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Single by Linkin Park
from the album Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Working title Iridescent New
Recorded 2008-2010
Released May 28, 2011
Format CD, Digital
Length 03:59
Stems Neko Keyboard Sounds and Samples[1]
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 120
Key A Minor
Live debut September 7, 2010
Last played October 27, 2017
June 30, 2016 (LOATR/SOTD/Iridescent)
Writer(s) Linkin Park
Producer(s) Rick Rubin, Mike Shinoda
Label Warner Bros.
Linkin Park singles chronology

Burning In The Skies (2011) Iridescent (2011) Rolling In The Deep (Adele Cover) (2011)

A Thousand Suns track listing
  1. The Requiem
  2. The Radiance
  3. Burning In The Skies
  4. Empty Spaces
  5. When They Come For Me
  6. Robot Boy
  7. Jornada Del Muerto
  8. Waiting For The End
  9. Blackout
  10. Wretches And Kings
  11. Wisdom, Justice, And Love
  12. Iridescent
  13. Fallout
  14. The Catalyst
  15. The Messenger

"Iridescent" is the twelfth track on A Thousand Suns and the fourth single from the album, in conjunction with the release of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, in which the song is featured.


"Iridescent" is a ballad about a person in the face of a place destroyed by nuclear warfare. It starts off with dramatic piano before building up with guitars, powerful drums, and big gang vocals in the bridge that lead to the song's climax. Chester has cited the song as one of his favorites on the record due to the way it builds and climaxes.[2]

Mike Shinoda explained how the song came together, "Iridescent just started with that piano bit. It was kind of like when we've done the acapella or piano and vocal versions. It kind of was that. I wrote it just piano and vocal and then built everything on top of the piano and vocal version. So not anything crazy there, it was just a very traditional writing process."[3]

The song was picked up and reworked for use on the Transformers: Dark Of The Moon soundtrack as explained by Mike Shinoda, "A few months ago, I got on the phone with Michael Bay, who wanted to discuss the possibility of our band continuing our run with songs paired with the Transformers films. We (he, his team, and our band) all have enjoyed working together on the past two, and he wanted to discuss the ideas we might have for Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon. In particular, one song came up immediately. Ever since we started playing Iridescent live, the song has been a fan favorite at the show. For the film, there’s a new, slightly shorter version of the song, which is floating around the internet now. We’ll be shooting a video for the song tomorrow, directed by Joe Hahn."[4] This alternate "Energy Up" version features drums right from the start of the song rather than them coming in later.

In May 2020, Mike said about the remix, "Actually I think almost every sound used in the remix of "Iridescent" was in the song. We just turned them up or EQed them or compressed them. The reason for the remix was I think that the radio department at the label said, "hey, if you're going to go out with this song and the movie and whatever, we'd like to hear it pick up energy, like get to the point faster with a shorter version. And for it to have more energy earlier." That was a cool idea. To me it didn't ruin the song, I felt like it was a cool version of a song - kind of a subtle remix so we did it. Kind of a pain in the ass though because we were on tour working on it. I remember just having to go back and forth about mix notes and adding and subtracting things a lot. It was just tedious, it was fine though."[5]


CD Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Iridescent Linkin Park 4:01
2 New Divide Linkin Park 4:30
3 What I've Done Linkin Park 3:25

iTunes Single

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1 Iridescent (from Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon) Linkin Park 3:59

Music Video

Transformers Version

A music video for the Transformers: Dark Of The Moon mix of "Iridescent" was shot in Los Angeles, California starting on April 14, 2011 and was directed by Joe Hahn.[4][6] Mike explained, "When Michael Bay called us about putting a song in the new 'Transformers' movie, the one that came immediately to mind was 'Iridescent' because it's been a fan favorite at the shows. It's definitely a less in-your-face song. There's a somber tone to it and a hopeful tone to it. ... Michael actually loved pairing it with the movie because there's something that he feels it speaks to about the story line."[7] The goal of the video was to combine the soulfulness of what the band does with the soulfulness of the film. Joe said, "The video explores how human existence might be affected by the elements of Transformers robots and the threat of the Decepticons. What would it be like to be citizens in a decaying universe? I tried a lot of new things here, and we had a lot of fun shooting it."[8][9]

During the shooting, the band members had to do some things they weren't comfortable with. Mike, for instance, really doesn't like snakes and had to hold one for 5 hours; and Chester had his face mashed in warm milk.[10] Joe personally picked three snakes to be used in the video.[11] In July 2020 on his Twitch stream, Mike said, "Phobias? I don't like snakes, so the Iridescent video was difficult."[12]

The single was mixed in Dolby Surround 7.1 audio format by Neal Avron[13] and the video was converted into full 3D by Passmorelab,[14] being shown in select theaters worldwide following the end credits for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.[15] The company had previously worked with Linkin Park on a 3D version of "Waiting For The End".[16]

"We had a very tight schedule to complete all the 3D elements of Iridescent in time for the Transformers 3 premiere. Throughout the 3D production process, we worked very closely with the band's digital post-house Ghost Town Media in Los Angeles to stay true to the director's vision for the video. Without a high level of communication and efficient workflow between everyone involved with this project, it would not have been completed on time. The collaborative end result is truly a beautiful and dramatic use of 3D. Hahnʼs post-apocalyptic vision and our 3D mesh wonderfully," said Greg Passmore, CEO of PassmoreLab.[17] The 3D video was also available on the band's official YouTube channel for a limited period.[18]

An alternative version of the video exists and is currently available on the Warner Music Japan YouTube channel. This version is slightly different from the original, with the scene with Optimus Prime at 1:13 being replaced by a scene with dogs running. Some of the colors present on the original video are also absent from this version, specially the red color. Bumblebee is shown in black and white instead of yellow.

Stars Of The Season Version

Stars Of The Season is an annual gala fundraising affair for Banner Children's at Cardon Children's Medical Center in which Chester has taken part in many times.

For the event and hospital's fifth anniversary, an "Official Event Music Video" featuring Linkin Park's "Iridescent" was shot at the hospital, located in Mesa, Arizona,[20] in October 2014. Chester was the only Linkin Park member on the video.

Chester and his wife, Talinda, were the honorary chairs of the event alongside David Curran, M.D.[21]

The music video was written and directed by David Kinsler and produced by Jack Chapman (who also edited the video) and David Curran, M.D. Sephora Skye Kinsler stars the video as an angel.[22]


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Iridescent A Thousand Suns 4:56 2008-2010 September 8, 2010
Iridescent Iridescent

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon - The Album

4:01 2011 May 27, 2011
  • Drum beat in the intro.
  • Shorter break between first chorus and verse 2.
  • Different lyrics during bridge.
  • Different mix.
  • Renamed to "Iridescent (Version 2)" in 2019.
  • Also known as "Iridescent (Energy Up Version)".
Iridescent A Thousand Suns Instrumentals 4:56 2008-2010
  • The CD dates from September 15, 2010.
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Iridescent Live In Madrid 5:01 November 07, 2010 April 1, 2011
Iridescent (Live) iTunes Festival: London 2011 - EP 5:04 July 04, 2011 July 8, 2011
Iridescent Live In Red Square 4:19 June 23, 2011 July 21, 2011
  • Energy Up version.
  • Released as a prize for the "Iridescent" "Super-Fun Trading Fun-Cards" game. After all six cards were collected, the person could enter the codes of each card at to get a free download of the full show.
Iridescent (Live From Paris, 2010) A Thousand Suns - Live Around The World 4:58 October 25, 2010 June 19, 2012
LOATR/SOTD/Iridescent Live At Admiralspalast Berlin, Germany June 05, 2012 March 29, 2013


"Iridescent" was regarded by the band as a fan favorite during the A Thousand Suns touring cycle.[23] The song debuted on KROQ's Kevin and Bean Breakfast Show in 2010, and was played at every show of the A Thousand Suns cycle except for the final three shows on the Australian 2010 tour in Melbourne, Homebush, and Bruce. The song was usually played after "Wisdom, Justice, And Love", like on the album, but it was occasionally played in conjunction with "Numb". In 2010, the song was played after "Wisdom, Justice, And Love" in sets A-1, A-3, B, B-1, and the Madrid setlist, after "Numb" in the one-off New York City setlist, and was completely omitted in set B-9. "Iridescent" didn't see much movement in 2011. During the North American 2011 tour, it was played after "Wisdom, Justice, And Love" in sets A-1, B-11, C-5, and C-6, and after "Numb" in set B-13. The European and Asian 2011 tours had "Iridescent" after "Wisdom, Justice, And Love" in sets A, B, D, E, and the one-off Moscow and Singapore setlists, and followed "Numb" in set C. A shortened version of the song was used during the band's presentation of A Thousand Horizons in Japan. The show in Moscow featured what was dubbed the "Energy Up Version", which was just the version of the song found on the Transformers 3 soundtrack. That show is the only performance of that version of the song to date.

Once the Living Things cycle kicked off in West Hollywood, the bridge and final chorus of "Iridescent" returned in the "LOATR/SOTD/Iridescent" medley. The drums from the single version are also played during the "Shadow Of The Day" portion of the song.

"Iridescent" returned during the tribute show for Chester, where it was part of the opening medley and opened the encore. Both times it was played were shortened. The first was a new arrangement that included a mashup with "The Messenger" as an intro and ended after the second chorus, while the second was solely the bridge and final chorus. Jon Green joined the band for both performances of the song.

Mike performed a shortened piano version of "Iridescent" in Moscow while touring in support of his solo album Post Traumatic. He later debuted the studio version in Toronto, and would continue to play the song fairly consistently for the remainder of the tour. For some of the west coast dates on Monster Energy's Oubreak Tour, Phoenix joined Mike and the band for the song.


Linkin Park

Last Updated: May 1, 2020

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro w/ "The Messenger" v1 + Chorus October 27, 2017 October 27, 2017
Outro Transition into "Roads Untraveled" October 27, 2017 October 27, 2017
Alternative Energy Up Version June 23, 2011 June 23, 2011
Alternative Ballad Medley (LOATR/SOTD/Iridescent) May 18, 2012 November 14, 2016
Alternative Hollywood Bowl Arrangement October 27, 2017 October 27, 2017
Alternative Shortened (No Bridge or Final Chorus) October 27, 2017 October 27, 2017
Alternative Shortened (Bridge and Final Chorus only) October 27, 2017 October 27, 2017

Mike Shinoda

Last Updated: July 10, 2019

Type Description First Played Last Played
Alternative Piano Version September 1, 2018 September 1, 2018
Alternative Shortened (No Second Verse or Second Chorus) September 1, 2018 September 1, 2018

Live Guests

Linkin Park

Last Updated: May 1, 2020

  • Jon Green (The Bonfires)

Mike Shinoda

Last Updated: May 1, 2020

  • Phoenix (Linkin Park)


On May 25, 2011, Linkin Park announced a contest for fans to create an original piece of art for "Iridescent". The winner would be showcased in front of more than 30 million fans online and would be featured at Linkin Park's performance for the Transformers: Dark Of The Moon premiere in Moscow's Red Square on June 23. The submission deadline was June 12.[24] The winner was Wan Muhammad Azzim.[25]

The premiere event featured the first and only ever live performance of the single version of "Iridescent".[26] The performance of the song was highlighted on MTV, MTV2, mtvU, VH1 Classic and Palladia at 8:55pm ET/PT on June 24. A 30-minute piece aired the following week on June 30 in English speaking countries.[25]

On July 22, 2011, the show was released in MP3 format as a prize for the "Iridescent Super-Fun Trading Fun-Cards" game as Live In Red Square. After all six cards were collected, fans could enter the codes from each card at Linkin Park's website to get a free download of the full show.[27]




In Other Media

  • "Iridescent" is featured in the 2010 film Alpha And Omega.
  • An alternate version of "Iridescent" is featured in the 2011 film Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and was included in its soundtrack album.

External Links


  1. Linkin Park Fans: A Rare Opportunity to Own a Piece of | Reverb News, April 02, 2018
  2. Linkin Park Tell Thousand Suns Critics To 'Go Find Something You Like' - MTV, September 17, 2010
  3. Mike Q&A Summary 7/9/2020 - Newswire - Linkin Park Live, July 10, 2020
  4. 4.0 4.1 Iridescent: Transformers 3 Single « Mike Shinoda's Blog, April 13, 2011
  5. Live music making: fan's choice, 2000 pop - YouTube, May 08, 2020
  6. Making of the Iridescent Music Video | LPTV #59 | Linkin Park - YouTube, July 11, 2011
  7. Linkin Park To Headline 'Transformers' Premiere In Moscow - MTV, May 23, 2011
  8. Behind the Scenes of Linkin Park’s ‘Iridescent’ Video From ‘Transformers 3′, June 09, 2011
  9. "Iridescent" Music Video Premiere -, June 3, 2011
  10. Transcript: LPU Chat with Chester | LP Association Forums, August 02, 2011
  11. Linkin Park's Joe Hahn - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? - YouTube, September 24, 2014
  12. LPLive: Mike Q&A Summary 7/1/2020, July 1, 2020
  13. Linkin Park "Iridescent" - Transformers 3 Soundtrack | Dolby - YouTube, June 29, 2011
  14. Linkin Park | "Iridescent"
  15. Watch "Iridescent" in 3D after TF3 -, June 28, 2011
  16. Iridescent Music Video soon in 3D cinemas
  17. PassmoreLab Teams with Linkin Park and Warner Bros. to Produce Iridescent Music Video into 3D
  18. Iridescent video now available in 3D on YouTube | LP Association Forums, July 01, 2011
  19. Linkin Park - Iridescent (2011) | IMVDb
  20. Cardon Children's Medical Center | Banner Health
  21. 5th Annual Stars of the Season - The Red Book, November 11, 2014
  22. Official SOTS Music Video "Iridescent" by Linkin Park - YouTube, October 30, 2014
  23. Linkin Park and Transformers 3: First Look -, April 18, 2011
  24. “Iridescent” artwork contest « Mike Shinoda's Blog, May 25, 2011
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Winning "Iridescent" Artwork, "Iridescent" Performance To Be Shown On MTV & VH1 | LP Association Forums, June 23, 2011
  26. 23.06.2011 - Moscow, Russia - Transformers: Dark of the Moon Premiere | LP Association Forums, June 22, 2011
  27. "Iridescent" Trading Cards + Surprise - Newswire - Linkin Park Live, July 22, 2011