“THE MESSENGER (Live)” LINKIN PARK
There is no other song in Linkin Park’s catalog that compares to “The Messenger”. Technically it’s a ballad but rocks harder than many of their nu-metal favorites. Accompanied primarily with just an acoustic guitar, Chester Bennington vigorously pushes his voice as hard as he can without screaming. As life is beating you down and you’ve had enough, Chester implores, “When life leaves us blind, Love keeps us kind.” Having seen Linkin Park perform this song three times in concert, the CD version on A Thousand Suns doesn’t match the intensity they bring to “The Messenger” live. Here’s a version captured at a LPU Summit as the band is sitting with their fans, wouldn’t you love to be there!
“LIKE A PRAYER” WE ARE THE FALLEN
Carly Smithson, remember the name? She was the Irish rocker from the 7th season of American Idol. Her version of Heart’s “Alone” and “Crazy On You” were memorable, but she blew me away with a reworking of Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again”. After leaving Idol, she teamed up with Ben Moody from Evanescence to form a new band called We Are The Fallen (a stab at Evanescence’s 2004 CD). Her vocals do recall Amy Lee. They’ve yet to have that one definitive song but you’ll definitely love hearing their rocking cover of Madonna’s #1 smash.
“LONG AS I CAN SEE THE LIGHT” CRYSTAL BOWERSOX
Hearing Carly Smithson reminds me of the most soulful rocker to ever grace the American Idol stage. Crystal Bowersox was the runner-up to Lee DeWyze (who?) Her career hasn’t skyrocketed after her TV fame but she is set to release her second CD, All That For This, on March 23rd. She’s also set to star in the lead role on the broadway production of Always, Patsy Cline. On this Idol performance, Crystal rips every ounce of intensity found in the Creedence Clearwater Revival inspirational epic.