Mike Shinoda’s Post Traumatic Album Release Show Brings Hope For The Future
Post Traumatic Album Release Show At Gramercy Theatre In NYC
Post Traumatic, a word that undoubtedly describes the past year for Linkin Park founder Mike Shinoda and fans of the band. Eleven months after the tragic passing of Shinoda’s friend and bandmate Chester Bennington, he has emerged with a new album understandably titled Post Traumatic. The album is his debut solo album and chronicles the profound effect Chester’s loss has had on not only him but those around him. Post Traumatic is part mourning, venting, and moving forward. The sixteen track representation of loss was released on June 15th via Warner Brother Records and is available HERE.
The album is raw, recorded in a moment of helplessness and a journey through the grieving process. The debut record features various moods ranging from tender to aggressive uncensored and in Shinoda’s blended hip hop style with a flavor of rock and pop/electronic.
Wednesday June 20th, in what was considered an exclusive performance, Mike Shinoda held his album release show at the smaller but well known Gramercy Theatre in New York City. The show sold out very quickly and was presented as an “evening with…”, meaning the show had no openers. For myself personally this was a full circle moment; in 2017 I was set to cover Linkin Park’s NY show, which was an absolute highlight for me, unfortunately shortly after receiving the good news, tragedy struck and the world lost one of the greatest musicians of our time.
I was more than honored to find out I would be covering the Post Traumatic Release Show, and made my way down to 23rd street for what was sure to be a show filled with so many emotions for everyone involved. Aside from a signing at Looney Tunes Record store and an appearance on Jimmy Fallon, this was New York’s first opportunity to see Shinoda live since the tribute concert for Bennington last year. As I arrived to Gramercy the marquee read in bold letters SOLD OUT, a line stretched down and around the city’s Lexington Avenue. The fans in line were excited. As I walked up to the entrance I couldn’t help but hear fans in line conversing about times they’ve seen Linkin Park live, Chester’s voice, and even some making comment about attending the Tribute show. These were clearly LP fans who were here to support Mike on his current journey, which for fans leaves an uncertainty for the future of Linkin Park but it didn’t matter they were here to support this show.
As I made my way inside, I was greeted by the intimate space. On stage was merely just keyboards and a drum machine, the mood set with red, amber colored lighting. The room quickly began to fill-up and a little after 8:30 pm, after about five minutes of fans chanting “Mike”, “Mike”, “Mike”, Shinoda’s voice could be heard. “New York City are you ready to have some fun tonight?”, as fans cheered in excitement Mike Shinoda took to the stage furiously with the ever fitting track “Place to Start”. Fans sang along word for word, the energy in the room was amazing and Shinoda looked happy to be back on stage. After the opening song he told the crowd that “this is the first show like this. We’ve done Fallon and Amoeba, but not like this”.
The show was certainly a special one. It was intimate, exciting, interactive, and a grieving process for the fans to experience with Shinoda himself. It was almost a spiritual experience and the gratitude for one another could be felt both on and off stage. Throughout the evening Shinoda performed songs from the Post Traumatic album like “Hands Held High”, “Watching As I Fall”, and “Ghost”. Often times in between songs expressing his feelings towards the song, the meaning of certain songs or even just joking around about being called by his middle name Kenji, which he says he isn’t used too. The performance also featured some Fort Minor tunes as well as Linkin Park songs which brought an unexplainable beauty to the evening, most notably the performance of “In The End” the song was kicked off by Mike but lead by the crowd singing Chester’s vocals at the top of their lungs. To say it was chilling would be an understatement, it was one of the most beautiful and meaningful moments I’ve experienced at a concert.
Towards the later part of the set Shinoda climbed up on the barricade and got up close and personal with fans, singing and high fiving. The show also highlighted some one-of-a-kind and never before heard mash-ups like “Over Again/Papercut” and “Good Goodbye/Bleed it Out”.
Every Linkin Park song played pulled at fan’s emotions, and they got to share that with not only other fans but also with the band’s founder. It wasn’t all sad though; there were more than enough smiles and celebration moments to send a message of hope. At one point a sign handwritten was hanging off the drum machine on stage simply worded “Make Chester Proud”, a statement that I think 100% was completed. At the end of the 20 song set lucky fans up front got the opportunity to take selfies and get autographs from Mike. Many said he was kind and patient and even listened to the crowd’s sentiments.
This show at Gramercy was history being made, it was a once and a lifetime special intimate performance and I’m truly grateful I got to experience it with my own to eyes. No one knows what the future holds for Linkin Park but whatever it is Post Traumatic the album and Mike’s ability to still have fun onstage shines a light of hope. From the looks of it whether Shinoda continues solo or decides to continue Linkin Park’s legacy the fans will be there to support and sing along!
Mike Shinoda (Warner Brother Records) will be out on the road for the foreseeable future in support of his solo effort, his current appearances place him everywhere from New Jersey to Utah and stretching across the pond the the UK and Hong Kong. See the full list of dates below and for more information on all things Post Traumatic visit the official website at http://mikeshinoda.com
Mike Shinoda Tour Dates: