Linkin Park plays through the pain in Indianapolis

Fresh off the heels of yet another successful album release in The Hunting Party, Linkin Park began 2015 with a headline tour with support from Rise Against and Of Mice & Men, which has now been cut short.

Why was it cut short? Shortly before the Indianapolis date, which was the third show of the tour, frontman Chester Bennington broke his ankle. The show must go on, though and that\’s exactly what happened.

Of Mice & Men are a great choice to open up this tour. They\’re not newcomers by any means but they\’ve found a new level of success with their latest album- Restoring Force and their fanbase is immense.

They opened the show with a high-energy set that was short but dynamic at the same time. It was clear frontman Austin Carlisle was stoked to be on the road with Linkin Park and Rise Against- the giant smile on his face didn\’t leave until the band finished their set.

Of Mice & Men have always had a special connection with their fans and it was obvious in Indy with Carlisle spending a lot of time on the extended stage- up close with the crowd and connecting on a personal level with almost everyone he saw.

Rise Againt took that energy and ran with it, taking the stage with the word “RISE” behind them in the form of giant LED letters. They played a near-hour-long set that showed them playing almost every fan favorite and was one of the most energetic sets to come through Indy in awhile. Each song saw them jumping and members trading places on the stage.

Halfway through the set frontman Tim Mcllrath came down the extended stage and out into the crowd- giving them an up-close experience they wouldn\’t soon forget.

Finally up on the night was Linkin Park. The crowd was rabid for the intensity to continue and didn\’t seem to be phased in the slightest about Bennington\’s injury.

They played a setlist that included multiple songs from each record in their career, with the most material coming from Hybrid Theory, which is celebrating 15 years this year.

Bennington was in obvious pain throughout the night but didn\’t let it stop him from putting on the best show he could for the fans who paid their hard earned money to come see the band. While he usually spends most of the show running and jumping around the stage, he was confined to one spot on the stage for the entire show, standing with crutches. Halfway through the show a stool was brought out for him to sit on as well as an acoustic guitar and we were treated to a rare acoustic set that saw Bennington playing guitar.

They threw in a few songs you wouldn\’t expect or that they hadn\’t played in years- “From The Inside” and “Runaway” being two of them but they also included a Fort Minor set that saw co-frontman Mike Shinoda performing some of the Fort Minor songs that everyone has come to love over the years.

That wasn\’t the only surprise, though- Of Mice & Men joined them onstage during “Faint” and Rise Against joined them for encore closer “Bleed It Out” as well, which they did for the first time on the tour.

In the end, although the tour has been cut short, this was a tour for the fans. The setlist of each band was put together to give fans the best experience possible- with Linkin Park\’s setlist sitting at 25 songs- close to 30 if you count the individual songs of each medley.

It took true professionalism to play the show the same day of the injury but t\’s no surprise the tour has been canceled and we wish Bennington the best on his recovery.

-Reggie Edwards

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