as their own form of artwork, too. Although, in a couple spots it is kind of difficult to decipher.
Following the tour online from a fan’s standpoint was really interesting as well. It seemed like every night of the tour, the band played a different set list, and they were always moving songs around constantly.
On February 1, 2011, I had my first meet and greet with Linkin Park when they played in Boston. Dave and Mike made that experience great, as they were the first ones in line at the table, and they were the only ones interacting with everyone that came across them.
As for the show itself, the stage was constructed in a V-shape - something I was not used to, along with huge video panels and graphics and imagery from Ghost Town Media. It featured most of the new album, along with all the classics and even a few surprises (like A Place For My Head during Bleed It Out). It was an outstanding show - but that’s Linkin Park, need I say more?
My favorite music videos from A Thousand Suns are The Catalyst and Waiting For The End.
Oh, and they should have released the full version of Iridescent as the single instead of the shorter version that doesn’t do the song justice.