A tour everyone wanted but no one thought would happen, a tour that was rumored about for weeks before it’s announcement, a tour that no one will certainly forget the foreseeable future – I’m speaking of course of The Carnivores Tour featuring Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars and AFI. By no means was this your typical summer tour because from start to finish attendees were treated to performances that could have their own headlining shows.
Doors opened early so that the fans who had been in line hours outside of the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden could begin to file in. The merch booths were surrounded on all sides by a sea of fans eager to pick up some momentos to remember the night by and those with pit tickets sprinted as if their lives depended on it so they could get a good spot on the barricade for the night’s festivities. Nearly an hour after the doors opened the night began with a cheer and a scream as AFI walked out to dramatic introduction music.
AFI has been around as long as both Linkin Park and Thirty Seconds to Mars, having proved time and time again that they have the staying power to remain at the top of their genre. As of lately the band has begun to expose their music to a wider audience and their most recent album “Burials” achieved great success on the Rock Charts for what that is worth. In my opinion I don’t think Davey Havok and the rest of the band are making music to climb the charts, I think they are doing what they do for their fans because from the moment they took the stage it was all about the fans. Havok ran down the center run way numerous times getting as close to those up front as he could, even climbing onto them at point to scream along with them on the chorus of “I Hope You Suffer.”
Vocally Havok is in top form, as is the rest of the band. AFI have taken care of themselves over the years and truly haven’t aged a day since they broke into huge success years back following the releases of “Sing The Sorrow” and “Decemberunderground.” Musically the band was a great addition to this tour and will benefit greatly from being back on a stage this large again, it has been a few years since they’ve been out on an arena tour due to the short hiatus they took before releasing “Burials.” It is safe to say that AFI is back and has climbed back to the top were they left off so many years ago. The Carnivores Tour was lucky to have them on the bill, this time next year they might be headlining their own tour this large.
AFI Setlist from August 15th – Camden, New Jersery
The Leaving Song Pt. II
Girl’s Not Grey
I Hope You Suffer
Love Like Winter
The Days of the Phoenix
Silver and Cold
Exclusive AFI Gallery from Matt Christine Photography :
Following a short set change and the distribution of flags, signs, posters and more to the crowd it was time for Thirty Seconds to Mars to return to the Susquehanna Bank Center stage to prove themselves in front of old fans who were standing alongside people who may have never heard one of the band’s songs before that night. The stage flickered to life as the band’s triad logo was display across three screens at once and Jared Leto came running across the stage wearing a crown and what looked lab coat of sorts. Without missing a beat he ran from on side of the stage to the other as he sang “Up in The Air,” the first single off their most recent album “Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams.”
Thirty Seconds to Mars last venture to the area was for their own headline tour in support of their album, this time they had a limited about of time on stage but that didn’t keep them from living up to their legacy of being an incredible live band. Their stage set up was just as immaculate as one could expect and featured everything from dazzling imagery being flashed in a rapid fire fashion to massive beach balls hidden behind a veil of confetti. Jared Leto ventured into the crowd twice during the evening making it all the way out to the lawn during “Kings and Queens” and slowing things down late in the set for an acoustic session out in the sea of people.
As their set came to an early end due to the time restraints you could see the energy of the crowd shift slightly because a fair number of them had come out just to see Thirty Seconds to Mars and were most likely upset that their evening came to an end after just 12 songs. Most of the crowd stuck around for the headlining Linkin Park but it is safe to say that about a fourth of the venue emptied out with no intention to return after this set. With such a short set Thirty Seconds to Mars impressed me and countless others that night to no end, I am beyond curious to see what a headlining show would be like. Yes, It may be a cult but it is a damn good one at that. The next time they come to the Philadelphia area I have a feeling they are going to need a larger venue, possibly even the Wells Fargo Center or larger.
Thirty Seconds to Mars Setlist from August 15th – Camden, New Jersey
Up in the Air
Night of the Hunter
This Is War
Kings and Queens
Do or Die
City of Angels
End of All Days
From Yesterday (Chorus Only)
Save Me (Chorus Only
Closer to the Edge
The set change following Thirty Seconds to Mars was much longer than the one earlier but it was due to the fact that Linkin Park’s set was being livestreamed that night thanks to Yahoo and Livenation. So, not only was the packed arena getting to see the show but everyone at home was also getting to enjoy the same show in real time along with them. A pretty novel idea that they have been pushing this summer and has been catching on quickly. The band was a few minutes late due to all this set up but at 9:25pm it began, the Carnivores Tour was in full swing.
Their set was long, really long actually compared to the other bands that night. Linkin Park ended up playing over 25 songs in total, a few which were medleys/mashups of multiple songs so in fairness one could say that easily 30 songs were performed to some extent. The setlist was very heavy on songs from “Hunting Party” and also still pretty heavy on tracks from “Living Things.” I can’t say this is a total surprise because both albums have been critical successes for the band in expanded their audience. Plenty of songs from the band’s early days were played as well as the massively popular ‘Minutes to Midnight.” The majority of these songs came towards the tail of the night however. Linkin Park has reached that point in their career were each album has been so dramatically different and successful in it’s own way that it is hard to create a setlist full of songs that everyone wants to hear. I think they were successful in doing so on this tour and total correct in pushing the new material from “Hunting Party” because it is fresh on people’s playlists but I don’t think they would be hurt by working in a few more from “A Thousand Sons” or included a rare track from “Hybrid Theory” or “Meteora.”
Technically the set was flawless, Chester Bennington’s vocals have never been better and Mike Shinoda can still rap with the best of them. Their dynamic sound has never been more refined and was complemented by a stunning visual show behind them. Massive screens were all over the stage and they displayed the band, the crowd, and more in such a way it almost looked like a large pain of glass just picking up reflections of these images. Truly a visual masterpiece. Their Carnivores Tour will certainly be one to remember from this summer and it will be interesting to see if they continue to tour under the name in the future. Could this become a yearly or bi-yearly touring cycle for Linkin Park? Who knows, all I know is that you should get out to a date of this tour because you will be sorry for a long time if you don’t.
Linkin Park Setlist from August 15th – Camden, New Jersey
Guilty All the Same
Points of Authority
One Step Closer
Castle of Glass
Leave Out All the Rest / Shadow of the Day / Iridescent
Joe Hahn Solo
Burn It Down
Waiting for the End
Wretches and Kings / Remember the Name
In the End
Lost in the Echo
Until It’s Gone
What I’ve Done
Bleed It Out
Exclusive Linkin Park Gallery from Matt Christine Photography :