The Barclays Center in Brooklyn was filled with alternative rock fans from the New York Metro Area on Thursday who were all there to catch a handful of headline-worthy artists playing Radio.com's first ever “Not So Silent Night” holiday concert event. The event’s loaded lineup included Muse, Florence + The Machine, Death Cab For Cutie, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Foster The People, Bastille, Chvrches and AJR, who all took the revolving stage throughout the night with shortened sets to make for the perfect mini holiday festival experience.
The arena was nearly completely filled with fans who were all there to support all, if not a select few of their favorite artists for the end-of-the-week concert, which surprisingly ran without a single hitch for having so many moving parts. With so much going on throughout the entire night, it’s tough to begin picking which moments and performances were the most memorable or special. So with Radio.com’s first ever “Not So Silent Night” now in the rear view mirror and dancing legs have had a night’s worth of sleep to recover (barely), here are some of the best moments from last night’s epic alt rock experience.
A Lesson In Pop Production From AJR
Indie-rock outfit AJR were the first act of the night, and they didn’t waste any time getting the audience warmed up from the first few notes of their 7pm start time. The rock band comprised of three brothers didn’t seem intimidated by the big stage or the loaded lineup one bit, and their confident energy quickly filtered its way throughout the venue, which was beginning to fill up by the middle of their performance. While the music sounded great, one of the more interesting moments from their set came toward the end when the band’s keyboardist, Ryan Met, took some time to explain to the crowd how they write and produce their own music from their living room. He began by building the rhythm section from the ground up before the song came together and the entire band joined in. It was a fun little educational lesson for older music fans who still don’t understand what this whole “producing thing” is all about.
Mike Shinoda Pays Tribute To Chester Bennington
The former Linkin Park guitarist and singer was a fantastic mid-lineup addition to the bill. Having just wrapped up his first national headlining tour as a solo artist, Mike Shinoda seemed to be relaxed up on stage with all eyes now on him. He filled his set with a mix of mashups and covers, but there was one real moment that stood out towards the end. It’s impossible not to experience Shinoda’s show and not think of his late former bandmate Chester Bennington. Shinoda not only addresses the elephant in the venue, but turns sadness into musical inspiration with a feel-good moment that saw him get behind his keyboard for a ballad version of Linkin Park’s 2003 breakout hit, “In The End,” with the fans in the crowd filling in for Bennington’s vocal part for an awesome artist/audience duet.
Alt-rock Throwback With Foster The People
By the time Foster The People took the stage a little later in the evening, the packed venue was already a few beers deep and a few performances in, so they were more than ready to crank up the volume. FTP were more than happy to oblige, and as the night’s first real rock band to take the stage, they didn’t disappoint in taking fans back to the start of the decade with some of their earlier hits. The set began with the catchy track “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)” from their 2011 Torches LP, in addition to their mega-hit, “Pumped Up Kicks.” You just knew the vibes of the night were headed in the right direction when singer/guitarist Mark Foster walked up to his mic to say, “I’m very, very happy that New York City has alternative radio again.”
Phone-free With Florence Welch
There’s a sense of magic anytime Florence + The Machine take the stage, which they’ve done a lot during the fall months while on tour in support of their latest studio album, High As Hope. Although they only had time to perform a few songs, Florence Welch and company made it count with a shortened set full of hits that included “Ship To Wreck,” “Patricia” (which was dedicated to Patti Smith), “Dog Days Are Over” and “What Kind Of Man.” One of the best moments of the night came when Florence encouraged the entire venue to just put their phones away for the rest of her performance so they could take everything and everyone around them in without the distraction of the outside world, and it worked.
Death Cab For Cutie Take Their Time To Play Their Greatest Hits
Death Cab For Cutie released a new album earlier this year with Thank You for Today, but they make sure to remind fans of some of their wonderful material from the early years with their performance. Rather than rushing into their shortened set by diving right into the first song, the band opened things up with five to seven minutes worth of a building instrumental jam, which ultimately transitioned into “I Will Possess Your Heart.” Singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard may be 42-years-old, but he was as energizing and lively as ever, bouncing between his piano and guitar with smooth feet and his voice sounding just as impressive. They continued their set with familiar tunes including “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive,” “Crooked Teeth” “Soul Meets Body” and “The Sound of Settling.”
Muse were the last performers of the night, and the heaviest. The prog-rock band were in full space mode with light-up guitars, glasses and outfits all in theme with their new futuristic sci-fi-themed album, Simulation Theory. In addition to playing plenty of their biggest hits including “Madness,” “Supermassive Black Hole,” “Starlight,” and “Knights of Cydonia,” the band also brought out some of the new material, including “Algorithm,” “Pressure” and “Break It to Me.”