With every major show there’s that moment. It’s the moment that makes it worth waiting in queues for hours, fighting for a spot in front, defending that spot for another few hours and paining through an opening act that’s not really appropriate for the main act. All the lights switch off and you know, and the 45 000 people around you know, that it is about to happen. Linkin Park is taking the stage.
And I was one of a lucky handful to see it all from the stage itself. The chances of mixing with an international band are rather slim. There’s the possibility of a chance meeting (as those who were at Caprice on Thursday night know). And there are competitions or the less kosher alternative of stalking.
But through the Linkin Park fan club, Linkin Park Underground (LPU), fans got the opportunity to buy passes to an ‘LPU Summit’. Only the seventh summit hosted in the world, it included a day of backstage tours, meeting the band and crew as well as access to limited edition gear. Not to mention watching the sound check and the pyrotechnics test. I’ll be living off the bragging rights for a while.
So having spent a day emerged in everything Linkin Park, we were now teetering on the very edge of the stage, sharing with those 45 000 others that Moment before the band struck up their first chords. And this moment was beyond everything else we experienced during the day. The unanimous euphoria of 45 000 fans was a pure adrenalin-rush thrill. Twenty-somethings who had shared the band’s teenage angst in the beginning years and matured with them to the new material. A sixteen year old who loved the band with the power of a thousand suns and was chaperoned by her mother for her first gig. Fans who never expected to see Linkin Park on South African soil with most of the original members and no dentures. There is a lot of love for Linkin Park on this southern tip of South Africa.
And Linkin Park gave the love back tenfold. With a catalogue of 10 years they managed to please a very picky crowd. From ‘Papercut’ in Hybrid Theory to ‘Bleed it Out’ to ‘Victimised’ in their latest album Living Things. When Chester temporarily forgot the words to a song the crowd was there to back him up. They had been waiting ten long years for this show.
Jana van Heerden