11 June 2014
I’ve spent the past two weeks in Italy, of course on another adventure following along Linkin Park. Though all my big trips so far have been for the Summits (South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, to name a few), I’ve been dreaming of the day I could go back to Italy and explore it as an adult free to roam, unlike the time I came on a school trip.
So what better than to come back to Italy than for Linkin Park? I immediately started planning the very same day they announced.
I landed in Rome and worked my way up to Milan through Pisa, Cinque Terre, Venice and Verona. So far, Venice is the gem, absolutely fell in love with that city. It was quite the whirlwind coming into Milan Monday 9 June 2014, arriving to the central station at about noon, barely finding our host when we were already grabbing our map and heading off.
Like in Rome, Lorenzo gave me a specific place to find and have a taste of his favorite foods or drinks, Milan’s secret being Luini; however, as quickly learned by the time we had hit Cinque Terre, they were closed by three, having arrived an hour too late. Just means I’ll have to come back to scratch it off my list!
We gave Duomo a quick (and highly impressed) look, moving on to find Fabbricca Pizzeria, the restaurant where @LPItaly was hosting the #LPUMeetUp for Milan. I think for not being a Summit, it was quite diverse, having made friends with fellow LPU members from Naples, Spain and Hungary, and finally meeting online friends in person such as Fabio from LPItalia (what would I have done without him?) and Diana from Romania.
Like the previous meet ups, it had its great speech to remind us of how great it is to come together from all over, near and far, for just one band – Linkin Park. It was really something special to see strangers across from each other at the table become friends, and all having fun.
I’m glad LPU took notice of our small gatherings, helping us host larger groups.
On Tuesday 10 June 2014, it was absolutely mind-blowing to see Linkin Park’s Italian army. Rather stupidly, we mistook the arena and so we arrived a tad late, and I’m pretty sure we sat down behind 1,000 people already in line by ten in the morning. Those at the very front had camped out. I lost the barricade, and I take my hat off to their dedication!
Having no chance in the literal hell we were about to endure hours in – Verona and Milan were burning, a heat wave having just ripped through – we decided to lounge a bit for this concert, drinking all the water we wanted and using the toilets; two luxuries we usually never allow ourselves at concerts. I’m glad we did, because the heat was quite worrisome, especially having seen fans after fans collapsing and being taken to the medical center.
As fun as the barricade and pit are, we need to know our limits, and I had long been bordering mine with the heat and smoking all about.
Opening for Linkin Park in Milan was Fall Out Boy, a favorite to many of my friends and a bit unfamiliar to me. I was impressed with how exact their lead singer sounded to their records, and have new songs to add to my playlists and overall enjoyed my first time seeing them live. Energy was great and they were having fun.
After them was when Linkin Park soon took the stage, only then when it really actually hit me that I was in Italy for Linkin Park, having met more fans the night before from places far from home.
Quite the feeling!
The physical energy of the crowd was more than I expected after hours in that heat – and no, it was not cooler in the evening! But the singing and power of their voices was definitely something amazing. I spent most of the time hearing the entire crowd of 40,000+ fans singing every word instead of the guys, and I’m pretty sure Mike took advantage of that during the bit of “Castle of Glass” that they sang; when will he learn that we love his voice?
The setlist was fun and completely unexpected for me, surprise after surprise hitting me. It was a great crowd for the fun twists they gave.
Currently I am sitting in a bunk at three in the morning, London, waiting for morning to come with the sun, leaving for Download Festival today. There I hope to see Avenged Sevenfold and Steel Panther aside from Linkin Park, and even more hopeful to meet more of my friends in person, even part of my team from LPFC!
More photos from Italy: