Linkin Park

Hannover, January 16th 2008
Finally… I can watch a rock concert in Europe. And not just ‘a rock concert’ but it’s Linkin Park concert! Even the whole process is just amazing! From the way I get the ticket, my travel for the concert, and of course the concert itself. It’s just so amazing!

Ticket Acquisition
So here’s the story. When I was informed that Linkin Park will have concerts in Germany in January, I start planning to watch it. There’re 3 cities that they will visit: Köln, Frankfurt, and Hannover. From all these 3, only in Frankfurt that the concert is in weekend time. Since my class is like working hours everyday, so I prefer to watch it in Frankfurt. Beside, I have friend there who can accompany me to the concert. So perfect, I plan to go to Frankfurt.

I ask my friend to book the ticket. But since he’s working in shift, he can’t manage to book it until all the ticket sold out :( Oh well, I don’t blame him. He’s just too busy and of course the tickets are sold out fast.

At this point, I feel submissive. Okay, maybe it’s not my luck. Maybe it’s not my time yet to watch rock concert in Europe. Beside, I watched them before in Indonesia. So it’s not such a big deal if I can’t watch them in Europe.

So there it goes…. I calm myself and just try to forget it. Until….

And this is the amazing part. One day I browse to ‘Bremen city official’ website. I don’t remember why I go to that website or what I want to look for. But I end up reading on advertisements about people selling concert tickets.

Yes you can guess… In one of the advertisement, there’s a girl who want to sell Linkin Park concert ticket in Hannover! It’s just 1 ticket. She bought it but then she can’t go. What even better, she wants to sell it at the same price as she bought! Okay, maybe you don’t understand what the importance of this issue is. Well, here’s info: In eBay, people can sell it with double price! And also, according to my friend, there’re people who really buy a ticket for selling it again with higher price…!!! Ah well, what can I say? Economic law is applicable world wide. I thought, only Indonesian who do this…

Of course, without further due, I contact her and state my interest of the ticket. At first, she didn’t reply me for some days. So I try to calm myself again. What make me think that I am the only one who contacts her? There must be hundreds of people have contacted her and I am not the first one. So the ticket must have been sold to someone else.

But I guess, the Indonesian saying is true Rejeki emang gak bakal kemana-mana or If it’s meant to be your luck, it will find the way. So, she contacts me. She said that she has problem with internet connection, that’s why she replies late. But I am the first who contact her, so she will prioritize me.

I guess the moral of the story here is: don’t ever give up. Things that looks bad today, doesn’t mean also looks bad tomorrow. So there I was, having Linkin Park concert ticket in Hannover at Wednesday, January 16th. To add more luck, in the end, the girl sold the ticket under the price that she bought. She bought it for €54 and sells it to me for €50!

And that’s not all. Hannover is the nearest city from all the concert cities. To go there, I don’t have to spend any cent cause the route is still covered with my semester (student) ticket.
Last thing, I have Indonesian friends (husband and wife) there. So I can use their home as my base camp ;) What a bless…!!!

Concert Preparation
January 16th 2008 is Wednesday. That means, regular lecture day for me. I have to start it at 9AM and finish at 4PM. So I have to plan my travel precisely: not to loose much time of the lecture and not too late to arrive at the concert venue. Tuesday evening after the class, I spent all my time for this. Exploring all the train and local transportation schedules. This is what I like about Germany. The transportation system is well managed and reliable, and you can check everything online :)

Okay, so no sweat for the transportation issue. What makes it nicer than in Indonesia, the concert ticket itself is applied for local transportation too!!! Of course it’s only for certain hours, but I really can save some money!!! I imagine how it gonna be if the same scheme is applied in Indonesia. I can take all the buses or metro mini freely. But then again, mostly all the punks that go to rock concert never pay their transport fare anyway; so why bother…??

Base camp issue? Check! I contact my friends and they are welcoming me although I’ll just go there in the evening, drop my bag, go to the concert, back to their home for quick sleep, and leave in early morning to catch a train back to Bremen so I won’t be late for class.

Next… Since it’ll be my first rock concert in Europe, I wonder how the custom here is. Well for example, in Indonesia the concert never start on time. If it’s written at 8PM then it’ll start at 9PM the soonest. But I don’t know in here. Especially this is Germany, which is famous by its punctuality.

And then, how about documenting the concert? In the ticket, it’s written ‘No camera allowed’. In Indonesia, as long as it’s pocket camera or even camera in cell phones, the concert crew never gonna bother you. Because… the photos that you taken will not be in high quality anyway; so why should they busy in keeping all the cameras during the concert and returning it again after it’s done?? But again, how it’s gonna be in Germany?

Also, how about the water bottle policy in here? In Indonesia, carrying plastic water bottle into concert arena is forbidden. Why? Because, it could trigger a plastic bottle war among the audiences. But I don’t know… maybe German audience behaves politely than Indonesian.

Those are the big issues. Another small ones are like: Is there any place to hang the jacket? Cause it’s cold outside but I am sure it’s gonna be warm inside. Especially when the concert started, people will get sweat. (Yeah, that’s the essence of watching rock concert, no?). I hope I don’t have to carry my jacket inside the arena. It surely will limit my moshing activities during the concert then! AND… Is there any food vendors there? The venue is in the suburb area; and knowing the German strange custom where most of the stores are closed at 8PM, surely this one is not a weird question.

So, as a part of my preparation, I ask many people regarding those European concert customs. I ask my German classmates, my Indonesian friend that has experience in watching rock concert abroad, and even to the girl that sell me the ticket. Hey, she’s a rock chic too, she suppose to know something.

For punctuality, nope! This is a rock concert, not a meeting; so no punctuality issue. However, still it’s Germany. How far the degree of the lateness is, I don’t know. Maybe 10 minutes is too much for the Germans…

For camera, my friend, who has experiences watching rock concert abroad, suggests me to hide it under a small towel or so in a bag. Okay, in this case, I hide it under my scarf.

For water bottle, everybody says the same: it’s not allowed. So I have to be ready, if they take my bottle.

As for the food vendors, again, my experienced friend said that I should not be shocked to find that all the prices are irrational.

Nobody is sure whether there’ll be a place to hang a jacket or not. It could be present, or it could be not.

The Concert
In D-Day, I skipped out of my class at around 2.30PM and head to the main station. In 1 hour 20 minutes, I arrive at Hannover. But then my first challenge comes up. The schedule of local transportation is different than the one that I got from internet!!!! What??? How come this is happening?

Later on, my friend tells me that the schedule has changed since New Year. So probably the one in the internet has not been adjusted. Oh well, I thought Germany is a hi-tech country…

So as I planned, I arrive at my friend’s, drop my bag, steal some of their food, and take off. I am not sure about the transportation schedule now, so I have just go as early as possible.

The concert is in indoor stadium. I think, by looking to the arena, it’s an ice hockey stadium. The inspection started at outside of main entrance. They check for the bag. As advised by my friend, the checker misses my camera. But for water bottle, and this is something new for me, they just take the lid and allow me to carry the bottle inside! What a funny policy….! Why they allow people bring the bottle inside, although it’s an open one. Is it because then we are ‘forced’ to drink out of it? Well you know, it’s not comfortable to bring an open bottle for a long time. And perhaps with this discomfort issue, then we are hoped to buy a new one form the vendors in the venue. Well, maybe… But surely, this won’t prevent any bottle war.

Inside, I find a place to hang the jacket. It’s a private service, so you must pay. Well at least I can go freely in the arena…

After I finish my food stolen from my friend and my water, I ready to go inside the arena. I have a festival ticket, so I try to stand as close as I can to the stage. I walk toward the stage until I realize that this concert doesn’t have big screens!!!! What??!!!! It’s an international concert but it doesn’t have big screens???? Where is this? Remote island???? I can’t believe this… Germany, oh Germany….

Okay, in this case, being near the stage is useless. You will just making your neck hurt by looking up too high; and your eyes can be disoriented because the object that you see is too wide. Basically, it’s just like watching movie in the middle of the front seats!

But being in the back is also not easy. Well let me remind you again, this is Germany; where people are so tall… and I am just a small Asian girl. Yes, right… It surely will be a new experience for me.

What surprise me again, the concert is late for 1 hour and 40 minutes!!!! That’s really too much… Don’t they realize that this is Germany?

And during the concert, as it’s predicted, I see nothing. Sometime I can see the band, but most of the time I only can see German heads. That’s all…
But of course, not all are bad. I still can enjoy the concert. I can sing loudly and jump hard. I think I even sing louder than all the Germans around me. And I know, some people around me, look at me in surprise mode: watching this small Asian girl going crazy alone. Well, not my fault. It’s a rock concert. How come they don’t get crazy?

The concert only last for 1,5 hours. So it’s still around 11PM.

Funnily, the time needed to take my jacket back is almost as long as the concert itself! Maybe I am too hyperbolic, but queuing for 30 minutes for all the clueless service people try to look for your jackets is surely no fun. And the queuing line is so crazy. I think people are just tired… and some of them smell bad :(

To go back to my friend’s, I have to take 2 trams and 1 bus. Actually the tram from the venue is no longer available at that time. But for the concert, there’s an extra tram for us. The real challenge is waiting for the bus. It’s almost midnight, the bus only comes in 40 minutes or so.

When I reach the bus stop, the schedule says that I have to wait for more than 20 minutes. Well I don’t want to wait in the cold so I just walk toward home. Whenever I reach the next stop, I check the time. If it’s still more than 10 minutes, then I continue to walk to next stop. I think I have to walk until 4 stops before finally the bus outrun me.

Since the time is still covered by the concert, I don’t have to pay anything for the bus fare. There’s an old man in the bus. He surprised to see me showing my folded ticket to the bus driver ;)

I reach my friend’s at 00.15AM. Nothing much to do… I fall asleep right away.

In the next day, I leave my friend’s at 06.30AM to catch the 07.20AM train to Bremen. I feel bad to my friends actually, just come and go without much talking. I treat their place just like a cheap motel. That’s not polite at all…

In the journey back, don’t ask how tired I am. I just collapsed in the train with my mouth wide open. But no complain… finally I really can experience watching a concert in Europe. Who knows, maybe I could reach Woodstock also. Hey, nothing is impossible… :)