Linkin Park, SECC, Glasgow

SECC, Glasgow

Despite the baggy kecks, the rapped vocals and the fusion of samples and guitars, the nu-metal that dominated the album charts as the millennium broke never felt all that novel. Linkin Park might have been expected to be more genuinely experimental - the band's original name, eventually given to their multi-platinum debut album, was Hybrid Theory. But the Californians have often been derided as nu-metal's boy band. One rumour suggests that the group changed their name so they'd sit next to Limp Bizkit in shop CD displays.

Limp Bizkit would probably be happy to have as broad a fan base as their rivals. Near the back of tonight's thick crowd, an ecstatic red-headed child in a Linkin Park T-shirt and a skull-and-crossbones wristband sits on his dad's shoulders, pumping his arms to the thick slabs of noise.

The stage layout is almost as dinky. Drummer Rob Bourdon and DJ Joseph Hahn sit perched atop an epic mezzanine behind guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Phoenix and frontmen Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington, each of whom has their own post-industrial cube to pose on. They make one hell of a racket, Shinoda and Bennington spitting bile as they march across the stage. Openers Papercut and Points of Authority go down a storm, and material from new album Meteora is received with an enthusiasm that belies the record's mixed notices.

The declining fortunes of nu-metal will not help their cause, though. This is complaint rock - well-rehearsed and powerfully enacted complaint rock, but predictable stuff none the less. Encores Pushing Me Away and A Place for My Head are angry but empty. One Step Closer burns brightly enough, but it's hard to banish a slight but significant feeling of dissatisfaction.

· Tonight at Wembley Arena, London (0870 739 0739), then touring.


James Smart

The GuardianTramp

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