This time last year, Germany had one hell of a week. Linkin Park was scheduled for a headliner in Berlin and topping Rock im Sektor in Düsseldorf, but this wasn’t the typical tour- in between shows, two already in Los Angeles and København, Denmark, Fort Minor was performing for the first time since 2006, only four shows in the Europe tour that fall. Mike Shinoda as a one-man-show, having dropped “Welcome” after nearly ten whole years.
I had done Rock in Rio (Las Vegas) and Loudwire Festival earlier that year already, having barely made it back home for the Fort Minor show in Los Angeles, and I had done the majority of the EU Hunting Party trek the year before, so believe me when I say a trip to Germany long enough to only catch three concerts was at the last minute. Compared to the rest of my trips, it was definitely closer to a leisure trip as I had already gotten to know the two cities last year, but another great Euro festival? Possibly the last of Fort Minor for another handful of years? Getting to visit my best friend usually thousands of miles away? I just had to.
My week started off in Berlin with no luggage. After a disaster of delays due to weather in the states, my carry-on-forced-into-checked-luggage somehow managed to take a detour and head down to Cape Town. I thought the airline attendant was joking with me due to my frequent visits there, but alas, I was in Germany with nothing but the clothes I had on after a whole day of airports, planes and people.
Day of Fort Minor in Berlin, I had to run to the airport for my bag, change awkwardly in the restroom, get lost on my way to the LPU Meet Up at Hard Rock with my luggage in tow, head back to my hostel to dump the bag, then rush over (and get lost again!) to the intimate venue for Fort Minor.
The amount of fun we had just being in line was a reminder that all those hiccups earlier were worthwhile. I got to see my friends in person when usually we only get to communicate through our phones.
Being able to hug and wave and smile to everyone is such a treasure. In just one line, I got to be with my friends from Italy, Romania, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Austria. It’s unreal sometimes.
Side note: I finally got on Linkin Park’s Instagram.
The wait inside the venue was brutal after a long start to the trip and a whole day of running around the city, separated from everyone I knew, but the moment he came up on stage, the crowd of strangers around me cheering… that moment of energy and excitement and living is what I travel for.
The show in Los Angeles stood out alone in so many ways, and I heard nothing but good things about his act in Denmark; but the Berlin performance from Fort Minor, from Mike Shinoda… it was stunning. Like I had written here, the show in Berlin had an atmosphere different from any other show, and it all revolved around one song.
“Kenji.” Being in that room full of German fans, the history in the song, in the city, the emotion. Absolutely chilling and stunningly beautiful. I remember the silence as we all listened, the collective breath we finally let out as that song ended. Forever burned in my memory, that alone worth every mile and seconds to get there.
The day after was Linkin Park’s headliner in Berlin, a train ride away. Skipping over the adventures between three in the morning (yes, Corey and I are insane) and the time we finally got to put our hands on the barricade, Berlin was another show made whole by the fans. The guys performed great, of course, but most of the barricade was taken up by more friendly faces I knew one way or another, by many I recognized from the night before. I got to see Boz from London, again see our friend Jonas from Linkin Park Live, and even better- we all snapped a photo with Pooch after the show!
Having done all my exploring with time last tour, I was able to leave Berlin the day after without any stress, taking a train to a smaller city down by Düsseldorf to stay with Linkin Park Fan Corner admin and one of my closest friends, Adie. For Rock Im Sektor, I had bought a pit ticket to be in the same section as my friends, including Thomas from BlackChester.de, but I also ended up buying the Charitybuzz package for Music For Relief.
Not being a trip including a Summit, I decided to have a Meet & Greet while helping our favorite charity. The two tickets included in the package were the ones Linkin Park Fan Corner was able to make into a giveaway! It was really great to personally hand over free tickets to a pair of friends, it was because they won they made the last minute trip down for the show. Best way to do it!
As always, the Meet & Greet with Linkin Park is such a joy. Despite all the traveling and the shows and the tight schedules, the guys have always been kind and with smiles. Brad had been particularly chattier than any other time I’ve gotten to meet him in fifteen whole years, so of course- it was a favorite! And being able to have spent it with Adie as my “plus one” made it all the better, our second Meet & Greet together. Fitting that one of my favorite Meet & Greets was where one of my favorite set lists got signed.
I was more than happy to finish the week relaxing with Adie, Netflix and her adorable little Finches. I had no way of getting myself to Italy for Rock in Roma without breaking the bank or knocking off a huge chunk of my life span after Rock im Sektor. We really don’t give the band and crew enough credit. So, it was nice to just sit back and “like” and “favorite” every photo and video and post about the show from my friends there, take my sweet time packing and getting to the airport at one point.
It was one of my more personal and selfish trips, and I can’t wait to do it again.