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12.09.2010 - My MTV Moment - Fan Review (MTV VMA 2010)


After brunch, my friend Poca and I headed over to meet up with a couple other people for Linkin Park’s off-site “secret” concert for the MTV Video Music Awards. The tickets were free if you knew where to look (most people don’t) and were quick enough to get them (most people aren’t). But, we were.

The directions we received told us to meet at the Greek Theater in Los Feliz. From there, we were supposed to be bused to a “secret” location where Linkin Park was going to play their new single, “Catalyst”, which would be live on MTV. There was no guarantee that they’d play any additional songs when the camera wasn’t rolling, but that doesn’t ever stop fans from coming out in droves with hope in their hearts.

The crazy line for the show outside the Greek Theater.

There were 1200 tickets released, although only the first 1000 would be granted entrance into the show. If you think about it, 1000 is still a pretty small and cozy number, so I kind of figured we’d get to be pretty close to the stage.

Still, it took forever – maybe 2 hours for them to get wristbands on us and to herd us onto buses.

Oh, by the way, cameras (and phones) were NOT allowed. Poca managed to sneak in a small point-and-shoot, and both of us took turns playing paparazzi.

I think we started waiting at 4:45 pm, and it wasn’t until 7 or so when the band came out. And when they came out, of course everyone lost it.

Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn, and the drummer (no one cares about him) were on the main stage, and the guitar player as well as the bass player were on two separate “islands.” When they climbed up onto the stage, all I could do was stand there silently, thinking, “bad-aaaaaaaass . . .”

I have never seen a guy, in real life, pose harder than a muhfugga than Chester was and look absolutely normal and not ridiculous doing it. He just stood there like that, not moving for several seconds.

The happy crew

The guitar player

Dude was hilarious – when he climbed up on his little stage and everyone started going crazy, he brought out his guitar pick, held it in the air, and just nodded up and down in silence. Loved it.

By the time they were getting started, the sun was setting and it was getting dark. At one point, I looked down and MTV’s fog machines had basically covered the entire ground around us. Pretty damn surreal and cool.

I love this picture of the bass player with the sun setting behind him.

So, Linkin Park actually came out a little bit before they were set to go live on the VMAs, so they did three full songs as part of their sound check. I gotta hate Joe Hahn for teasing us by only spinning the first few notes of “In the End.”

I think Chester might have just been getting into Catalyst when Poca got her camera taken away by security. Thank God they didn’t bother erasing the pictures. I think they just didn’t want any shots of the actual live production on the VMAs.

After they finished Catalyst, they said their goodbyes and looked like they were about to go, but it seemed like Chester cajoled the rest of them to do one more song, so they did “New Divide” from Transformers.

One thing that completely convinced me that Linkin Park is made up mostly of good dudes, is the fact that when they first came out, most of them, especially Chester and Mike, made it a real point to get down on their knees while on stage, to shake everyone’s hand they could shake. (There was no security between the stage and the crowd.) And when they were leaving, they spent a good 4-5 minutes doing the exact same thing. I think the only person who wasn’t doing that was Joe Hahn, the DJ. Maybe the drummer, too.

The crappiest part of the night was waiting for the damn buses to come bring us back down the hill. They wouldn’t just let us walk, which would have taken 5 minutes. Instead, we waited up top for an hour and a half.

But then just as we were starting to second guess whether the whole thing had been worth it (4 hr total wait time vs 25 minutes in performance), the people around us got real quiet. Then I heard someone whisper, “it’s Chester.” And when we turned around, he was literally two feet away from us. Apparently, he’d seen the crowd of people waiting miserably for the buses, so he came out of the trailer to sign autographs for the people towards the back of the line, which was where we were.

He didn’t speak much, but just signed and moved on, signed and moved on, etc…he stopped when hit the mid-way part of the line and then just walked away with a wordless wave goodbye to the crowd.

Christina jacked my ticket to get the autograph. Just to be clear, my name is on the ticket as the ticket holder. Not hers.

By the time the bus came for us, the excitement had died down a bit. Everyone around us seemed a little bit somber, but I think it was more like quiet elation at having been able to meet Chester, albeit only for a short while and finally being able to sit.

So, did I think the MTV VMA experience was worth it? - September 12, 2010


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