The Time I Cried At A Linkin Park Show

Photo courtesy of Dana Gorab
I’ve got to say, I’ve had many emotional experiences at live shows. Music moves me in so many different ways at different times. I wanted to share with you the experience I had at my first rock concert. It was Linkin Park, Cypress Hill and Adema.

Holy hell, I was excited! It was the second concert in my entire life. I was barely 13 years old, and pretty much unsupervised. I had managed to snag crappy seat assigned tickets with a friend at the very last minute and as soon as I got into the arena, I jumped over the wall, down about 12 feet into the pit (general admission) and ran like hell into the crowd to get lost!

The performances were incredible. I was slowly wiggling and maneuvering myself from the back of the pit towards the front rails. I even accidentally bumped into Cypress Hill standing on the right side of the stage, as I scooted myself ever closer to the rails to see Linkin Park take the stage. They were all I wanted.

I got myself all the way from the back of the arena to the barricade directly in front of Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, and I had absolutely no intention of moving for the duration of their set. They were incredible! The mosh pits were spinning, people were pushing and shoving, and I was doing all I could to keep my body from smashing into the barricade pressed against my chest. Every song built the intensity in the crowd. They were just magical.

I sang every word of every song, while randomly elbowing giant sweaty mosh pit dudes who would occasionally smash into my back. At one point, probably two thirds of the way through the set, I started to get that now all-too-familiar feeling like I was going to faint. I know now that I have low blood sugar and low blood pressure, but back in my teen years, I ran around like I was invincible. I tried so desperately to keep my wits about me, but I just couldn’t handle it. I was definitely running low on fumes; I was being crushed against a metal barricade, and it was god knows how hot in that arena… I was dwindling fast. I must have blacked out for a few seconds because the next thing I remembered was being yanked over the rails by two security guards and dropped on the ground between the stage and the audience. I had a moment of pure joy as I looked up and saw Mike Shinoda mere feet away from me. And just like that, the security guards were guiding me away, to the side of the crowd to a seated area to “recover” from my “ordeal”. I couldn't believe it! In what felt like a blink of an eye, I went from front and center, to hundreds of feet away from the action, and at the finale! They took me away from my prime spot!

Chester and Mike were starting to finish up the set and jump down to grab people’s hands and throw random items like picks and setlists off the stage, and my sorry butt was sitting off to the side of the crowd and the stage, away from all the action. I cried so hard, I couldn't even believe it. All that mischief to get myself to the show and to the front row, only to be undermined by my own body… It was rude! Needless to say, the show was incredible. It was a right of passage for me… and I never go anywhere without a granola bar in my bag or in my pocket. I will not be undermined like that again! lol!

- Hanna Barakat, musician