Ash explains her experience of Linkin Park while they were here on their Johannesburg Tour. She is one of their original fans and this truly was a dream come true for her. 

The world must be ending. Why else are our event organisers bringing all these performers out to South Africa? I don’t care about the supposedly zombie apocalypse, global flooding or another ice age happening because I saw Linkin Park perform live and this makes me happy. 

The rough two hours we spent in traffic on the way to the gig were as painful as realising you’ve run out of money for KFC after a night of partying. At first, seeing people bring out their drinks in traffic to pre-party was fun but you quickly get over this when you’re stuck next to a car full of brosephs pumping Avicii tunes.

Kongos were the supporting act, and even though it feels like I’ve seen them a billion times, I still love them. Between the Kongos and Linkin Park set, the crowd got busy waving their arms. I haven’t seen a decent Mexican wave like that since the Fifa World Cup games. I almost drowned, but maybe that’s because I’m short.

I don’t think Linkin Park fully realised how enormous their South African fan base is. Every word of every song was sung by the crowd. To say it was a dream come true for me sounds clichéd, but it really was just that. Most people grew up listening to Linkin Park on a Hybrid Theory CD they got from their friend, as did I.

The band massacred the night. They put on an overwhelming and high energy performance, singing everything the crowd loves other than Crawling. Shame, some kids are bleak about that. However, the overall set list included all the other crowd favourites. Everything I wanted to hear and more was played, including the new stuff that I wasn’t so sure about. Shadow of the Day and In The End were my favourite of the night. I went completely ape balls to In the End and rapped my heart out whilst imitating Joe Hahn’s turntable skills. Years ago, whilst other young girls were listening to Britney Spears, I was jumping on my bed rapping along to Mike Shinoda. The spine chilling rendition of Shadow of the Day was something magical. Thousands of flames from lighters and camera flashes set the mood even more. Tears were streaming. I got teary eyed somewhere between having my arms thrown up in the air and singing at top volume. If you didn’t manage to irritate people standing around you by singing like a mofo the whole night, then you did something wrong.

Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington are experts at owning stage presence and amping the stadium. I tried to scream like Chester but I only managed to growl. In times where bands blow up on a scene only to fade into one hit wonders, seeing Linkin Park able to bring such great performances to large crowds made me proud to be a fan.

I got so lost in my fangirling moment that I almost had a ‘Buy all the merchandise!’ moment with the gear at the merchandise store. Thankfully I only left with a t-shirt. This t-shirt is big enough to fit two sumo wrestlers and their mothers. I’ll love it forever and ever.

I’m kicking myself for not being the girl who thought of the idea of covering herself in chocolate, rolling around in feathers and dancing in traffic. Her endeavours got her loads of free stuff and she got to chill with the guys. Bitch.

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