Amped up

As if the Formula One time trials weren’t loud enough, Linkin Park pummelled the Yas Island decibel levels the night before the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

By Adam Zacharias (

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Published: Mon 15 Nov 2010, 5:32 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:00 PM

LESS THAN A week after winning the Best Live Act award at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Linkin Park visited Abu Dhabi looking to cement their must-watch reputation.

Performing on Yas Island on Saturday night, the LA hard rock group began dipping into the hits early on, knocking out What I’ve Done and Given Up from their 2007 album Minutes to Midnight. The six band members, each assigned their own elevated platform, swapped musical responsibilities several times throughout the show. Mike Shinoda switched between keyboard, guitar and vocals, lead singer Chester Bennington sporadically strapped on a guitar and several members even took part in a bout of mock tribal drumming for the encore.

The impressively bearded Brad Delson, sporting a set of bedazzled ‘LP’ headphones, cut an intriguing figure onstage – his rake thin and relaxed figure offsetting Bennington’s energetic performance and manic delivery.

But even the misery-loving frontman had to give his vocal cords a mid-set break; switching from the piercing nu-metal of Numb to the slower, quieter couplet of Leave Out All the Rest and Shadow of the Day. The 34-year-old also noted the diverse composition of the crowd, adding that the band would “definitely” return to Abu Dhabi in the near future.

But it was soon back to business for the gang; as they launched into the Grammy-winning Crawling from debut album Hybrid Theory – the best-selling album of the Noughties behind The Beatles’ 1 with 24 million units shifted.

After a stirring rendition of teenage angst anthem Faint, the band retired offstage for the obligatory five-minute breather before the encore. Bennington and company eventually wrapped up proceedings with a handful of classics including Weird Divide from the Transformers soundtrack and their breakout hit One Step Closer.

And finally, as would befit a polite and maturing group of men, they took their bow and exited. Ultimately Linkin Park gave an animated and crowd-pleasing performance – as witnessed by the optimistically waiting audience after the band left the stage for the second time – though they lacked a little of the eye-transfixing stardust offered by Kanye West the previous night.

BRITISH ALL-GIRL trio Sugababes played to a select crowd at Yas Hotel’s Longitude Bar in the early hours of Sunday morning, belting out the copious hits from the ever-changing group’s 12-year career.

All three ladies dazzled in black – with newest member Jade Ewen looking particularly stunning – and the group appeared relaxed in one another’s company and unfazed by the relatively small crowd. Amelle Berrabah even joked with organisers about the abundant dry ice onstage, before returning to the bumper selection of 18 UK top 10 hits.

Number one singles Round Round and Push the Button proved particular favourites with revellers, while the troupe showed off their tight vocal harmonies with Florence & The Machine cover Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up).

Plus the three-piece – none of whom are original members – showed that they’re still churning out the hits with the furiously catchy Wear My Kiss, easily on par with past classics such as Ugly and Hole in the Head.

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