By Vicky (add me as a friend on LPU: Max California)
Since me and my family have been Linkin Park fans for ages I went to the show in Cologne with my brother, my sister and my sister’s boyfriend. Obviously we were more than excited to see the band and have a great time. On the car ride to Cologne we got into the mood by listening and singing along to our favorite LP songs. We got to the venue about an hour before the doors opened. There was a queue already but we were confident to still be able to get close to the stage. So when we got in at around 6 o’clock we headed straight for the pit. We got a nice spot on the right side of the short walkway that protruded into the audience.
We were just a few meters from the barriers and managed to push forward during the course of the show. My mother also arrived at the venue shortly before the show started because she had a seat on the circle. At 8 o’clock Of Mice & Men opened the show. I did not really know this band before but I quite liked their performance. They played for about 35 minutes, asked for a lot of audience participation and time just flew by. They seemed to be really nice guys and had a lot of fun on stage.
At about quarter past 9 Linkin Park started their show. For me on the whole it was absolutely awesome and a great pleasure. Linkin Park’s set and stage design for the Hunting Party tour resembled the one from Rock am Ring where my brother and I had been this summer. Rob’s drums were positioned inside a huge cube on the right side of the stage. Joe was in the cube on the left side. While Dave kept to the right, where we were standing, Brad mostly stayed on the left side. Mike and Chester worked the whole stage and used the walkway sometimes to get closer to the audience.
The guys were in the best of spirits. They were energetic, cool and handsome as ever. 😀 Chester was particularly sweet when he later addressed the people on the seats with limited visibility. The set was a perfect mix of all the records they had made so far. I did not take any pictures or make notes because I wanted to literally soak up everything and not get distracted. So please forgive me if I do not remember the exact order of songs they played.
Here are some of my personal impressions:
Linkin Park started with an intro similar to “The Requiem”, which then merged into “Guilty all the same”. Must I add that I prefer Mike’s rapping over Rakim’s? 🙂 “Given up” and “With you” followed. My sister and I were totally going nuts before we lost each other in the chaos. They played most of the classic freak-out songs including “One Step Closer” and “Papercut” in the first half hour. So the shoving, bouncing and moshing was pretty wild in the front. People were packed really tight and the heat was extreme. Naturally I could not dance or jump as much as I wanted to but it was still awesome. My brother and I managed to mostly stay together and we had a lot of fun. The crowd had great energy and many people were constantly cheering or singing along loudly.
For me the most anticipated song of the night was “Rebellion”. I instantly fell in love with it when it came out in June and I could not wait to hear it live. It was glorious.
At some point Mike played an instrumental version of “Blackout”, which for me was the perfect song to dance to. He could have made it last much longer in my opinion. 🙂 I must say that I am not a big fan of the “Castle of Glass” remix they added to the RaR and the THP set. I simply like the original song as it is and would have rather heard that one. “Numb” was extended with a short piece of “Numb/Encore”, which was nice. This song, too, can never be long enough. They played the ballad medley consisting of LOATR, SOTD and “Iridescent”. After the “Robot Boy” intro Joe also had a solo part. I absolutely love “Waiting for the end” and was so glad when they played it again. Mike’s rap solo mix of “Wretches and Kings” and “Remember the name” (by Fort Minor) was very much appreciated by the crowd.
The most unexpected song for me was “Somewhere I belong”. I was blown away when I heard it. For me there can never be too many Meteora songs in the set. When they played “Faint” the crowd got wild again and there was a lot of bouncing, which was great fun. After that the whole band left the stage pretending like the show was already over. People were cheering and encouraging them to come out again. Of course they came back for an encore.
In the meantime I had found my sister again and we had without much effort pushed forward to the third row. So for the last couple of songs we were almost in reaching distance of Dave and Chester. They played “Burn it down”, “Lost in the echo”, “New divide”, “Until it’s gone” and “What I’ve done”. I have so many favorite songs that they were all brilliant to me. Even those I do not particularly like always impress me during a show.
Shortly after Linkin Park had begun their very last song “Bleed it out” Mike had to stop because he saw from the walkway that something was wrong. A girl had passed out in the pit and was lying on the floor. Some guys in the crowd tried to help her and carry her out. When the music stopped they managed to drag her over to the barrier. Mike and everyone applauded those guys who took care of the girl. Then they played the long version of “Bleed it out” including Rob’s drum solo. At the end Chester encouraged the audience to sing the “lift me up, let me go”-part of “The Catalyst”.
When they were done the guys all walked along the stage to wave goodbye. Mike thankfully sprayed some water in our direction so that my sister and I were refreshed a bit. Dave and Brad threw picks into the crowd and Rob gave away drumsticks. Mike also caught a German flag from the audience and Joe took a picture of him holding the flag, which he later posted on Instagram. Chester then wore the flag like a cape and jumped around a bit before he too waved goodbye and left. After the show we all headed for the Merchandise sale where I got the black tour shirt.
We also found our mother who had very much enjoyed the show, too. Everybody was amazed and happy to have been a part of Linkin Park’s magic. For me this time was particularly awesome because I experienced it with some special and beloved people who share my love for the band.