So recently it was announced that Linkin Park would be heading out on their North American tour with none other than D-O-double-G Snoop Dogg.
An early 00s throwback that managed to become a cult sensation early on on the internet despite being utterly ridiculous… and Snoop Dogg. Har har har.
Seriously though, this is an actual tour that’s happening, and whilst people on both sides of the fence agree that seeing these two titans of music that has been made into memes touring together, people on the “Rock Music Is Cool” side of the fence seem to have failed to notice what this means for Linkin Park, and therefore what it means for rock music.
Linkin Park have never just been a straight-up rock band. Even as far back as Hybrid Theory they had songs like ‘In The End‘ which, though great, weren’t particularly heavy. Fast-forward a few years to 2010 and A Thousand Suns and songs like ‘The Catalyst‘ are chosen as not just one of the best songs off the album, but one of the lead singles from it. Fast-forward again and plenty of people have managed to barely suppress the retching at how Not-Rock-Music ‘Heavy‘ and ‘Good Goodbye‘ are.
This tour, it looks like, is the final nail in the coffin for Linkin Park being a rock band. It would have been just as easy for them to take out a young, popular rock band like Creeper or Marmozets (please either of these two if you’re planning on getting round to a UK tour) or even someone like Crossfaith or Enter Shikari, as it would to get Snoop Dogg. Arguably more so, as these bands seem to be more active, and Linkin Park are easily big enough to take out pretty much anyone they want.
This is where the problem arises. So Linkin Park want to be a pop band. That’s kind of fair enough; they’ve been around for ages, they’re getting on a bit, their tastes may well have changed a bit (a lot) and they want to make pop music. But the problem with bands the size of Linkin Park (and possibly Paramore now) going on tour and not taking rock bands with them is that it narrows down the amount of avenues that rock bands have for getting their music out to a wider audience. Snoop Dogg isn’t getting any more popular is he, really? But for a band who is just on the cusp of being really massive, Skindred for example, the chance to tour in front of audience the sizes that Linkin Park would pull is invaluable in terms of both large-scale awareness and revenue.
Linkin Park and Snoop Dogg touring together is bound to be a really entertaining night out. There’s no question of that. It will just be a shame that there won’t be a rock band there really deserving of the attention of twenty-thousand people a night.