Linkin Park at Minnesota State Fair, 8/26/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Adam DeGross

Linkin Park
with Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, St. Paul
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It seems as if each night at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand has a certain theme, and Tuesday night's was angst-ridden arena rock. As the sun set on a beautiful night, the midway lights turned on, and the scent of manure and fried foods wafted through the air, fans filed in to the Grandstand like ants over a Popsicle on the ground.

Thirty Seconds to Mars mainly focused songs from their newest, self-released record Love. Lust. Faith. Dreams -- something not often done by big bands, even in this day and age where more and more acts independently release music. The band's frontman (and actor) Jared Leto did come out with a bit of dramatics at times. He wore a crown and priestly robes and gave off a Jesus vibe, but managed to charm the crowd with his near-flawless vocals. Despite the drama, he works it in his favor on their newest single, the anthemic rock track "Do or Die."

As long as you are famous, good-looking, and have a mic, people will laugh at anything you say. From his view onstage, Jared taunted and teased a couple on the Sky Ride that hung in the air for what seemed like forever. Into his mic, Leto called out to them to give four swift kicks if they were alright, causing the audience to roar in laughter.

All eyes were on Leto for Thirty Second to Mars's set, making it seem that poor Shannon Leto and Tomo Milicevic were just background players, never getting their moment to shine. (To be fair, Jared did just win an Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyer's Club.) Still, he made his central presence worth it during pieces like "Kings and Queens," when he left the stage with no regard for his own safety to climb through the crowd, clutching hands with fans. On his way back to the stage, he knocked over a guy, and stops to help him up. And he showed it again when he pulled dozens of kids from the pit, inviting them onstage to be with him and to sing. It's acts like these that keep it from appearing like the "Jared Leto Show" -- even if he did eventually take off his shirt at the end of the set to do a few acoustic numbers.

Photo by Adam DeGross
Mass marketing in rock music usually can open up your audience to many commercial opportunities, but it label you as sell outs, as Linkin Park most likely has experienced. In a complete reversal to Thirty Seconds' loose set, the sextet ran like a well-oiled machine. I guess when you've been together so long, you know exactly how each other will move on stage.

Location Info


Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, MN

Category: General

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