Linkin Park’s Living Things World Tour: A Dream Come True Concert

There are dreams that seem unreachable and impossible. Yet if you just wish hard and pray sincerely enough, one day that dream might just come true.

I missed Linkin Park’s concert when they first came here in 2004. I was still a student during that time and spending for concert shows was not an attractive idea. So when the concert industry took a second wind with international acts coming to the country to perform, I was one of the million soldiers who went to social media to petition concert producers to take Linkin Park here.

The bands just kept on coming—old and new, they caught me under a spell that I find myself wanting to watch their every show. Yet deep inside, I was hoping that Chester, Mike, Joe, Brad, Rob, and Phoenix would take notice of their Filipino fans and come back to the Philippines.

Then the day came. Gut feeling was already telling me that finally, LP will drop by the country as part of their world tour. They day before they made the official announcement I got news from a friend that it was indeed, LP, having a concert by August 13.

The sudden euphoria when the one thing you’ve been waiting for to happen actually happens. Excitement takes over your whole body and you spread the news to your friends who are also fans of the band.

Then reality hits me. The venue was too far (you were expecting Araneta) and then ticket prices made me cry. Too expensive. I just don’t want to empty my pocket that way. It’s just too impractical. Yet deep inside, I knew that if anyone asked me to have VIP tickets with him/her, I would easily give in. (Thank God no friend did!). So I took my time deciding which ticket to purchase and finally settled with the next best section available—Gold Standing.

Like the other hard core fans, I joined contests.

I told myself if I cannot be the first in line of the crowd, I might as well meet the band. So I wished hard. I prayed hard for a miracle.

I was about to give up.

Surprise

Morning of the concert, I got the best news of my life (so far): I won a Meet and Greet pass from Scala Events (the local producer) and LPU. Was I dreaming? I had to check my e-mail again and again. Damn. There was my name!

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I didn’t care if I had to wake up early to cover an event in the morning. All I knew was my prayers have been answered. I am going to meet my favorite band.

You know that feeling when you are about to do something big you get too scared? That was what I was feeling as the clock ticked that day.

“I am going to meet Linkin Park.

“I am going to meet Linkin Park!

“Oh, God. Please don’t let me say or do stupid things when it’s my turn. Oh, wait. I hope they make it a one-on-one session. Not just a photo op. I really want to talk to them….

“What will I say to them? ‘I am your biggest fan.’ No. I don’t think I can say that. I know I’m not.

“What took you so long to come back?”

Yeah. If you saw me roaming the streets with an odd look on my face that day, that was because I was having all these thoughts in my head.

Meeting your fellow soldiers

The nice thing about concerts especially during M&Gs is you get to meet people who also dig your favorite band. Some of them you might just know by their online names while you meet there in the venue itself.

I had to rush to the venue because we had a call time. Falling in line, I met the other winners/fans. The guy before me was Carl. The girl behind me was Eunice.

The walk to the M&G room was short but it was like a lifetime.

Missy (in charge of the M&G) briefed us on how the process will take place. There would a group photo with the band and then we would have to take steps back so we would form a line with our backs on the wall and wait for our turn for the band members to approach us and sign our stuff (poster, shirt, CD. I chose the cover of my Living Things CD).

Missy had to remind us again of the rules:

No one-on-one picture taking

Stay in your line

Don’t faint when it’s your turn.

 

Meeting the band

Everyone was trying to calm down while waiting for the band. A lot of fans were warming up with the others. Some were taking souvenir photos of the group.

When Mr. Hann stepped in, the room went crazy. I had to crane my neck to see him. And even before we had formed our line, he started approaching us and signing our stuff. He was the first to sign my CD. I was so stunned I didn’t get to say anything but, “Hi, welcome back!”

The rest of the LP members came in and you could tell Mike and Chester was in the room because everyone, even the boys, just couldn’t help themselves.

The official photo for the LPU website had to be taken first so we had to sit down. I was seated near guitarist Brad and Chester sat front and center. I had to stop myself from moving upfront because it would look impolite for me to leave Brad, right?

Photo courtesy of Linkin Park Underground

Photo courtesy of Linkin Park Underground

What touched me was how Mike squeezed himself among the people at the back when he could have just stayed up front. It was really very nice of him to do that.

We then waited for our turn to have our items signed. Phoenix, Brad and Rob all got my shy “Welcome back and thank you”. You could tell I was bracing myself for my turn with Mike and Chester.

Mike, Mike, Mike. Such a cool and sweet guy. He was the only one from the band whose smile never faded during the entire M&G. And you can really feel he was sincere. I really wanted to hug him. I wish I did.

Waiting for THE Chester Bennington to come my way.

Waiting for THE Chester Bennington to come my way.

Now when it was Chester’s turn to sign my CD, here was how it went (not verbatim though):

Me (when Chester was about to sign my CD cover): Uhm…Hi, Chester (smiling, holding my breath). Welcome back to Manila.

Chester (looking at me, smiling too): Thank you! It’s nice to be back. (about to turn to the girl next to me)

Me: Yeah, it took you so long. Nine years…(still holding my breath)

Chester (turning his attention back to me): Wow, that long?

Me: Yeah…

I swear, I could have died there. Okay, maybe that’s too much but it really felt that way. It was surreal. It was my dream coming true.

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Then Some More

I was in hysteria as I was talking to my friend on the phone (Oh yeah, I have his tickets! Haha!) but nothing prepared me for what was about to happen next.

We thought we were being ushered back to the entrance. We found ourselves at the VIP section of the concert grounds.

I just had to scream. Good thing Eunice (who became my concert buddy for that night) was as ecstatic as me. I just couldn’t believe my luck.

Urbandub was on their last few songs when we got there. Too bad I didn’t get to watch their set in full. Just the same, I was dancing and singing when they sang First of Summer.

We waited for Linkin Park to start their show. We didn’t get disappointed. What took place in the next minutes was what the fans had been hoping for. We waited for nine years (13 for me).

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A lot of their songs came from the Hybrid Theory and Meteora albums but they also played few tracks from A Thousand Suns and their latest, Living Things:

A Place for My Head

Papercut

Given Up

New Divide

With You

Somewhere I Belong

 

Lies Greed Misery

Points of Authority

Waiting in the End

Breaking the Habit

 

Castle of Glass

Leave Out All the Rest/Shadow of the Day/Iridescent

Numb

What I’ve Done

Burn it Down

In the End

Bleed it Out

 

Encore

Tinfoil

Faint

Lying from You

OSC

 

It’s very. very difficult to choose which song or set was the best because I enjoyed every part of the concert. But I really loved the medley of Leave Out All the Rest, Shadow of the Day, and Iridescent. The entire Mall of Asia brightened with lights coming from the audience’ phones and glow sticks. And the three songs really hold a special place in my heart so it was really an effort not to cry during this set!

We were standing a few meters away from the stage. And it was really hard to see the band since most of the people had their cameras or phones up! I hated the fact that the two guys in front of me were big guys (they were foreigners) so I just enjoyed the music and let the crowd push me towards the stage.

With more push and with my size, I finally found myself standing in the second row of the right side of the stage. It was amazing.

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Then during the encore, Mike crowd surfed (on my other side) and Chester came closer to the audience! Everyone was trying to get close to him. I was right there in the middle, getting squeezed by these people around me. Instead of resisting the force, I allowed myself to get pushed again. Then I started reaching out…

At first I got the wrong hand but on my second try, I had my left hand around Chester’s right arm. I didn’t care if my neck was killing me or if people were still trying to get close to Chester. I held on to him for as long I could remember. He was belting out and I was like holding on for dear life.

Then it came to the part we hated the most: the band playing their last song and saying goodbye to the crowd.

We didn’t want them to go. Flyers that bear “Come back soon!” were also noticed by the band.

“Best crowd in the tour so far,” was what Chester said of the Filipino fans.

Like the rest of LP soldiers, I hope it doesn’t take them another nine years to come back.

Right now though, almost a month after the concert, I still couldn’t believe I have ticked one item off my bucket list: to watch Linkin Park live and meet them in person.

It just goes to show that dreams really do come true.

what happened in 2010

Don’t you just love it when life gives you surprises just when you thought everything sucks? Surprisingly, 2010 has been a good year to me. I say ‘surprisingly’ because the last month of 2009 has been filled with dealing with bad news, anger and resentment that I guess I really didn’t launch my hopes to the highest notch as the first month of 2010 came. But looking back at the months that passed by, I am happy to share some of the highlights that made this year a year of blessings for me:

New work, semi-old faces. I say new work, semi-old faces because even though I ended my stint in a magazine and became part of another printed medium, I still go to the same office and the best part? With the same team. The latter part of the year saw me slowly going out of my comfort zone and actually writing small stories. (It was surreal seeing your name on print, knowing more people would be able to see it). I am blessed for the confidence my boss(es) gave me. I know I still have a lot to learn but I also know I have to really trust my self.

Freebies galore. I saw concerts, shows, movies and basically enjoyed my leisure time without necessarily spending a lot of money. Thanks to some friends, I was able to see Avatar when it premiered on cinemas (and in 3D!), I got to see Chris Carraba and the rest of Dashboard Confessional (will always be thankful to that person who let me go with her), had fun with the Supafest concert featuring Kelly Rowland, Sean Kingston, T Pain and Flo Rida and yes, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake (plus Jojo in her one-song performance) in Changing Lives concert. There were also times when I just got into joining the group and yet ended up having a blast just like the time my office mates asked me to join them to watch a jazz concert and Pete Best’s show in Manila. The latter is one for the books. I actually saw Ely Buendia perform live and then got the chance to shake his hand just when I thought the chance had passed. This year, I actually joined more contests (hehe) and won some. I got to watch Knight and Day (Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz), Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole (where 30 Seconds to Mars’ Kings and Queens was part of the OST), You Again (Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis).

This year, I was able to (finally) see Rent on stage. Watching theatrical performances is something I would have loved to do in a regular basis but unfortunately, I barely see a play. So when the opportunity came, I gladly grabbed it and I did not regret doing so (even if it meant going home super late in the evening).

I also made it a point to watch the first part of Harry Potter’s final book and the last installment of Toy Story (both films are the second and top movies of 2010, respectively). I had to make a hard choice between HP and the Gin Blossoms concert (not really a hard choice since I chose the movie over the concert for practical reasons) but that’s also what the year that went by was all about — compromise.

More of ‘cultural exposures’, I’m happy that I’ve been able to attend this year’s Cine Europa with my college friends. It has been a tradition for us to meet and see a movie or two but lately we have been remiss of our vow of sort that when three of my classmates came to watch it with me, it kinda made up for the others’ absence.

Friendship. I’m blessed to have met new people at work, share some of every day’s rants and raves, knowing they understand because they too undergo the same things. I am also happy that I was able to touch base with my friends from the past. During the first quarter of the year, a classmate and friend from high school left us. Although it was a painful and sad experience — on my part there was regret on how I have let the years passed by without trying to reach out to more people from my past — it allowed me and my other classmates to share a night or two remembering the good old days (back when our fears were limited to being caught by our OSA and seeing our crush or acing our exam spelled happiness) and re-building the friendship later on.

2010 taught me as well the virtue of acceptance when it comes to relationships such as friendship. Accept that people change and that no matter how much you wanted things to stay the same or go your way, that can’t be the case. The sooner you accept this, the easier for you to move on. This year, I learned to just let things go their way not because I’m too scared to get hurt but because I know that things happen for a reason.

2010 may not be a romantic year for me but I am still grateful for all the love I got from my family and friends. Unlike the past years where I easily get depressed knowing I am unattached, the past year saw me actually content with just having to deal with myself. There were occasional fluttering(s) of the hearts every now and then, of course. But I learned not to be in a hurry.

The first three quarters of the year was rather financially-challenging but I’m glad before 2010 was over, I was able to settle almost all my obligations.

It maybe a year full of struggle but it was also a year full of blessings. And the best part of this, I think, is that I can share my blessings with my loved ones.