This post is a little overdue but, y’know, life, and I figured that a) better late than never, b) my music loving readers would appreciate it, and c) it was such an epic night that I couldn’t not write about it!
When I heard that Fort Minor was coming to London to perform an intimate one off gig my heart skipped a beat. My sister and I are both fans, and we had been to see Linkin Park last year, but it was the first time in a whopping ten years since Mike brought Fort Minor, his side project, to London. To have him return to the UK so soon seemed too good to be true!
Scala is a tiny venue a mere five minutes away from King’s Cross station. You were pretty much guaranteed a great view wherever you stood, and this certainly felt as intimate as promised. With several laptop screens facing the crowd, there were no tricks or secrets about tonight’s gig, and it felt as though we were all hanging out in Mike’s living room.
Mike bounded onstage amid rumbling judders and hearty chants of his name, and he was an effortless and confident performer from the very start. The distinctive openers of ‘Petrified’ and ‘In Stereo’ set the energetic pace for the evening as he leaped fearlessly into it, and his energy and realism were contagious. With skillfully remixed tracks from 2005’s album ‘The Rising Tied’ shaken, but not stirred, with Linkin Park tracks, Fort Minor certainly hits the spot!
A couple of songs in, Mike announced that this evening wasn’t just about the music. It’s a chance for him to talk to us and to share stories, and sure enough, the anecdotes were as free flowing as the music, and he spoke as though addressing a group of close friends. Juggling lyrical masterpieces covering racial struggle and the universal connection of music, Mike’s voice is one of immense confidence and power.
With heart stopping agility, Mike leaps onto a speaker during the bewitching rendition of “Kenji” to get closer to the audience. It was one of the most honest and heartfelt performances I’ve ever witnessed, I think it hit me in that moment that we were at a truly a special moment in musical history.
During the show Mike also took requests from the audience and indulged us in some guitar playing, just because he can (and damn, did he play that guitar!).
I really think that that night was a brilliant example of the freedom that Fort Minor has given Mike. Stripped of Linkin Park and given his own spotlight, there’s a real sense of underlying relaxation beneath every lyric. And the fact is, this is so much more than a mere side project, it’s a closer look at a musical legend who helped steer an entire movement!
‘Welcome’ and the musical celebration that is ‘Remember The Name’ bring this special, beautiful evening to a glorious end. I left feeling like the cat that got the cream, and all I can really say is, I honestly can’t wait to see that brilliant man again. Until next time, Mike Shinoda!