metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
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Linkin Park gets close to their fans

The night before they were set to play for thousands of people at one of the world’s most famous venues, Linkin Park performed a midnight show for a small group of fans in an unlikely venue – an Apple store. The rock-rap group did a short but energetic set, including hits such as “Bleed It Out,” for about 200 fans early Thursday, just hours before their show that evening at Madison Square Garden.

“We’re actually in the middle of our first U.S. arena tour in years,” guitarist Brad Delson told The concert, which ran about 30 minutes, will be available on iTunes next month. While that’s quick compared with the months it takes for an album release, it’s relatively slow given Linkin Park’s recent musical output. Fans who buy tickets to their shows can opt to get a digital release of the entire concert a few hours later.

“The special thing about this, the thing that we were really excited about is that it’s mixed by our official mixer,” said keyboardist and guitarist Mike Shinoda. “It’s not your cell phone recording. … It’s the kind of mix that we (would) put out if we put out a live CD.”

The band decided to release the live recordings after becoming frustrated by the poor-quality videos of their shows that were popping up on the Internet.

“What we said is, `Let’s be proactive and actually do great mixes of every show so that the fans that are there have access to a stellar version of what they heard,'” Delson said.

Linkin Park is known for having a close connection with fans. After the show at the Apple store, the audience screamed out for more music. Shinoda said: “I got a deal – we can play one more song or we can sign for you.”

The answer was fast and easy: The crowd responded, “Sign!” Band members scribbled autographs and mingled with fans for at least 15 minutes afterward.

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