Jul. 4th, 2017

rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: riku, blindfolded and smiling slightly. (we'll be the darkness)
I don't have much experience of large music events. I've been to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain a few times, mainly in small rooms, once at the Royal Albert Hall. I saw a Paul Simon concert in my teens, in a well-lit room with a largely middle-aged audience. I saw Glee Live! at the O2 six years ago.

Linkin Park is not quite like any of those things.

But I saw Linkin Park at the O2 last night, and it was great. Extremely loud! Which probably shouldn't be a surprise. But great. I'm glad I've now belted out 'Crawling' with an arena full of people to the accompaniment of lovely piano music. It took me a while to grasp that going to a screaming rock concert is not at all like going to a Paul Simon concert and singing along is encouraged. We all made very dramatic gestures during 'In the End'.

They did everything I could have hoped for! 'Castle of Glass', 'Breaking the Habit', 'Crawling', 'Leave Out All the Rest', 'Faint', 'What I've Done', 'In the End'. At the end I was going 'wow, what a great setlist, but I wish they'd done "Numb",' and then they came back on and did it for the encore.

(A part of me was a little sad they didn't do the one cover I've ever heard Linkin Park do, which, to my absolute bewilderment, is 'Rolling in the Deep'. I DON'T KNOW WHY THIS EXISTS, BUT I'LL TAKE IT.)

'It's weird when they're polite,' my friend whispered to me, after lead singer Chester called 'Thank you!' to the enthusiastic audience. Moments later he launched into 'One Step Closer', which required him to scream 'SHUT UP WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU' at us for a full twenty seconds. I could see what she meant.

Chester steadily stripped off more and more items of clothing as the evening went on. He was shirtless by the encore. I was really curious to see whether he'd lose the trousers. Alas, no. He also inexplicably (but delightfully) spent most of the first couple of songs spin-jumping on the spot and waving his arms.

As mentioned, this was a pretty new experience for me, so some things really caught me by surprise. You can feel the drums vibrating through your chest, like a heartbeat. Some irrational part of me was struck by the fear that the drums had somehow replaced or taken control of my heartbeat, and that my heart would stop when the drums did. (It did not. I am fine and have not been forced to hire Linkin Park's drummer to follow me around for my continued survival.)

I wish I could go back in time and tell thirteen-year-old me about this; she'd be awed.

(I briefly wondered which icon to use for this entry. Riku. Of course it's Riku. Riku is by far the most Linkin Park character in my icon collection and is possibly the most Linkin Park character of all the characters I love.)