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2.26.08 - Sommet Center - Nashville, Tenn.


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Sommet Center, Nashville, Tenn.

2.26.2008

 

“A Night of Firsts”

 

The Background. When it comes to Linkin Park, I’ve always been a hardcore fan, dating back to their first days in 2000. I had all of their CDs, DVDs, etc., and had begun to get involved in Music For Relief. But there were two things I hadn’t experienced yet: Membership in the LPU and a live show...for various reasons beyond my control. Well, in December of 2007, that was all about to change. Awhile prior, I had found out my favorite band was coming to Nashville. I begged and pleaded with my parents to say, “Sure, go ahead.” (My parents were always and still are super protective of my sister and I.) Of course it was a no-go and it was looking like the chance to see LP was slipping away once again as it had for eight years prior. But then, in the middle of December, a trip I had been saving for fell through the morning we were supposed to leave. I was crushed. All of a sudden, my dad calls and his words were as follows, “Look, I know you’re bummed, but here’s what I want you to do…take the money you’ve saved for the trip and save it…we’ll go see Linkin Park in February.” I WAS STOKED!!

 

The month of February could not have come soon enough. I had already made arrangements to miss classes that night, had gotten my tickets and joined the LPU in the off chance I could get a meet and greet. In January, I had even signed up to be a volunteer at the MFR booth. Two weeks before the show though…I had a horrible scare. I had gotten sick. It was rotten timing. And it was something that was not going away - a dang respiratory infection. But I wasn’t going to let this illness stop me. And thankfully, I began to get better with just days to spare before the show. I finally was getting pumped. It was going to be an awesome show. All the pieces of the puzzle were coming together to make this night the best ever...with just one missing piece…a meet and greet pass. On the Friday before the show, the missing piece found its way to my email. On a very rainy and nasty February 22nd, I got the coveted email at 5:55 p.m.: I had been selected for the meet and greet! I was so excited and so nervous. February 26th would not come soon enough.

 

The Show. Finally, the day I’d been waiting for for almost eight years had arrived. It was a nasty February day in Tennessee as my dad and I got up early to make the three hour trek to Nashville. We’d decided to spend the day there and go to the show early. Around 2:30-3:00 p.m, we arrived in downtown Nashville at Sommet Center. We decided to go ahead into a lobby of Sommet Center that was open (since the doors weren’t open yet) due to the drop in temperature throughout the day. I wasn’t supposed to meet Missy, the MFR volunteer coordinator, until 4:30-5:00 pm, so we just chilled in Sommet’s lobby. The LP buses were already there and were parked outside. The excitement continued to build until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I decided to call Missy and see if there was any way we could come in and help her set up. Otherwise, I was going crazy just sitting and waiting. Hey, it couldn’t hurt was my logic. So, I dialed her cell and got her voicemail (CRAP!). So I left her a message and continued to get more and more anxious. Finally, my cell phone vibrated. It was Missy. After I explained to her that we were there, she was like…where are you? I’m coming to find you. So, we got out to where the line is and I see her walking towards the door. I knew who she was because she was wearing the lime green coat she told me to look for. She come and let us in and off to the MFR booth we went. She gave us our VIP/MFR passes and me a shirt. And yes, the beautiful green one. (Side note: I LOVE that shirt.)

 

We began setting up the booth when all of a sudden we hear random music/noise coming from the arena itself. Then all of sudden, I hear short snippets of LP music. Like NMS, Numb, etc. OMG!! They were doing the LP sound check. I looked at my dad with my mouth dropped. I wish I would’ve been able to go and see it. It continued for a while longer…guitars, then keyboard, then samples/drums. Didn’t get to hear any vocals though during the sound check, which was not all that surprising to me. I was just stoked to get to hear what I had heard. And well, I wish I had gotten to see it! So, we finish setting up the booth and the other workers began to show up . We all hung out and talked, set the items on the booth, and prepared for the doors to open. I loaded like 30 bracelets onto my wrists to sell and bandannas in my pocket. I was ready to go. Too bad the doors didn't open for like 20 more minutes, lol. But then, some of the tour workers come by and said hi, including Maurice – LP’s Production Utilitarian Man. He pretty much helps do everything behind the scenes and is a super cool and entertaining guy, too.

 

Soon the doors opened and we were off telling people about MFR and raising money. I took a little jug and walked all around Sommet Center asking for money, selling bandannas, bracelets, pins, etc. It was absolutely the most fun I had had in a long time. And it was all for such a good cause. I knew I had to keep an eye on the time, because soon it would be time to go get my meet and greet bracelet. I went and got that in between rounds of selling bandannas throughout the arena. I was getting pumped as I could hear the music begin when the show began. Chiodos opened the show, which honestly, I didn’t really care about, but I knew it wouldn’t be long before LP would be tearing up that stage. And before that, the meet and greet, which time to line up for had finally come.

 

I met up with some other LPUers and we waited for the M&G. And we waited… and waited… and waited some more… when no one else showed up but us few, we all began to panic. What if we missed it?! I began to panic. Surely we would not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I didn’t know what else to do, so I called Missy. She already had worked it out for me not to miss the M&G and still work the booth. She came and found the few of us and called Maurice. Apparently, there had been a mix-up in where the meeting place was. Not really anyone’s fault because if you’ve ever been to Sommet, it’s easy to get a little confused. But anyways…they walked us down to catch up with the others and we didn’t miss the meet and greet. We got in line and I was the last person in the LPU line. Everyone was waiting and waiting…LPUers in front of me…and radio contest winners behind me. We waited for a good majority of Coheed and Cambria’s set. Finally, they come out and explained to us the rules, what to do/not to do, etc. I had my MTM booklet ready to be signed.

 

And the line began to move. As the line began to move, I noticed a family off to the left. I didn’t really understand what was going on at first, but then it hit me as I got closer. They were a selected family for the Make-A-Wish foundation. And their young son, who I’m not sure what the nature of his illness/disability was, had wished only to meet his favorite band. LP had flown the boy and his family from the somewhere in the Midwest I believe to Nashville for the show and a meet and greet. I have to admit. I have more respect for LP as a band knowing this. Seeing this boy, his smile, the smile on his family’s face, just made the evening all the more special. But as I was noticing this, I was finally at the door of the meet and greet. I had totally zoned out, lol...but anyways, I went in and met the guys…Phoenix first with his black cowboy hat and Brad with his gloves, lol. They noticed my MFR shirt, asked me if I was the MFR auction winner. I told them no, that I was working the booth. They said cool and told me thanks for my work! Freaking sweet! Next was Chester who was chatty with everyone and Rob who was quiet. Both smiled, we exchanged hellos and moved on. Joe didn’t really say anything (not really a surprise) and Mike was as chatty as can be. He was in serious conversation with the guy before me so I just joined in that conversation before we were sort of ran off. As I walked out the door and down the hallway, my heart was beating out of my chest. I had just met my favorite band. I was speechless and the whole thing seemed surreal. And the best part…I still had their set to enjoy next.

 

I went back upstairs to the main concourse of Sommet and back to the MFR booth. I find Missy and she asked me if I had enjoyed it. Of course, I said. Heck, I was on cloud nine. At this point, Chiodos was at the MFR booth signing CDs and posters. After the line was cut off for the fans, the workers got to meet and talk to the band. Super nice guys – they signed and gave us posters and then let us take pictures. Way cool! After they finished and walked off, it was time to pack up the booth and head to hear/watch LP rock the stage. I gathered my stuff and headed into Sommet to wait for the show to start. I sat down for the first time in many hours while I waited. But all of sudden, the lights went out and I, like the rest of the crowd, rose to my feet.

 

The intro to WID started up and the crowd began going nuts. When the intro built up and Mike began the piano part of WID, Sommet went off. The most epic thing I had ever seen. Of course, that probably had a lot to do with the fact that I was seeing them for the first time. Next in the set came Faint and No More Sorrow. The outro to Faint and the intro NMS…amazing….absolutely amazing! You could tell though the Chester’s voice was a little rough. (This was two shows before the cancelled shows due to illness, so he was obviously struggling.) But that still didn’t stop him from delivering; same for Mike…note the voice crack in the intro of NMS. But anyways, they plowed on…

 

Next, came the Meteora block of songs featuring SIB, LFY and FTI. Chester and Mike turned the mic over to the crowd in parts of all of these songs, which I’m sure was because of illness, but still nothing short of amazing. The crowd was into the performance all the way. I mean, Chester still gave his epic scream over the top of the FTI intro. Pure awesomeness!

 

Next came POA, featuring In Stereo over the beginning…absolutely epic. This song was amazing….the crowd was so into this one. Until…the outro…POA ends…and it’s like aww, song over. Nope…Mike is talking, rapping, whatever…but the crowd doesn’t know…because the house speakers go out. From where I standing, you could see the band playing, Mike rapping and could faintly hear the drums. So…the entire crowd is like, wtf? Mike finishes what was the TTG outro in killer fashion screaming “turn the f------ speakers on!!” Right with the regular outro, too, which we got to hear that line and music cause that was right when the speakers come back on, haha. I looked at my dad and died laughing. Before continuing, Mike talked to the crowd while they made sure the speakers were set, including the flipping off the crowd/killing it talk and telling anyone that if they didn’t like the show so far to go get a drink or leave or something. Classic!

 

Next was the one song I was really hoping for, Hands Held High. There are no words to describe the feeling you get hearing this song played. No words. This was one song Chester did great on this show, despite his vocal struggles – just purely amazing. I was majorly impressed. They continued with more MTM material including Wake/Given Up. Nothing too special there imo, pretty standard runs of these songs.

 

Valentine’s Day was next and was absolutely amazing. I’m glad I got to see this one live. However, Chester dropped a line because it appeared he lost his breath in this song. But he spit, and kept on going. Bottom line…impressive in my book.

 

Next came Numb…pretty standard once again, though it was GREAT to see this one live. Mainly cause I never had before. SOTD was pretty awesome, which was the next song…this song was the song that made my dad like Linkin Park! Imagine that, lol.

 

Finally, came the end of the concert…and let me just say amazing!!! You had Crawling, In The End and Bleed It Out. The crowd went absolutely crazy for these songs. I mean you had the great crowd sing-alongs and Rob’s amazing drum solo in BIO. Amazing way to end the show! Or wait…was the show over?

 

Nope, LP wasn’t done yet, though we had just heard that the weather outside the venue was quickly deteriorating, we still had some more LP to listen to. The band come back out and did My December and Breaking the Habit. Pretty standard…loved getting to hear My December though. I always wanted to. Then away they went again after this first encore break. They come back out with Brad playing a guitar intro...that went on for what felt like forever…then the lights went out. But no rest of the band…I was seriously like…wtf?! Then all of a sudden Mike appears under the spotlight…in the middle of the pit! It was totally APFMH!!! The band kills the song and Mike nails the crowd surrounding him with silly string. I mean, this was right down from where I was standing. Incredible! My biggest regret for this night and show was that I hated myself for not getting pit tickets at this show. I mean amazing…the pit was totally insane. After APFMH, they finished out the show with OSC and sadly, the greatest concert I had ever been to come to a close.

 

As we headed home in the ice and snow, my ears were ringing and my feet were hurting, but my face…held the biggest smile ever. It was a night of firsts – first time traveling a good distance for a show, first time getting really involved with MFR, first time meeting a band, first time meeting LP, my dad's first time listening to and liking something LP and my first Linkin Park show ever. This show would also lead to my first exposure to the Linkin Park Live Guide. So it truly was “A Night of Firsts.”

 

And it is one that I will remember for the rest of my life!

 

P.S. The group I worked with at the MFR booth and I made over 300 dollars for the cause in a little less the two hours...awesome!!!

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I typed this earlier today, possibly not as good as the above review which I hadn't had time to read yet, but another prospective. . .

 

Hey, I’ve been checking out this site for almost a year now, but this is my first post. Man, I’ve got to say this night was one of the best of my life. It was the first (of two, so far) times I’ve seen LP, and I almost didn’t get to go because of the heinous amount of snow on the Cumberland Plateau (I live in Knoxville, so I had to drive over to Plateau to Nashville). Anyway, I got to the Sommet Center at about 6:00, and made my way with my (ex now….bitch) girlfriend almost to the front in time to see Chiodos play. We were about six rows back and I enjoyed them, and Coheed & Cambria was pretty good too, even though I got a little bored during their set. Claudio can play the hell out of the guitar. Finally, it was time for Linkin Park to set up. I have listened to Linkin Park for six years, and barely missed seeing them in Atlanta in 2007, so needless to say I was ridiculously pumped at this point. I know every word and couldn’t wait to see what their set would hold. I also had not even heard of this site yet, so I had NO idea what to expect from the band. As they finally began setting the stage I was really impressed with their giant screen set up and the way the stage led up to Rob’s drums and Joe’s set up. As time wore on and my adrenaline wore off just a little, I got a little worried because it had been an hour and there was no sign of LP yet. Then. . . . . . REALLY started the best night of my life.

 

The lights went out and fog machines started. . . and I heard the sirens of the intro to What I’ve Done. Through the haze I saw Phoenix and Brad take their places, Rob and Joe step up, and through the smog walked Chester just as the keyboard started. The crowd went nuts and stayed crazy the entire night. Chester voice was dead-on the entire night (I know A LOT more about LP’s shows now than I did then), and his screams were ridiculous too. His voice seriously is perfect on every song if you haven’t heard the SBD yet; it’s really good. Everyone sang along to WID, and when the last note faded, I heard the drums kick in for Faint. This is one of my favorites, so I lost it, not expecting something this great so early in the set. Mike was just as on as Chester, energetic and smiling the whole show. The outro to Faint was completely bad ass and Chester ripped all three screams well, and I hopped in the pit during the bridge and outro. I could not believe how great LP sounded live! I mean, I’d heard Live in Texas however many times, but the experience of being there with thousands of other crazy fans was indescribable. After Faint, the short intro to No More Sorrow kept the show rolling with intensity. Mike told everyone to put our hands up and clap, which we did, of course. Again, Chester nailed the singing and screaming, and the crowd was out of control the entire time. I was flabbergasted by Chester’s stage presence, his jumps off the stage set up were perfect during Faint and SIB especially. After NMS, the intro to Somewhere I Belong rocked my world. The crowd clapped along, and as the song hit, Chester pulled the scream just like the one at the beginning of Wth>You. At this point I was mind blown by the clarity of the sound and their intense show as I again thanked God for buying the digital download pack. Lying From You was next, and Mike really pumped up the crowd before and during this song. Chester again nailed the screams and the crowd sang along the whole time. Next was one of my personal favorites from Meteora, which I did not expect them to play at the time. Chester absolutely ripped it as From the Inside hit, pulling off one hell of a nine second scream, and still hitting the soft beginning notes of the song. Points of Authority was next, and I loved the …………… intro, it’s my favorite of all the Fort Minor verses I’ve heard, and the crowd loved it. What made this song perfect and unique though was the speakers going out during the outro. All we could hear was the guitar echo and as Mike rapped ……………… we had no idea what he was saying. We still loved it anyway, but when Mike realized what was going all we heard was “TURN THE FUCKING SPEAKERS ON” just as the fucking speakers turned on. The best part was he worked it into the rap, which went like “You can love it, you can hate it, don’t mistake it. Everybody TURN THE FUCKING SPEAKERS ON!” Next, they launched into the best performance of Hands Held High that I’ve heard so far ever. The Amen’s were perfect and Mike was so into the verses it gave and still gives me chills hearing it now. Mike pumped everyone up by talking about how people in the south consider getting the middle finger a good thing on stage. Haha, everyone enjoyed that. Next was Wake, which perfectly got everyone rowdy for Given Up. Chester didn’t quite make the full scream, but every scream in his performance was gut wrenching! During the second verse Brad had some fun with the guitar, adding in a little short finger tapping metal solo. I got in the pit again and actually got knocked down while Chester was being put out of his misery. J Next was Valentine’s Day which I loved for the first time since I got Minutes to Midnight. Chester messed up a line in the middle, but I still got chills again. Numb and Shadow of the Day were perfect too, and after Chester played the guitar in SOTD, he threw his pick that hit me in the chest! I was lucky enough to have some fat lady crush the hell out of my hand for it, and she won, with her husband looking at me like I had tried to kill her. Crawling and In the End were also incredible. I loved the Reanimation intro to Crawling, and the crowd was the loudest of the whole main set during In the End. Bleed it Out was awesome and full of extenders with everything but the sing-a-long part. Rob nailed the solo perfectly and Chester’s growls were perfect as they had been the whole night. That signaled the first encore break. At this point I was covered in sweat, beer, and everything in between. The crowd roared when Chester started My December and it was a great piano performance. It led into Breaking the Habit which was absolutely epic. The intro and entire song was chilling. I, being the idiot I was, started to leave after this, heading towards the middle of the aisle in the floor. I had the best night of my life, only slightly disappointed they didn’t play OSC. As I reached the middle, I heard the guitar strum. . .

 

I freaked the hell out because A. I recognized A Place for my Head, and B. Mike Shinoda ran two feet past me, gave me a high five, then jumped up on the rail and into the pit! HOLY SHIT! APFMH was out of control, Chester’s screams were EPIC, Mike headbanged the whole time on the edge of the pit and sprayed silly string into it, as a crowd surfer in a full leg cast went by him. The “Go Away’s” by the crowd were awesome too! Then my night’s dreams were fulfilled as One Step Closer kicked in; I love it as a closer to a show, and Mike pumped the crowd up one last time before the bridge, Chester told the world to SHUT UP and the extended outro was fucking sweet. ONE HELL OF A NIGHT

 

It wasn’t quite over because I ended up snowed in on the side of the interstate in my car all night, and made it home at seven the next morning, which didn’t phase me after my awesome night. I thought it was ironic that Chester’s screams were so real that night because it was only a night or so before he got really sick and they cancelled the shows. It was an incredible show, I really recommend the SBD, and if anyone’s interested I have some really really good pictures from the show. I also have clips of videos of every song (mainly the screams and choruses) on Youtube under Ethanmr909. If anybody was there or is interested I can email those suckers to you.

 

If you made it this far thanks for reading it, hope to see you guys at future shows, thanks for keeping up this bad ass site.

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