On August 2, 2013 the first ever LPU Meetups was held in Hollywood, California. It was the day before the Sunset Strip Music festival & was announced just the week before. In partnership with Hard Rock, their restaurants would be host to fan club meetups. Attending SSMF, I was one of the LPUers at the first ever meetup. Little did I know that I would be hosting a meetup in my hometown in a few months
It was nice to see Lorenzo again at the Hollywood meetup having met him for the first time at the Camden Park Cleanup Music for relief pre-summit activity as well as the 6th international summit in Camden, New Jersey. When I left for the night, I mentioned to him that I would love to help out if ever a meetup was held in Chicago. In September I received a message from Lorenzo asking if I would help him out with a meetup & I happily said yes. On October 25 a round of LPU Meetups was announced by Lorenzo & LPUHQ which included Chicago & I was surprised to find myself to actually be hosting the event! “Event will be hosted by LPU community member Irene (Irene_).”
I received details about the meetup and my responsibilities as host the week of the event. I got especially excited when the notes included information about LPU XIII. The morning of the meetup(friday november 15, 2013) LPUHQ announced that the 13th year of LPU would be launched on Monday November 18. I knew that those attending the meetup would be excited to hear about the news when we saw each other that night. Linkin Park & LPUHQ also teased us with a demo off LPU13 cd called “Primo” which was a demo of Living Thing’s “I’ll be Gone.” I was excited about the night ahead and to finally tell someone the news about LPUXIII that I was told not to tell anyone else. Not even my husband Jason knew about the info I was given because he wanted to feel like he was receiving news too. Yes, my husband & I are BIG linkin park fans together. When it was announced I was hosting he was excited & proud to be there with me not just as a linkin park fan but also as my best friend & husband.
We arrived at Hard Rock Café at 63 W. Ontario in the heart of downtown Chicago located across from the famous Rock n Roll McDonald’s which also has their museum with pieces of music history displayed. Hard rock café is known for their beautiful décor & iconic pieces of music displayed so I will show what Hard Rock Café Chicago has displayed. This large guitar is on the corner of the restaurant when you arrive in the parking lot.
In partnership with Hard Rock, Linkin Park customized Sig 31 series shirts available in mens & womens sizes that would be available across the globe. City specific shirts are only available in the mens shirts (black). In the picture above you can see the outside promo for the shirts.
When you first arrive, you will see this beautiful décor above you before even arriving at the host stand. Talk about making an entrance!
The rock shop is located at the front and here behind the host stand you can see the Hard Rock Linkin Park shirts displayed in their rock shop.
After being greeted at the host stand, to the right is this grand staircase which accesses the second floor, which is where the LPU Meetups was held.
The picture above is the lower bar which you can see from the side in the staircase photo.
The area in the top of this picture is where our meetup was held & it was only accessible if you were an LPU member.
This is where live music is played throughout the week. Some acts would play here later on in the evening.
A closer shot of the detail in the picture above.
“CLOSED FOR A PRIVATE EVENT”
“MERCH TABLE” In Private Event Area. The servers on the top floor as well as the employees in the rock shop were wearing the black shirts. (I’m wearing the women’s sig 31 shirt which unfortunately wasn’t available in their store)
As host of the event, I was to arrive an hour earlier before & was surprised to see 2 LPU members already there. I was happy to arrive with Jason who I got this picture of us in our LP shirts at the first ever LPU Meetups Chicago.
Nick & Perla were the 2 members to arrive. I had been talking to Nick on LPU & Facebook since the Honda Civic tour and was excited to finally meet in person. When LP tours, I try to meet friends at shows but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I’ve traveled to LA several times to see LP perform & there is still a few I haven’t officially met in person but hope to one day. Perla was really excited to meet me having seen me & my posts on fan sites & LPU the weeks prior to our meetup. She actually said she joined LPU especially so she can attend the meetup. Yay for that!
Bryon, Jordan, & LPA staff member Joe arrived soon after and we bonded over what other than Linkin Park! Soon after Greg showed up and he joined our conversation. Christie the event coordinator at Hard Rock wanted to take pictures of our group before she left for the evening.
this picture was being taken literally as Greg arrived so we were sure to take another with him.
L to R: Greg, Joe, Jordan, Perla, Jason, Irene, Nick, & Bryon
I met Joe during the Honda Civic Tour in Tinley Park, IL briefly and have chatted ever since so here we are representing the fan sites we work with! One of my favorite memories with Joe was at the show when Dave gave me a setlist from the show & minutes later Joe gave me a heart attack when he ran up to me “Can I take a picture of the setlist Phoenix just gave you?!” I was scared because I thought he was one of the people around me trying to steal it from me! I had only talked to Joe for a few minutes before doors opened so it’s one of the “in person” moments we have until the meetup that is. =D
After these photos, I made a short welcome introduction to our intimate group about how the meetups were created & thanked everyone for attending. In a short while I would be presenting the LPU-TV video which was made just for the LPU Meetups. We continued to conversate as we decided what to eat.
I caught Greg by surprise with my flash. Here’s Bryon & Jordan after completing their order which was a prix fixe menu created for the event.
We were brought to another private area to view the LPU-TV due to technical difficulties in the sound system in the restaurant. This area was used by the musicians performing. In these photos the LPUers are enjoying the intro by Phoenix & Joe as well as the LPU events caught on video by their videographer Mark Fiore. It’s such an honor to be a part of the LPU because we get such a close look at events such as these. Some of the attendees haven’t been to a summit yet so I’m sure that they’re hoping to one day. And I really hope they get to attend one day because it is definitely a unique opportunity.
After viewing the LPU-TV episode our meals had arrived to the table & I was eager to present to them information about LPU XIII. I presented the 3 themes that would be a part of LPUXIII. Everyone was really excited about everything and what was in store. At last, I didn’t have to keep it in any longer! (sigh) With the 13th year of LPU launching I bet that they were even more excited now!
Here’s another photo we took before we parted ways. We didn’t take a lot of photos because we were enjoying each other’s company. It was a great experience for everyone & I’m sure I will see everyone again sooner than later. The LPU is great for meeting people who have a passion for the same band as you.
What else did we talk about you ask?
-Epic experiences as an LP Fan
-Meet and Greets
If you’ve met people before on LPU or online and then finally meet in person, you can imagine how much you have to talk about! As I’ve said before many times, when you meet LP fans, you find out you have much more in common than your love for their music. The friendships created here can last a long time and sometimes it’s hard to believe that it’s how you met. LP fans understand how you can love a band so much. I was actually shocked to find out that Perla hasn’t even been to a live show yet! Some haven’t been in the pit, some haven’t experienced front row, or even a summit. I get really excited for these kind of things so I hope that they get to one day. The next time LP tours the states, it would be great to be there for these experiences with them. Anyone who really knows me knows that I get really happy & teary eyed because I remember all of my firsts as if they were yesterday. This was the first LPU event I hosted & I’m so thankful that everyone was happy to be there with me.
My fellow team members Adie & An will also be hosting meetups in their cities soon so make sure to RSVP on lpunderground.com & look out for meetups in your city in the future! Lorenzo & LPUHQ are working on more dates and I can’t wait for you all to attend!
Much thanks to Hard Rock for partnering with Linkin Park to host the meetups, staff at Hard Rock Café Chicago, all attendees of LPU Meetups Chicago especially those traveling far (Bryon traveled 4 hours just to attend!), my husband Jason for all his support of all my Linkin Park endeavors, Lorenzo for giving me the honor to host the event, LPUHQ for coordinating the meetups, & especially to Brad, Joe, Mike, Rob, Chester, & Dave for the LPU. We are the LP Underground & I’m proud to be a part of it. <3