Noisecreep recently had the supreme pleasure of getting an early in-studio listen of the new Linkin Park album, LIVING THINGS (due June 26), and we were blown away. But the band kicked up the experience another notch with a special-invite listening party hosted by none other than LP's Mike Shinoda.

The exclusive event was held at Sonos Studio in Los Angeles, which is billed as "an acoustically designed, sonically tuned gallery designed to celebrate music listening." Recently, the space has hosted other similar events with artists such as Jimmy Cliff and Questlove, and true to its billing, the music on this warm summer night was presented in an artistic, sublime, state-of-the-art way -- a feast for the visual and aural senses.

Shinoda first took the small stage to introduce the album, which was then played in its entirety. But as a special bonus, a large video wall displayed electronic imagery created specially by Japan's Good Smile Company to reflect and run in tandem with the songs.

Swirling, psychedelic, phantasmagoric visuals pulsed and flowed in syncopation with the throbbing beats and powerful melodies, adding a visceral, eye-popping layer to an already mesmerizing piece of work. The crowd of 100-plus people was both hypnotized and energized by the sweeping production, as was Shinoda, who, having just returned from Europe, had yet to see the video portion of the program.

Charles Epting

At the album's conclusion, the spellbound crowd then had a chance to hear a thoughtful discussion with Shinoda, who was also joined by his LIVING THINGS co-producer, Rick Rubin. For an hour, they told stories and answered questions about the band and the new album.

As we took note of several weeks ago, we think LIVING THINGS, is a monumental piece of work that blends the best of what Linkin Park is known for with a new sense of urgency, intensity and exploration. Seeing it presented in this way, however, in a funky little sonic gallery in Los Angeles, married with an intensely dynamic light show, was another experience altogether -- and one we won't soon forget.

We look forward to covering the upcoming tour, to see how this extraordinary music will evolve, as it no doubt will, in a live setting.

Watch Footage of the LIVING THINGS Listening Party

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