Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ingrid's Linkin Park Experience in Brisbane

Words… they fail me. Well, almost.

So where to start?

My memories and thoughts are jumbled so it is hard to figure out where everything really started and ended.

The first thing I remember was arriving at the venue, The Brisbane Entertainment Center on 3rd December, and checking into the cloak room. I was organizing everything I needed, including the Christmas presents (Australian Animal shot glasses for the band) and cards I had picked out earlier that day for the band. I also had a beautiful and masculine Sagittarius Necklace for Linkin Park member, Brad’s birthday.

Jess (one of my best friends - you will hear about her in this account) and I packed away and clocked in our things, passed security proceeding to bolt up the stairs to the volunteering area where we met up with Lyndon. Lyndon, who is not much older than me, is head volunteer for the Music For Relief (MFR) booth. He did a head count, only about 9 of us - Jess and I being the only girls.

A few minutes later, a very important and busy looking guy walked over and introduced himself to us. His name was Hugo and he shook all out hands and amazingly knew each of our names. Hugo as it turned out, is Linkin Park’s production coordinator. We then proceeded to set up the stall and hauled in interested people to promote MFR. All the time, I counted down the minutes till I would be meeting my favourite band. Because, as a member of the coveted fanclub “Linkin Park Underground”, I had been given the opportunity to attend a Meet and Greet with the very band I admire so much. And boy was I excited!

7:15 pm finally came and I dashed off to the waiting area to meet the band, their cards and presents in hand. Hugo came out and walked over to me and asked me how I was feeling, knowing how excited I was. I told him I was okay, just really nervous and he smiled and gave some words of encouragement. Minutes and minutes went past as the meet and greet was being organized. Our names were ticked off and our passes given out and to fill in the extra few minutes Hugo and another important guy called Maurice held a quick quiz about the band members, giving away shirts so anyone who could answer the questions correctly.

Then it was time to go in.

One by one, each person approached the table and met the band, getting their item signed and engaging in brief chitchat. Just before I got my first glimpse of the band my friend Alex turns to me and warned that Mike was the first at the table.

”Oh No!” I thought. I was doomed to be a stuttering fangirl. Hugo tried to help calm my nerves as we joked around to lighten the nervousness. Before I knew it, my turn was up.

Mike looked at me as I approached the table. I asked him to sign the shirt I brought and handed him my Christmas card for the band. He thanked me for the cards. The moment passed by so fast, I wasn’t sure what to think.

Next was Brad. He had already signed my shirt so I have him his stuff and moved onto Rob, who was next in line.

I was a little disappointed at this point because Mike and Brad were the two I was most excited to meet, and they were the most distant during the signing.

Rob was up next. I was somewhat surprised to see Rob, who usually seems like a pretty reserved guy, really very cheerful that day. His smile definitely bought my spirits up and I might add - he’s even more attractive than in photos…

Joe was sitting next to Rob and I handed to him the shotglasses Christmas gift for the band, which he thanked me, ”Yeah, these are awesome! Thanks so much!”

It was Chester next. I was feeling pretty fine by now, the only thing making me nervous was the pressure to be quick so everyone could keep moving. Chester had seen the shotglasses and commented, “”I’m gonna put wheatgrass in mine!”

Finally it was Phoenix, who is just the coolest dude. Unfortunately we didn’t get to exchange much talk because of the time pressure but he signed my shirt with a smile.

I then moved off into the photo zone where we were allowed take pictures of the band. This is the one time I’m so thankful I’m short because I was placed in front of the group photo.

This is when things went a little crazy on my part. But the moment Mike got up I started speed-chanting “MikeMikeMikeMikeMikeMike”. I didn’t really realize I was doing it until he looked at me and started walking over.

Then, before I knew it, his hand was on my shoulder as he slipped around me until he was directly behind me. I also then realized that within 2 feet of me, crouching in front of Amy was Rob. We have two of the LP guys right within our personal space!

A few shots later, it was time for the boys to head off to get ready for their live show. I sprinted back to the volunteer booth and told Jess, with my joy-filled expression about what had happened during the meet and greet.

It was then time for us volunteers to get our seats for the live concert. We didn’t realize just how close we’d be through. We were surprised when we were brought by the handlers to the mosh standing zone!

“You guys are getting prime area. Front area. Near the stage.”


In a matter of minutes I was about to watch my favourite band perform live for the first time. A giant Mexican Wave began and circled around the arena from tiered seating down to us on the floor and then back up and around and around and around. This went for 5 minutes non-stop. Eventually has the excitement and anticipation in the air grew thicker everything was going quieter and quieter.

Eventually… Linkin Park came on stage!

A heavy bass echoed through the hall as the house lights was turned down and the stage lights went wild. Next thing I know I was jumping, throwing my body up and down to the beat of “Wretches and Kings”, fists banging in the air.

Mike came up to the front in a plaid shirt and blue sunglasses, and the crowd roared as he entered the first verse. We all thundered as everyone jumped a little higher, feet on the floor creating a mesmerizing backing beat to the song as Chester ripped our the chorus.

The energy was so alive. The mood was set. The show has officially begun.

Song after song from the new album was a hit with fans but it was the nostalgic hits that really hit the chords with fans. “Numb”, “Crawling” and “Faint” were the crowd favourites, intertwining with “Minutes to Midnight” album hits, “Shadow of the Day”, which had everyone swaying together, hands in the air as Chester belted out the heartfelt chorus.

When “One Step Closer” began, my heart-fluttered. It was the first LP song I had ever heard, bringing back memories and the feeling of the connection being re-made. I fought back joyous tears, the smile on my face glowing along with the sweat I had so proudly exerted.

However, out of their older hits, I connected with “Breaking The Habit” the most. This has been my official theme song ever since its release. “In The End” also resounded in my soul, for it gave me an escape which I so desperately needed growing up.

Then, the band played the last track from the new “A Thousand Suns” album called “The Messenger”. Brad came to the edge of the stage, strumming the acoustic guitar, a small smile on his face. A now shirtless Chester clutched the microphone and stood looking down at him.

“It’s Brad’s birthday today,” Chester said.

The crowd cheered.

And Chester began to sing happy birthday to the songs tunes instead of the usual way. We all followed.

“Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Brad,
Happy birthday to you.”

Here's a vid of Brad's birthday song, taken by my friend Neil:

Finally, before I knew it (and far too soon for my liking) the band were off the stage but it wasn’t long before the crowd was screaming for an encore which the boys graciously delivered in the form of “The Catalyst” and a few other hit songs including “Bleed It Out”.

But, as always everything must end and as an exhausted Chester rang out the last notes it was time to farewell the men that I had waited so long to see.

It was a bittersweet goodbye but whilst I was sad it was over, I was far more elated that it happened.


As an extra, my friend Jess offered to contribute her feelings on the concert.

“As a person who's not really a big Linkin Park fan, I was hesitant when Ingrid asked me if I wanted to go to the concert. She told me I could get in for free, and all I had to do was volunteer for Music For Relief, a worthy charity. So I went along, to keep Ingrid company and to help support Music for Relief, not expecting much from the concert really.

Well, as it got closer to the concert, Ingrid’s excitement rubbed off on me, as well as everyone within a 2-metre radius. Soon enough we were all very keen to head inside and watch Linkin Park.

Once we got in there and realized how close we were to the stage, the excitement set in and soon enough the band was on stage and we were all singing and dancing along to all the songs (whether I knew them or not).

Well, after the concert it’s safe to say I was made a Linkin Park fan. It was amazing and the best concert I've been to. I now listen to Linkin Park and re-live the awesome moments had at the concert and I would have no hesitation in going to see them again.”

– Jess D


On the 14th of December, I will be flying down to Sydney for the first time to attend Linkin Park’s second ever LPU summit on the 15th and their Sydney concert that night.

This has been an incredible LP journey so far and one I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to share with you all.

Until this time next week,

Ingrid out.

Note: Pics are all by my friend Neil

Having worked in the music industry before, Red Dot Diva says that it continues to amaze her on how different kinds of music take hold of people's lives in a myriad of ways. And how people of celebrity have the power to make a difference. And Linkin Park sure did in Ingrid's case.

Read her preliminary blog on why Linkin Park is important to her in a previous blog post. Click here.

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