Monday we got to put back the ‘Street’ in Street Soldiers. With a simple Tweet from Phoenix around noon- “Anyone going to be in the Hollywood area today?” -and a (cheesy) reply from Adam (#soldierforlyf), we suddenly found ourselves dropping and making plans for The Strip by the time 4:00 pm came around. That’s the best way to do it, right?
Changing out of the pajamas I vowed to never get out of that weekend, I exchanged a few texts that started off as curious and a bit doubtful to #ALLCAPSEVERYTHING. Dayna and Devin already near Hollywood, and Brandon and Joey on the move, I bribed my brother into dropping me off, our favorite post-concert In n Out the chosen meeting spot. After a short negotiation with the sibling, I found myself at the start of The Strip twenty minutes later, Brandon the first to find. Meeting his dad, who apparently knows me as his ‘crazy Linkin Park friend that travels everywhere,’ we settled down to wait for our other friends and more tweets from the guys.
What we got, though, was a text and call: the text from Joey saying she was picking up Susy and Leo in frickin’ Cerritos, the call from Katelyn that they were heading towards us- and had found them.
Katelyn told us they were a little further up, closer to where the stage for SSMF would be, so she’d pick me and Brandon up and take us over. Driving through Sunset, we got a call from Dayna that they had found them as well just as Katelyn pulled up alongside them on the sidewalk. Hugs exchanged with my friends, a bunch of ‘hi!’s thrown around with one at Adam, I stepped back and looked over, Phoenix first to smile and say ‘hi’ back.
I probably should have every little detail mesmerized, or have an epic, memorable story to tell, but in all honesty, it was simply nice. It’s little, simple things that made it great. Like for one, I had been in an accident literally a month before, so one of my visible tell-tale signs to that is the brace I have to wear for my wrist; when I went to shake Phoenix’s hand, I instinctively reached with my right hand, my injured one. “Other hand,” he almost laughed, and my friends laughed along as I awkwardly used my left instead.
There’s also the moment where me and Adam started talking excitedly over a cat we both knew, and I had looked away for a split moment to catch a look on our favorite bassist’s face that looked a lot like this: O___o
With Brad, I had looked over at him and got a nice smile with a wave. Can’t forget having to sign the waiver/release form to possibly come out on their video footage- my writing was messier than a pre-schooler’s with my brace! At the time, I didn’t even know what I was struggling to sign; they could have been asking for my kidney and I wouldn’t have known. Adam seemed to be making notes of how we looked for later reference, mine being along the words of ‘ATS hoodie’ and ‘cast on hand.’ Ha.
Then there’s Mike who was moving from one of us to another, snapping (great) photos with Dayna and Brandon, giving us flyers and taking video.
There is one big moment from this sudden meeting with half our favorite band, though, and that’s when Brandon went ahead and just asked Phoenix if he minded saying ‘hi’ to a certain friend of ours over the phone, and he nicely agreed.
Some rings later, my friends standing in a circle with Phoenix, our favorite Phoenix-fan Irene answered, and we witnessed one of her biggest, squeal-worthy moments. Somewhat yelling “Hi Irene!” once she was on, we all listened as he asked what her plans for August 3rd were, throwing us all under the bus (or plane when it comes to me and Irene) and said out of his own mischief “your friends said you’re missing out big today. They said they hope Chicago’s worth it.”
The Viddy Mike posted caught us laughing at that and my “Irene’s going to kill us.”
Everyone’s favorite guy, Mark Fiore, was there as well, of course, his camera on the whole time- cannot wait to hopefully see some photos or video. Funnily enough, most of us are a tad camera-shy or simply embarrassed of how we sound on video, so we had a watchful eye on Mark and his camera… we later realized, looking through our photos, that Mike had a Go Pro strapped onto his backpack.
I believe I called him a “handsome, sneaky bastard.”
During our time with them, we had one story Mike told us that’s a favorite for us share with our fellow Soldiers. Apparently, a woman got pretty mad at Mike when he tried handing her a flyer, walking off annoyed. The rest were shared on Twitter by Adam, also a damn good laugh. There was Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson and Phoenix Farrell casually wandering around and handing out custom flyers, and they had people getting mad at them or not realizing who they were.
It’s simply priceless.
Flyers handed to us, pictures taken (I again did not get my photo with them. Not sure why I don’t just ask for them), we each got a large poster-flyer they were also putting up, taking note that it had a familiar signature on the back- Mike had signed each one with a ‘Thanks!’ for anyone who took a flyer, and then could now have a signature. It’s again, so simple yet so big. Mike and Phoenix kindly signing it on the front for me and Brandon before we left, we said our good-byes, our friend Joey heading over by then to their final stop at UCLA with Susy and Leo, and we started doing what we went there for; “Will you help me pass out flyers?” -m_shinoda
Like I had Tweeted them, it was a sudden, unexpected reunion with my friends I hadn’t seen in a while. It was a sudden reunion that turned into a almost-dangerous walk on Sunset, joining our friends Joey, Leo and Susy while Katelyn, Devin and Dayna went to Jimmy Kimmel Live for 30 Seconds to Mars, accidentally ‘meeting’ Jared Leto and making a quick stop at IHOP, taking some group photos and heading over for a sleepover at Joey’s, grabbing some delicious pizza and watching movies without really watching them.
Tuesday we spent the day blasting Linkin Park, Fort Minor and Dead by Sunrise, any other stray tracks, and finished the day at my house, watching horror movies and knocking out. Wednesday we watched more movies, but my friends had to be home by evening, so our random ‘LPU Sleepover’ was done.
Many other fans have been a bit put-off that my story from Monday involves more of my time with my friends after meeting them; but that’s what I love about Linkin Park. They bring me to my friends. We’re making our own copies and taking the streets again soon- it’s the least we can do to give back, reason why we had joined the Street Team all those years ago. Thanks again, Linkin. It was damn fun.
Much love from Dayna, Brandon, Susy, Joey, Devin, Leo, Katelyn, Irene and I- your LPU TEAM FREE WILL.