Linkin Park’s presence had been felt backstage all day, as their very, very large bodyguards patrolled the dressing rooms, press and catering areas, keeping a constant eye on everything and everyone.
Intimidating as they seemed, I happened to be sat opposite them at lunch and we got talking. They turned out to be great guys and a few hours later one of them patted me on the back and called me ‘bro’ as we passed each other in a corridor… I felt like I had been accepted into the giant-guy club as mostly everyone else who crossed this guy’s path received little more than a stern, slightly menacing gaze.
When the band arrived, fate would have it, I ended up in an elevator with Chester Bennington. I have been fortunate enough to meet more rock stars than I can remember over the past few years, however very few have the gravitas, presence and star quality that you would expect. Chester definitely has those qualities. Even if you had never heard of, or seen Linkin Park, you would know this guy was a rockstar just by being in his presence. We had a quick exchange, a shake of hands and he was swept away amid a sea of entourage. For the record, he came across as a really nice, pleasant and respectful guy.
Upon taking the stage, Linkin Park instantly had the crowd in the palm of their hands. The set comprised of mainly the hit singles that have spanned the band’s 10 year career, along with 2 newer tracks which went down extremely well with crowd. The light show and sound quality was, as always, totally awesome and as they finished their set, the atmosphere at Sonisphere Italy was supercharged.
The band exited stage left to a waiting limousine and was whisked away into the night, like the untouchable rock gods that they have become.
Sonisphere Italy was incredible, and as the mighty festival continues on its quest around Europe I don’t see how it can fail to impress the tens of thousands of rock fans that wait in its path.