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10

LIVE

TUESDAY
7 March 2006

MINOR

PROBLEMS

Fort Minor, Linkin Park member Mike Shinodas solo project, has always been
in the news in recent months. Last week, Mike and his collaborators from
Styles of Beyond were in town for a concert. NIKI CHEONG was present.
OKAY, if Mike Shinoda was going to compare
Fort Minors first appearance in Malaysia at
the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort
to Linkin Parks amazing concert here three
years ago, hed probably head home disappointed. After all, Linkin Park sold out Stadium
Merdeka and gave the performance of a lifetime for their Malaysian fans at least.
Comparatively, the Fort Minor concert was a
subdued affair.
That said, from the looks of the faces (and
the drench clothes) of the fans streaming out
of the arena after the show, you could tell that
they had a blast. Was it possible not to? Even
(and this is hypothetical) if the concert wasnt
great, many of the concertgoers enjoyed being
the centre of Mike Shinodas attention for a
night. Lets face it that man is a brilliant
musician, extremely charming and well, not
too bad looking (although, whats up with that
moustache, Mike?).
The arena was basic enough a nice stage
with two catwalks on the left and right sides
of the stage. For most of the show, DJ
Cheapshot from Styles of Beyond was up on
his console (he was also the opening act, spinning for about 20 minutes before Mike and
gang appeared), to his right was drummer
BEATdown. Kevin, Joe and Will were on strings
while on the opposite end of the stage were
backing vocalists Jay, David and Victor. Mike,
together with Ryu and Tak were jumping all
over the stage.
Below the stage was what looked like about
1,500 fans screaming and cheering the act on.
Behind them, others were just mingling about
chatting to friends while tapping their feet to
the beat. They were there because they
enjoyed the music, but didnt care to be
pushed around with the rest of the crowd in
the centre arena or to be splashed with water

by Mike and his band. Even further behind,


some people were sitting down (journalists
included) they looked more like lovey dovey
couples who wanted to snuggle up to each
other in comfort.
Oh, and there were a few parents of prepubescent Fort Minor fans as well roaming
around. One can tell that the atmosphere at
the Fort Minor concert was nothing to shout
about.
What the fans did shout about was Mike
kicking off the show with Remember the
Name. The song was an obvious choice its
currently getting a lot of airplay on the radio,
and many feel that this should have been the
acts first single release, as opposed to the
soppy, boyband-inspired Believe Me.
The band then went on to perform The Xcutioners Goin Down one of the few cover
songs they performed. Of course, Linkin Park
numbers were not left out. When Mike went
into In the End, the crowd just went wild.
Obviously, everyone still loves Linkin Park.
In fact, one audience member actually
commented on how it takes a Linkin Park song
to get the crowd going, and this reviewer
agrees. After In the End, the crowd didnt show
much interest even when Mike did an
excellent a capella version of Cigarettes, or
when the strings trio performed a beautiful
medley of hip-hop/R&B songs from the likes of
Beastie Boys, Usher, 50 Cent, Nelly and Fat Joe.
It was only when Mike and gang returned on
stage for the encore with the recent Grammyaward winning collaboration Numb vs Encore
(with Jay-Z, who produced Fort Minors
album).
They ended the show with another great
song from the album, Petrified. It was during
the encore that the crowd started to wake up
again. The four songs the band performed

then easily overshadowed the set of songs


from the main performance. Whether this was
intentional or not will remain unknown, there
is a possibility that the act saved their best
performance till the end, so the crowd will
have something to take home with.
That said, it was disappointing that Mike
didnt find a slot, or didnt think to include
what is possibly the best song from the Fort

Minor album The Rising Tied Kenji. The song,


in which Mike talks about his Japanese grandfather during World War II, would have spiced
up the show.
It is doubtful that many people left disappointed. The concert was far from perfect, but
everyone looked as though they enjoyed
themselves. And isnt that the whole point
anyway?

Tak (in white) and Ryu from Styles of Beyond