You can check out all of Murjani’s best photos from the Carnivores Tour right here.
There are a lot of tours and festivals out there this summer, but this one was for the fans. I had the privilege to sit in on a tele-conference with Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington leading up to the tour and they had mentioned that fans had voted them touring with 30 Seconds to Mars almost every time they had the poll. If anything describes these two bands, it’s that they listen to the voices of their fan bases as a testament of their longevity. Everything that the Carnivores Tour encompassed was that visceral fan energy that gets you excited for an announcement or a new single. As a fan, I’ve followed these bands since their inceptions, and AFI, 30 Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park brought their own respective energies to make a great collective experience.
Starting off the night, punk rock veterans AFI played a relativity solid set highlighting their career in retrospect with songs like “Girls Not Grey” and “The Leaving Song Part II”. They also played songs from their well received album Burials, released in 2013. They definitely did not feel that they were an opener – I mean this is AFI we’re talking about. I had seen them back in April for Coachella and it brought me back to why I liked their live set in the first place. No frills with the band members all dressed in black, just a dark and powerful set.
The next band up was 30 Seconds to Mars, who I had seen two times prior (once at Susquehanna Bank Center). I was interested to hear this set because lead singer Jared Leto had been under the weather those two shows, so I wanted to see the band at full strength – and they did deliver with a set that made the fans a part of the show. Leto went into the crowd to sing “Kings and Queens” and later brought fans up to the stage at the end of the show – a staple for 30 Seconds to Mars. Some people would argue that it takes away from the show, but I believe that the band would argue that it makes their live show what it is. Drummer Shannon Leto and lead guitarist Tomo Milicevic sounded crystal clear with songs such as “This Is War”, which were tailor made for a big venue.
The headlining act of the night was Linkin Park and it’s great to see how far they’ve come. I remember when they used to be on the 2nd stage at Ozzfest in promotion for Hybrid Theory and to see them tear into a one and a half hour set – also photographing it – was an experience. If you have been to a Linkin Park show, you know that they have clever ways of remixing their songs and making them seem new. It’s like their Reanimation album, but live. Whether it be vocalist/guitarist Mike Shinoda rapping his “Wastelands” verse in the middle of “Runaway” or incorporating the Recharged version of “Castle of Glass” – these guys are crafty. There were definitely more aggressive parts in the set to fit their latest release, The Hunting Party, as the band tore through the Susquehanna Bank Center with “Given Up” and “Guilty All the Same”.
A notion that I’ve seen with many of these rock tours is a passing of the torch. Many of the bands I grew up listening to are now the gritty veterans. It’s a good feeling that with the quick-changing music climate that rock still has a place. I’d be hard-pressed to find a tour this summer that had three quality acts from top to bottom. Not bad, Carnivores tour. Not bad at all.