MIKE SHINODA // THE ROUNDHOUSE, LONDON

Stepping out as a solo artist is never an easy ride, and since the death of Chester Bennington in 2017, Mike Shinoda has been dealing with the loss of his friend and bandmate in the public eye.

MIKE SHINODA PERFORMING AT LONDON’S ROUNDHOUSE - 10.03.2019
PICTURE BY: NICOLE STEWART-RUSHWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY

★★★★★

In January 2018, Shinoda released his first solo EP, away from his side project Fort Minor, titled 'Post Traumatic' with three songs that explored his feelings around losing Chester. Six months later he released an album under the same name and played Reading and Leeds Festival as part of his return to touring.

Back on the road, playing tours across Europe and the US, Mike Shinoda landed in London to play one night at the Roundhouse. After two electric performances at Reading and Leeds, expectations and emotions were high.

Opening the night were The LaFontaines, from Motherwell, Scotland, a favourite of the UK rap-rock scene. Opening with their latest single 'Up' and 'All In' the audience was quick to start dancing and singing along. They have previously been lauded as one of Scotland's most interesting and unique bands and it's easy to see why. With infectious energy and stage presence for days, The LaFontaines certainly found a new fan in me, leaving me wondering how they'd passed me by. A perfect opener for what would be a memorable night.

Shortly after, the lights dropped, and the music went quiet, it was time for Mike Shinoda to take to the stage. Walking on to Fort Minor's 'Introduction' the crowd went wild as the band took their position, bursting straight into 'Petrified' Shinoda's energy was palpable. From the opening moments of the set, it was easy to see how at home Shinoda is on stage, a giant grin spread across his face, energetically moving across the stage, and engaging with the audience, you enjoy his performance because it's clear he's enjoying himself.

Between songs, he talks to the audience relishing in the love the audience was screaming at him. He's not afraid to banter with the crowd, commenting on signs and tattoos whilst his band tune their instruments. Coming from such a seminal band as Linkin Park, fans have grown up with his music and see both Shinoda and his music as integral parts of their lives. He talks to the audience like friends, making fans overcome with emotion feel at ease, and not once does he come across as arrogant, instead he's humble, genuine, and warm.

The set was a homage to his expansive and varied career, with Fort Minor and Linkin Park featuring as heavily as his own solo work. Leading into 'I.O.U' and 'Ghosts' from Post Traumatic and Fort Minor's 'Remember the Name'. The first Linkin Park song of the night was 'When They Come for Me' which, unsurprisingly, got many people dancing and singing along from the surging crowd at the barrier to the seats on the second tier. A highlight of the night was the crossover of Linkin Park's 'Waiting for the End' and Fort Minor's 'Where'd You Go' which had fans singing their hearts out.

If it wasn't immediately clear that the night wasn't special already, Shinoda whipped out 'It's Goin' Down' from his 2001 collaboration with X-Ecutioners, much to the delight of old school fans, many of whom were out in force. Keeping it in the 2000s, he also brought out a mash-up of Sorry for Now / Step Up, Step Up hasn't been played live by Linkin Park since 2004.

Telling a story of a time in London when writing Linkin Park's last album and looking for new collaborators, Shinoda brought his first special guest on of the night, Eg White, for an emotional rendition of One More Light. White is a legendary British musician, songwriter, and producer, famous for collaborating with the likes of Florence and the Machine, Adele, and of course, Linkin Park.

Since the tribute show in 2017 to mark the passing of Chester Bennington, when performing live it has become tradition for the audience to sing Chester's vocal for 'In The End' and that night was no different.

Shinoda took the time before the song to tell a story of the time when Linkin Park played the Roundhouse, Chester covered Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' and how it was one of those unforgettable moments of musical history.

It was hard to not feel emotional as the crowd covered Chester's heart-wrenching vocals, the moment captured how much Linkin Park meant to people around the world.

Jumping from heartbreaking emotion to the punchy 'About You' and a mashup of 'Over Again' from Post Traumatic and Linkin Park's 'Papercut' to close off the main set in a joyous, exhilarating frenzy.

For the encore, Shinoda was joined on stage by Jon Green of The Bonfires to cover Chester's vocals for 'Battle Symphony' for the first time since the Hollywood Bowl tribute and 'Nobody Can Save Me'.

Giving the fans one last chance to mosh with 'Good Goodbye / Bleed It Out' before closing with 'Running From My Shadow' from Post Traumatic, Shinoda took the opportunity to make friends with the audience once more, throwing himself to the mercy of his screaming fans.

Electric, energetic, yet emotional, Mike Shinoda's show at the Roundhouse was unforgettable. He performs with humility and joy, the smile never fading from his face, the night was a celebration of not only Shinoda's career but also what his music means to so many people.

SETLIST: | MIKE SHINODA : ROUNDHOUSE, LONDON - 10.03.2019

INTRODUCTION - (Fort Minor song)

  • Petrified - (Fort Minor song)

  • I.O.U.

  • Ghosts

  • Remember the Name - (Fort Minor song)

  • When They Come for Me - (Linkin’ Park song)

  • It’s Goin’ Down - (X-Ecutioners cover)

  • Hold It Together

  • Prove You Wrong

  • Roads Untraveled - (Linkin’ Park song)

  • Sorry for Now / Step Up - (Linkin’ Park song) - Step Up last played by Linkin Park in 2004

  • Crossing a Line

  • Waiting for the End / Where’d You Go

  • One More Light - (Linkin’ Park song) - with Eg White

  • In the End - (Linkin’ Park song)

  • About You

  • Over Again / Papercut

ENCORE:

  • Battle Symphony - (Linkin’ Park song) - with Jon Green

  • Nobody Can Save Me - (Linkin’ Park song) - with Jon Green

  • Make It Up as I Go

  • Castle of Glass - (Linkin’ Park song)

  • Good Goodbye / Bleed It Out

  • Running From My Shadow

REVIEW + PHOTOS BY: NICOLE STEWART-RUSHWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY

Nicole Stewart Rushworth