Enjoying the afterglow of Linkin Park live in Amsterdam, June 20 2017

Some bla-dee-bla

My little brother and I used to listen to Linkin Park a lot when we were teenagers. Our neighbors had somewhat gotten used to the sound of Hybrid Theory, Meteora and Reanimation blasting violently through the walls of our appartement.

The other day I bumped into an old neighbor and he said he missed the loud music coming from our old appartement. Here I assumed I was torturing the neighborhood, but it turned out not everyone was displeased with my speaker testing skills 😀

Anyway.

I’ve always had this sort of love-hate thing with Linkin Park’s music. I love the band, I love their music. They experiment a lot and some of their experiments just don’t give me that “oh yessss” feeling right away.. In a previous blog entry, I expressed my disappointment about this new sound the band went for on their new album. Obviously the new album sounds nothing like Hybrid Theory. Which isn’t a bad thing, btw. It’s all a matter of taste and everyone is allowed to like and dislike whatever they want. But on the other hand; change is good and variety is the spice of life.

Most musicians actually enjoy to try out new things and experiment with sound, to keep things fresh and interesting for themselves. It’s part of making music. Who cares if the rest of the world doesn’t like your experiment? It’s not the end of the world. Besides… There’s nothing more boring than having to do the same thing over and over and over without the ability to switch things up and trying new things in between.

If I as a worship leader would make my church band play the same old Hallelujah song every given Sunday,  I’d piss them and the regular church member off real good. I’d be praying to God to make the praise & worship service go by as fast as possible, because I too get annoyed when I have to sing that same old Hallelujah song again and again and again. I can only imagine what it’s like for a band like Linkin Park.

linkin_park_heavy_by_mugni27-daz8vd5One More Light has really grown on me. The album has become part of my morning routine. I’m discovering sounds I didn’t notice before in each song. It’s a great bundle of songs to play now during these hot summer days. I just love how gifted each musician in the band is. I love how warm Mike Shinoda sings these adorable songs for the people he cares for. How tender and fragile Chester sings the title song.

Another bonus; It’s nice to finally be able to play a Linkin Park album loud and proud without terrifying my own mother. A few days ago I was listening to Battle Symphony while preparing Sunday’s liturgy. My old mother thought it was a religious song and asked whether I was preparing the song for a Sunday Church Service. Imagine that; singing a Linkin Park tune during praise & worship at church? That’d be different for sure.

 

More bla-dee-bla

Words cannot express how excited I was when the word got out that Linkin Park would perform in the capital city of the land of wooden shoes and windmills. I was soooo thrilled! Of course I made sure to get my hands on some floor tickets.

It had been 3 years since I had seen this amazing band perform live. For my brother it would be the first time ever. I had been counting the days, listening to their new album even more than I did before that.

Finally, it was June 20th and my alarm clock was set early. The night before I had prepared a disposable survival bag. My brother and I wanted to be near the venue early enough, because we were determined to reach the front row. In 2014 I went crazy and went camping at the venue as early as 8.00 in the morning. All to make sure I’d reach the front row. This year I decided to tone the crazy down a notch, though. It was going to be a hot day, about 25 Celsius. So this time we’d just take things as they go, no rush just laid back and pelan-pelan 🙂

stock-photo-22021117-concert-crowdI’ve always aimed for front row at almost any given concert I had the pleasure of experiencing. All the training gained during Backstreet Boys concerts could finally be put to use again. Seriously, it can be quite scary when you’re surrounded by a herd of hormonal teenaged girls. Being surrounded by a herd of overly excited men can be quite intimidating as well. But thankfully the herd that follows Linkin Park is as diverse as the music the band makes.

It was about 11:30 in the morning when my brother and I arrived the capital city of the land of windmills. There had already gathered quite a crowd in front of the venue. But since the weather was nice that day, we decided to get a few drinks and joined the enthusiastic crowd later on. Had some delicious salted caramel milkshakes at the local Febo. They’re just to die for! In total, my brother and I waited roughly 5 hours in front of the venue before the doors finally opened.

black-friday-shoppingThat moment when the doors open I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. I remember at previous concerts how it felt like being born again, because one literally gets shoved through the doors by the crowd. It must be a terrifying yet funny sight for a venue staff member on the other side.

In a haze my brother and I moved through the ticket and security check up line. A lot of other [mostly females] had large purses and handbags and were told that they were not allowed inside with these bags. Thankfully my brother and I had already gotten rid of the disposable survival bag. Once we passed the final security, we rushed our way towards the stage. Since I had been to 2 other concerts in this very same venue years before,I already knew where to run to. Running while becoming more and more excited can be tricky, though. I almost fell flat on my face as we reached the barricades. First part of our mission of that day was accomplished; we reached front row.

 

Entrée: Sum41

None other than Canadian rock band Sum41 took the stage to warm up the crowd, another band my brother and I knew a song or two from our teenage years. Back in the 2000’s, the band reached the rock charts with infectious punk-rock songs like Fat Lip, In Too Deep and Still Waiting.  The band performed these known songs and new songs such as Goddamn I’m Dead Again and  from their latest album 13 Voices. It’s quite an underrated album if you ask me. It’s really good, I gave it a spin a few times to prepare myself for the concert.

You know what is amazing about a concert? The energy and the attempt to “sing” along to all the songs, even the ones you don’t know. I just love to just go all out and go crazy. It’s such a freeing experience; Like a bomb of adrenaline exploding within you. It’s what I call it having a good time. Sum41 sure as heck gave me a wonderful time with their show.

19433518_10155297278173346_2133283112_n.jpgMay I add that I was so close to the stage that I could basically look inside the nostrils of each performer passing my side? I was THAT close to the stage.  Words fail me to express how completely awesome it is to be THAT close to a stage. Leadsinger ‎Dave Baksh ran up to my side of the stage a few times. That guy is short but explosive like TNT. What an energy!

It almost felt like Tom Thacker [rhythm/lead guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist] rewarded me for my enthusiasm or something.  The guy threw a few guitar picks in my direction! The first time I wasn’t even aware of it. A guitar pick is rather small and the first one he threw wound up on the floor on the other side of the barricade. The second time Tom threw a guitar pick in my direction, the a security guard near the stage noticed it and was so kind to pick it up and hand it to me. Whether it was intended for me or not, I have it saved near the crummy old guitar I can’t play with.

This entrée served by Sum41 was stupendous!

Main Course: Linkin Park

After a wonderful time with Sum41 and a small break, it was time for the main course. Illuminating blue laser lights spark up from the stage, accompanied with thick smoke as an intro of Roads Untraveled plays. It still gives me goosebumps just thinking about that moment.

A Linkin Park concert is basically like experiencing an ongoing live medley of their ever-growing material. Which I personally find very impressive. Making a medley out of 3 random songs is quite a trick, let alone an entire repertoire of songs… It’s amazing how they fuse old and new songs and how AMAZING the new songs sound live, with barely a silent moment. A nice balance of classics such as One Step Closer, In The End and Breaking The Habit with new songs such as Good Goodbye and Battle Symphony.

Another interesting thought is that the band switches up their setlist a bit for each show they do on their tour. That way it’s always kind of a surprise for the crowd.

 

I  don’t think I’ve ever made it a secret that I’m a sucker for Mike Shinoda and his multitasking skills. The man runs from his keyboard to the stage with his guitar, raps and sings  while bouncing to every corner of the stage and then goes back to do it all over again.

Does he have ADHD? Where does he get the energy from? Holy macaroni! Shinoda can rap like a beast but when he sings it’s just oh so heartwarming.

I confess: Throughout most part of the concert I was either trying to make pictures with my crummy Samsung phone, squealing along or gawking at the poor guy. Kind of like the image displayed on the right…

Yeah… Talk about scary… 😆

 

Chester Bennington bounces over that stage like an energy bunny on steroids. That man is made of C4! EXPLOSIVE! It’s very impressive to see him go all out yet remain so focused in what he’s doing. My brother was quite impressed. What a voice! So gifted. His guitar skills aren’t too shabby either. It was a delight to witness Chester and Brad strum away to Sharp Edges.

I’m still craving for an acoustic album. That song right there is proof once again how the world is in need of an acoustic Linkin Park album. I could die happily if they would just grant me that one wish.

19228925_1625770194108074_8961842128057532416_nThe highlight of the concert, for me, was when the band brings the delicate One More Light. All you see is fans waving with their smartphones like a thousand stars. It’s the most beautiful sight. Here and there a fan is wiping a tear away. So touching, so breathtaking.

It’s also nice to see Joe having more to do on stage, he had no time to be bored. The guy did have time to sneak down to the barricades to snap a nifty picture of Chester singing to the fans. Joe also shook hands with the fans. His hand was rather cold as I remember.

There are those who only want to hear one type of music. For those kind of people a show like One More Light might not be their cup of tea. Those people should just stay home and listen to that one single album on auto-repeat.  But there are those who really loved it.

 

People, like my brother. He made some wonderful pictures of the concert by the way, you can admire them in this blog entry. My brother never heard the new album but fell in love with it there at the concert.

Every minute of this show was just an amazing experience. The crowd ate it all up like a bucket of Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel. Holy fudge, it was that good!There’s just so much going both on stage as in the crowd. Singing with a crowd like one throat is something so beautiful. If only people in church were as motivated to go all out like people were at this Linkin Park concert.

And then, before I realized it, it was all over. What a night! It was so awesome. I suppose I’m still in the afterglow of One More Light, ya’all… How I wish I could see this power band live just one more time this tour!

I’m also grateful for the loot I gathered of this concert; a brand new t-shirt of the One More Light tour, a sticker and Sum41’s Tom Thacker’s guitar pick. And loads and loads of pictures and videos.

The morning after

The next day was a regular work day but I was still feeling the afterglow of this amazing show.  If I had the money I’d travel along to each show of this tour. Make it a nice road trip 😀 Who knows, maybe someday I will do just that.

Luckily someone in the audience filmed the entire experience and shared it on youtube. It’s funny, cause I can actually see myself on the video too. But I won’t tell you where 😀

Anyways.. Thanks to the awesome person who filmed this, I and many others who can relive the moment of this wonderful concert once again. Do excuse me while I soak in the afterglow some more.

 

 

 


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