Backstage News, Front Row Pics

Carnivores Come to Long Island

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

By SethM

AFI cropThere’s nothing ordinary about the Carnivores Tour.  How could there be, with three incredibly unique bands always pushing the boundaries of their respective music, each with a diverse, incredible loyal fan base, and with a combined history of over 50 years in the business but somehow not succumbing to the downfalls of the business.  I’m lucky enough to have seen all three bands on many occasions but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see all three on one bill ~ and now I can tell you that those who are calling this the tour of the summer are definitely not wrong. 

With the sun still blazing, AFI kicked it off and with a 23 year history, they are the elder statesman on the Carnivores Tour. Like their touring counterparts, they are high energy ~ but instead of opting for frills and an elaborate stage show, they substitute a darker, aggressive, almost gloomy presence yet still manage (a tricky balance to maintain, but they do an excellent job at it) to deliver an unbelievably dynamic performance, with singer Davey Havok running, jumping and screaming his way through this short set:

The Leaving Song Pt. II

Girl’s Not Grey

I Hope You Suffer


Love Like Winter

17 Crimes

The Days of the Phoenix

Silver and Cold

Miss Murder

The energy level that hit the crowd the moment the band took the stage continued to escalate until the last note of their 2006 hit “Miss Murder;” unfortunately I wasn’t able to shoot their set, but believe me, their style and vitality was a amazing as ever.

30 Seconds to Mars

During the break between AFI and Thirty Seconds to Mars, I noticed Thirty Seconds flags popping up throughout the crowd. Without confirmation, I have to believe that the band themselves orchestrated this move since the flags were all identical and seemed to be evenly spread throughout the crowd ~ plus, when was the last time any of us saw a bunch of people bring 8 foot flag poles into an amphitheater?

With the flags ready to be waved wildly and a crowd ready for what some would describe as a religious experience, the band began playing “Up in the Air” as Jared Leto appeared ~ looking like the messiah of music, long flowing white robe, sun glasses and a gold crown ~ and the 15,000 in attendance came to their feet to welcome (or maybe worship) him.

30 Seconds to Mars' Jared Leto

30 Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto

Leto made everyone part of the show as he pranced all over the Jones Beach stage, encouraging fans to raise their hands and sing along. Throughout the set, he doled out instructions ~ going as far as pointing at specific people saying “You, get down, lower,” telling them to jump up, and pulling fans onto the stage.

28_Jared Leto

Halfway through the set he even made his way out to the middle of the theatre to sing a few songs from within the crowd.

22_30_SecondsIt was quite the visual,  extra large beach balls in the air, Leto marching around the stage with an American flag, confetti and plenty of screaming fans.

Taking a moment from his show, Leto introduced the band’s latest single, “Do or Die,” and thanked fans for helping them to reach the charts without a record deal in place. It was a Thirty Seconds to Mars hit fest which also included covers of Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love;” the full set list was:

Up in the Air

Search and Destroy

This Is War


Kings and Queens

Do or Die

City of Angels

End of All Days


The Kill (Bury Me)

Cowboys from Hell

Whole Lotta Love

Closer to the Edge

02_Jared Leto

Closing with their biggest hit, “Closer to the Edge,” Leto brought a large group of fans on stage, encouraging them (not that they needed it) to keep pumping their fists in the air and asking them to “…shake this place to the core…” as confetti canyons covered the front orchestra. I think it goes without saying that if you weren’t a Thirty Seconds fan at 8pm that evening you were one by 9.

59_Chester Benington

It was time for the one and only Linkin Park ~ whom I consider to be THE GREATEST cross over band of all time. Think about it, what band in music history has crossed into so many genres? Metal, EDM, rock, rap, hip-hop, alternative, nu-metal, electronica and Top 40/pop ~ is there another band that has accomplished so much in so many musical realms?  Certainly none of which I am aware…

Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn

Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn

C.B. and Mike Shinoda

C.B. and Mike Shinoda

In addition to their amazing musical capabilities, Linkin Park have the ability not only reproduce their powerful sound live, but also to create incredible re-mixes, turning their concerts into nothing less than musical extravaganzas.

Chester Bennington’s leads LP in the vocal department but has a phenomenal range of talent around him with Brad Delson on guitars and keyboard, Dave Farrel on bass, Rob Bourdon on drums, Joe Hahn on turntables, keyboard, samples, vocals and more, plus how can anyone forget Mike Shinoda, who is the rapping half of the vocal duo as well as a rhythm guitarist, pianist and master of the keyboards.

When Linkin Park brings their six albums of material to a live audience, they keep it fast-paced and non-stop ~ the nearly 30 song set list they played at Jones Beach lasted only about 90 minutes. The band took the stage with a vengeance, starting off the evening with “Guilty All the Same” backed by an incredible light show that included large LED screens, risers, moving walls and what equated to cages of light for Hahn and Bourdon. I can’t imagine anyone at a Linkin Park show not being completely into the music, but if for some strange reason you weren’t, there was definitely plenty to keep your eyes glued to the stage.

42_Dave Farrell

Dave Farrell

Chester sounds just as good as he did years ago, which is quite amazing given that his vocals can approach more screaming than singing. The band is tight and, as I mentioned, mix it up a little by making songs you know from their albums better suited to a live show. This is a no-filler, no bullshit, big time rock show with one hell of a set list:

59_Chester BeningtonGuilty All the Same

Given Up

With You

One Step Closer






Castle of Glass

Leave Out All the Rest / Shadow of the Day / Iridescent

Robot Boy


Waiting for the End

Final Masquerade

Wretches and Kings / Remember the Name

Lying From You

Somewhere I Belong

In the End



Burn It Down

Lost in the Echo

New Divide

Until It’s Gone

What I’ve Done

Bleed It Out

75_Mike Shinoda Chester Bennington

LP’s crowd is as varied as their music, spanning from little kids to the 60 year old gentleman I saw singing “Faint” as the main set came to an end. There really is no low point in a show like this one but without question my highlights were “One Step Closer,” “Numb,” “Waiting for the End,” and “In the End.”

Extra Jared Leto 2Of course the band turned the energy up even higher for the encore and closed out an amazing show with “Bleed it Out” and Chester Bennington doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (which you can see here) then challenging Jarad Leto and the rest of Thirty Seconds to Mars as well as AFI to complete the same within 24 hours.

If you want to experience three remarkable bands, plenty of diversity of music and performance styles, excited fans and different approaches to engaging an audience, don’t miss AFI, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park on the Carnivores tour.

You can find all the information you need via the links below:,

67_Chester Bennington Joe Hahn

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Stay tuned for the full gallery of photos ~ that’s right, we’ve got more great shots, but why not spread the eye candy out a little?