And now for a break in the scheduled blog diet of embroidery, cooking and (the far too few) book posts. I was very, very lucky to see Linkin Park last night. Now I know a lot of people out there are probably feeling lucky that they’ve seen them as well, as the tickets for the tour sold out within minutes apparently and I remember what it’s like hanging on the phone desperate to get through to get tickets before they go (although typing that makes me feel old, it’ll be all done online these days), but no I feel even luckier because for a start I won my ticket, there’s no way I could have afforded it, that’s another thing that makes me feel old, concert ticket prices these days.
I think if you asked any parent there will be things they miss from their pre-kids days, now I think back to my pre-kids days and apart from the disposable income, there isn’t that much I miss (I think back to those weekends of lazing round on the sofa watching endless MTV and wonder wasn’t I bored?) but I do miss the fact that I’ve no longer been able to attend concerts, I’ve missed that deeply. The last concert I went to I was pregnant with Girl Lacer, so seven years ago. I remember thinking the naive optimism of the pregnant with the first that it wouldn’t be long before I could see another concert, I’d still be working, so we’d have the cash and there were these things called babysitters, I think I would have been horrified if someone had told my pregnant self that it would be as long as it has been. So, when I saw a competition on Twitter from O2 priority tickets to win tickets to see Linkin Park, all you had to do was follow them and tweet them the reason why you wanted the tickets, I tweeted back that I hadn’t been to a concert since my kids were born and it was killing me, slightly melodramatic language, but true and I won the tickets.
So, you’d think this point that the tickets would be posted to me, everything would fall happily into place and I’d go to the concert without a care in the world, nope. For a start when I entered the competition, much as I wanted to see Linkin Park, I didn’t think I’d actually win, after all, I never win anything, so I have to admit I didn’t pay too much attention to the date. I then win, check the calendar and oh it’s the night of my first tuition session with my new client. So a quick round of e-mails and the clients are very happy for me to move the tuition session to a week earlier, that problem solved. I then look to see when the concert starts, 6.30pm, oh 6.30pm I think, ah, it takes an hour and half to get from my part of London to the O2. I ask Mr. Lacer where he’s working on that particularly day, most days he works relatively close to home, but that day he was working in Central London, no way would he be home in time for me to leave to get to the concert, this was going to require a baby sitter. Now due to Boy Lacer and a general lack of cash, we haven’t used baby sitters (other than very, very occasionally family) since I was pregnant with Boy Lacer, but I remembered the agency we used a few times when Girl Lacer was a baby and I gave them a ring, shuddered a bit at the price (this was rapidly turning from a free night out to an expensive night out) and booked them. Then I get a DM from O2 priority tickets, “sorry, we can’t get you tickets for the 10th, is the 11th ok?”. Argggghhhh! So, I said yes, that was fine. Not wanting to muck my tuition client around, I didn’t move the tuition session back but I did have to ring and move the babysitter to the day after and it was when I was in the process of ringing the agency did I decide that now was the time to have a quick read of their FAQs and only then read that the babysitting agency did not cover children with special needs. Arggghhh, more hitting head against the wall and not knowing what to do, I carried on as I had planned and moved the booking, as after all I thought, there’s special needs and then there’s special needs, we were only booking the baby sitter for an hour or two between me leaving and Mr. Lacer getting home from work, surely the baby sitter would cope? So on discussing this later with Mr. Lacer he agreed and said that all we had to do was just not tell the baby sitter. So everything was arranged, if a bit (for me) uncomfortably arranged, as I didn’t like the idea of leaving Boy Lacer with someone and them not knowing the pertinent medical facts, but I was in a bit of a panic and thinking well if this agency won’t cover special needs children, then who on earth can I get to baby sit my children, ever?
But then the concert tickets didn’t turn up, there was still a bit of time but I was getting nervous, specially as the date had already been moved once and I had visions of the tickets not turning up at all and having to pay the baby sitter I didn’t need a lot of money. So on the Tuesday, when still no tickets, I cancelled the babysitter. Tickets arrived by registered post on Wednesday, cue more hitting head against the wall. Right, what was I going to do this time? I wasn’t going to rebook with the babysitting agency for a third time, specially now I knew their no special needs kids policy, so thank god for Google, I did another search and found Find a Babysitter.com, which amongst other things lets you narrow down your search criteria to just babysitters that are happy to look after special needs kids, fantastic. Through the website I found a lovely French lady who happened to be a paediatric nurse and she came to look after the kids yesterday for an hour and a bit whilst I went and caught my train.
As I said, it was Boy Lacer’s first experience of a babysitter and it could have all gone so easily pear shaped but it turned out he loved the novelty of having someone new to talk to and Girl Lacer liked having someone to practice her French on. I made my way to the concert probably way more anxious than Boy Lacer was.
It was lovely seeing the O2 again, the last time I was there it wasn’t even called that, it was the Millennium Dome and I actually think that how it is now is a bit of an improvement! It makes a lovely, very swish concert venue, knocks the socks off Wembley Arena or Milton Keynes Bowl.
Now, although I won two tickets, I was at the concert on my own, just a couple of hours babysitting was stretching us, paying a babysitter till after midnight, so that Mr. Lacer could also come with me, would have been too much. Unfortunately I didn’t have any friends who would have appreciated my spare ticket, Take That being more their thing, so I went on my own. I was a bit worried that I’d be a bit bored and self conscious sitting on my own (whilst the doors opened at 6.30pm, I knew it’d be ages before the concert actually started), but with a comfy seat to sit on and plenty of people watching opportunities, time actually flew by. I didn’t even get the book out I had in by bag, if I got bored and wanted a glimpse of reading material, all I had to do was glance over the shoulder of the lady in front of me (who was also on her own) who was reading the National Enquirer, now that had some interesting headlines.
The support act was Does it Offend You, Yeah? who opened with an absolutely excellent song, which I have absolutely no idea what it’s called but had the lyrics repeated over and over again of something like (please skip over this paragraph if bad language offends you) “Fuck you you’re wrong, Fuck you we’re right”, so if anyone knows the name of that song, I’d love to know because I’d download it (I’ve done a quick Google and can’t see any likely songs). After that song, well it appeared as if they opened with their best track because the applause was getting less enthusiastic and more polite, with each song, still, they weren’t that bad, just not quite my cup of tea, although the lead singer guy had a brilliant skull T-shirt on as well, so if anyone knows where he got that from to (very slim chance I know!)
Then after a bit of an interval it was onto the band itself and they were fantastic, you know how some bands don’t sound quite so good out of the studio (which is why I’m not sure, as much as I love them, that I’d like to go and see Black Eyed Peas*, I’ve seen some videos of their live stuff), Linkin Park sound as good as, possibly even better than their albums. I think their albums do a good job capturing their energy, but you get the full dose of it live. There is really nothing much better than seeing a good band, their music vibrating through you, feeling the anticipation of the crowd as the band plays the first notes of a much loved song, the crowd literally reaching out to the stage as the much loved song turns to the chorus. I was in the seats and I had a really good view, being relatively close to the front, but I would have loved to have been down there on the floor, the music even louder, just one mass of dancers. I wanted to dance from the word go, but felt a bit self conscious up in the seats with the slightly more restrained people (ooh the demographic of the concert goer has changed a bit since I last went to a concert, I thought I might be relatively old compared to a lot of people there, but there were quite a few older than me), but by the time LP played my favourite song on their current album, Iridescent, which is an incredibly moving song (if you click play on this page it takes you to Jango.com where you can hear it), all inhibitions were forgotten.
So, a brilliant night and I’m still buzzing. I need to see more live music, can anyone predict this week’s lottery numbers for me?
PS Massive kudos for the band on getting two lucky LPUnderground guys up on the stage to play with them, must have been the stuff dreams are made of.
*My musical tastes are nothing but diverse.
- Linkin Park – review (guardian.co.uk)