This weekend we were able to go the Linkin Park concert in the midst of their “The Hunting Party” tour. Who would have ever thought we’d have seen Linkin Park in China! I happened to see the concert advertised a few months ago on Facebook. I have loved Linkin Park for a very long time and so has Micah. So when I told him about the concert we chatted about the possibilities of ever seeing them in concert and decided to let this be our one big splurge.
We told a couple of friends about it, they were just as excited about it. So we all agreed we’d go together. We wanted to try for the cheapest ticket but that quickly (very) sold out, luckily we were able to get the next price. The prices were 200, 600, 800, 1200, 1400 (all in RMB) so we knew there would be divisions in positions.
The tickets took a while to get mailed, but even when they reached their destination we still had quite a wait before the concert. They sat on my table for a while and served as a source of motivation knowing that something awesome was waiting for us in the future.
Busy Summer yields a quick arrival
The day finally came. We were all so excited, but I was worried because I had been feeling off all day. We were worried I was going to have a seizure at the concert. I used to have seizures at the drop of a beat. The bass in music being a huge trigger, however I have gotten a lot healthier and it doesn’t cause seizures unless I’m very close to having a seizure anyway. I was planning on bringing my “concert tools” anyway but this made it a higher priority. My “tools” are a pair of dark blue, polarized, prescription sunglasses and a small box of pliable professional (or so I’m told) ear plugs.
We all met at metro stop (subway station) halfway between our homes and ate at KFC. A short subway ride to another stop and a 3 block walk to the theater was what we thought lay between us and watching Linkin Park. We were a little off. The subway ride was fine except one of our friends bought a token (ticket) for the stop before the one we were supposed to get off, but we got that problem solved quickly. Though we discovered the short walk was not so easily remedied. There was some major construction that confused us. It looked like it had through traffic, but alas we had to turn around. We could see the theater but could not reach it. We found a path that led to the theater.
Anachronistic Adventure in the Middle of a Bustling City
To be honest I felt like I was acting out a part in some RPG (role playing game) where the heroes have to trek through a valley populated by crazy people. As soon as we reached the mouth of the “canyon” pass we were accosted by bike taxis that almost drug us onto their bikes. They are usually aggressive but this was different. The “crazy locals” were the bike taxis blazing through the “pass” carrying charges back and forth. We kept criticizing the laziness of people because the theater was so close. We soon discovered why they chose to use the zealous bike taxis. The “pass” was flooded in about an inch or more of dirty water. On the right wall was short concrete wall that filled the span between the vertical building skeleton and the metal construction barrier. Grabbing a hold of the metal ribs we climbed upon the ledge to safely get past the water.
Did I mention that I felt as if I was somehow transported into a game? To reach our destination we had to traverse the perilous canyon pass occupied by roving, zealous creatures; chance the unknown and certain illness by wading through the canyon water or precariously inch across the ledge along the whole length using the ribs of some ancient creature to steady oneself.
Finally we made it through the pass to open streets and the inviting hulk of the stadium.
One final task before our reward was to brave the masses of other travelers without losing one’s sanity or limb. Every good RPG has a boss towards the end right? I almost lost my sanity when I came toe to toe with a devilish creature. A woman decided she was much better than the common riffraff having to show their tickets the gate keepers, so she began to hit me. Stubborn and hot headed me, I decided to rebel against her sense of entitlement and made sure she could not pass. She hit me and pushed passed me only to be grabbed by the guard. I brushed passed her. Back in line to wait for approval of a second gate keeper, she caught up to me and continued her slapping and hitting. I held my ground and did not lose face to this creature nor did I yield to her. This was truly a test of my journey and my personal resolve in not being cruel. Then it was my turn to pass through the gates after my ticket was approved, the creature held one more tactic left. She threw her ticket at the keeper and shoved me one last time ending with her hand flitting around in my face. Let me tell you, that was when I about lost it. I told my companions that if she touched me one more time public scene or no scene we would have problems. With their support I was able to throw her a scathing look that I hope drove in fear and cleared my head of her negative miasma. We were completely through the gates and in the stadium. We were going to see Linkin Park!!!
We found our seats easily and was able to enjoy the rest of the evening. I was flabbergasted that so many of the Chinese men and woman around us knew so many of the words!! Even the rap sequences!!
All in all it was a fantastic evening and a wonderful concert. Luckily between Micah and Professor, who also met us there, I was able to stay calm, have fun, and with the help of my sunglasses was able to enjoy the concert without much problems from my seizures at all.
There were moments that I got dizzy, but I would sit back, drink my water and take some deep breaths. Then I was ready to get back into the music and drown in it. They sang of their more iconic songs like “Faint“, “About to Break“, and “From the Inside” along with some of the newer ones such as “Castle of Glass.” I took some videos a couple of the songs (above are the links), of the lights (here and here), and of the audience (here). Though, we had a great time while my friends figured out how to use my phone to take a picture of us. They accidentally took a video instead.