The title will make sense in a moment.
Last night was the delivery on a Christmas present to all of us. Goddess, son and I sped to Nashville after work to go to the Sommet Center. If you haven’t figured out by now, live music is my thing. I’ve been spending a lot more money on concerts since my mid-teens than I’d like to think about. But I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences. Not a single one.
Headlining was Linkin Park. All three in this house are huge fans and we were quite excited to see this show; matter of fact, hand me a beer (or three) and a microphone and I’ll karaoke with LP. Heck, at that point I’ll karaoke with just about anything.
Opening up was Chiodos (pretty good), followed by Coheed and Cambria (meh). We scored floor tickets (General Admission) since I’m a huge fan of being down in the mass of bodies. For rock shows, that’s all part of the experience.
As soon as we got down to the floor, son hooked up with his friends and was gone; we didn’t see him again until everything was over. Goddess and I hung out to listen to Chiodos, milled about during intermission, then left after a few Coheed and Cambria (C&C) songs to get a beverage (Widmer Hefeweizen for me, Michelob Ultra for her). We stood out in the atrium and watched the folks milling about. Plenty of others weren’t too impressed with C&C. Don’t get me wrong, they were not bad. Matter of fact, I though the individual members (especially the guitarist) were quite good, but as a whole they just didn’t do it for me. The songs that I heard were very formulaic and it was difficult for me to tell the difference between songs. In other words, nothing grabbed me. Although I did get a laugh out of watching the hirsute lead singer, who tilted his head forward, sending his hair over his face, making me think of Cousin Itt.
Goddess and I partook in one of our favorite activities – watching people. There were all kinds. From 12-year old girls in mini-skirts and F-me pumps trying to look 19 to 55 year old women in mini-skirts and F-me pumps trying to look 19. Goddess and I were quite catty from time to time, but it was all in good fun. Quote of the night? “He’s going down on that hot dog like he hasn’t had a date in a week“.
C&C finished, so we headed back to the floor. Since the crowd had thinned out for beverage and potty breaks, we were able to get up to about 20′ from the stage. Perfect. Initially I was surprised that Goddess wanted to get that close, but she said “Hey, it’s Linkin Park”. I was surprised since she’s never been a big fan of being close to the stage, ever since I made the mistake of taking her to her first big concert in Tokyo and poising us to be up next to the stage for The Prodigy. She lasted about 3 minutes in that crush of humanity. I lasted about 10 minutes, but dislocating my shoulder put an end to that pit. Good times!
Anyway, we stood and stood and stood. I figured it would be about 30 minutes between bands. The crew was done with the stage in 30 minutes, but we stood there for another 25 minutes before LP took the stage.
Back to the title. While standing there waiting for LP to take the stage, the crowd did the usual chanting for the band – “Linkin Park, Linkin Park”. It made Goddess and I laugh, thinking about good friends who saw LP play in Tokyo. It’s stereotypical and certainly not meant to be mean, but they couldn’t help but laugh as the Japanese crowd did the same thing, except it was “Rinkin Park, Rinkin Park”.
LP played for an hour, flowing from song to song, some fast, some slow. Excellent show from start to finish. They alternated new and old songs, so there was plenty for everyone. I laughed at one point, watching Mr Han, who’s the DJ for LP, playing “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with the cameraman during a point in a song where Mr Han didn’t have anything to play.
Goddess even swooned as Chester, one of her many, many, many “boyfriends”, peeled his shirt off. Since he started off the show in a jean jacket and t-shirt and was jumping all around the stage, I have no doubt that he was hot.
At the end of the hour, they bowed. Time for the first encore, which they came back and played a few slower songs, then ramped it up for couple more, then said goodnight again. Everyone headed for the exits. Goddess and I giggled, since the house lights weren’t coming on. The show’s not over until the house lights come on. So we moved forward and got up to about 5′ from the stage. The crowd thinned out even more. As expected, LP came out for a second encore and we were right up front.
Now, it wasn’t quite the second encore that we were hoping for. Last weekend in New York, Jay-Z came out for the second encore. We were hoping, since we’re big Jay-Z fans too. Especially when he and LP teamed up for their Collision Course. Great stuff! So the encore was “just” LP.
Up to this point, the crowd had been pretty energetic but behaved themselves pretty well. As LP launched into “One Step Closer“, the pit blew up since there was more room and folks could move around. I’m fine with that and actually welcome it, but one kid came flying across right at Goddess, swinging his fists about head-high. I snapped into protection mode. The kid didn’t partake in the pit the rest of the song, but I certainly did. 😉
Son and his friends were among those that made the choice to head for the exits after the first encore. So he got an eagle-eye view of the last song, including the pit. He couldn’t believe that we were up in the midst of it. He kept asking “really?”.
Afterwards we took our time filtering out so the crowd could disperse. The normal 45-minute drive took 2.5 hours! As we drove down to Nashville it was snowing. Not too hard, just flurries. But while we were in the concert, the temperature dropped and the ice set up on the roads and interstates. What a freakin’ mess. We sat in one line for our interstate exit for 30 minutes, then took a detour and worked our way through back roads. We got around the accidents, but it was a harrowing drive for the last 40 miles. We drive a Subaru Outback and love its all-wheel-drive. But there were stretches where I was holding the wheel straight and the crosswind was pushing us sideways across the lanes. We finally made it; not everyone did (that video was at least 7 hours after we passed). Son got to bed just four hours before he had to be at school; it was a rough day for him today. But hey, I did the same thing at his age, getting home from The Who‘s (first of many) farewell tours just in time to shower and head to the bus stop.
Me? I took the day off. And took advantage of the weather to get out and take some pictures.
Next concert? This weekend – WILCO at the Ryman Theater on Sunday. Even sooner if I can convince Goddess to go to Kid Rock on Friday night (it being Nashville, with any luck Hank Williams, Jr. will make an appearance). If not, the next one with tickets already bought is Gigantour (Megadeth, Children of Bodom, Job for Cowboy and High on Fire); Goddess will sit that one out, hanging out in the hotel room with Skinny while I take son and a couple of his friends.
Whatever your choice in music – live it, feel it, enjoy it.