According to the July 7 entry in Triumphs & Tribulations VII, I attended the 1st major concert of my life. Having arrived in Tokyo just 6 weeks earlier, I found myself amongst a huge crowd in Makuhari Messe for the Tokyo portion of the Live Earth benefit concerts. The majority of the music acts were Japanese but they were really good…especially Cocco, whom I came to like as a recording artist because of the concert. Xzibit and Linkin Park performed, marking the 1st and only time I’ve seen them live. Rihanna was the headliner and it was my 2nd time seeing her live, having seen her perform at Wild Adventures in Valdosta a year earlier. I really liked Linkin Park’s set. It opened with the track that introduced me to them and it had the crowd at such a fever pitch that they had to stop the show for like 20 minutes to quell the rowdiness. More than anything, they had me hyped on that muggy summer night. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the Linkin Park “One Step Closer” music video.
How I first came across this moment? I came across the music video in April 2001, when I saw it on MTV2.
What it meant to me then? On the first watch, it was an insanely weird music video. It was so angry, so dark, so fierce. But it was incredibly interesting. It was my first time listening to Linkin Park so naturally, I looked them up and found out that the track was from their Hybrid Theory album…which was released on my 16th birthday. I liked the music video. At the time, as I wrote in Triumphs & Tribulations I, it was “crazy like the Kelis video”. The “One Step Closer” music video actually ushered in a season in which some of my favorite music videos weren’t by black artists nor in the hip-hop and R&B genres. I was big into Staind’s “It’s Been Awhile”, Incubus’ “Drive”, Depeche Mode’s “Dream On”, Matchbox Twenty’s “If You’re Gone”, 3 Doors Down’s “Kryptonite”, and Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood”. In the aftermath of the Parker High controversy, it was one of the music videos that always popped in my mind…especially that “shut up when I’m talking to you” part.
What it means to me now? All of these years later, the “One Step Closer” music video is one of my all-time favorites. The concept and uniqueness around the video have only gotten better with time.