A decade ago, I was only about 10 years old. I was in elementary school at the time, and I had only known about Linkin Park through my brother. He had bought Hybrid Theory, but quickly decided that he wasn’t a fan. I listened to some songs off of Hybrid Theory, but my brother had turned me away from them (I was pretty impressionable at the time). To this day, nothing has really changed. I like Linkin Park, and he doesn’t. Back in the day, the way in which I learned about music was through ARTISTdirect on Yahoo. They had a big special on Linkin Park – they had just released “Somewhere I Belong.” Having not really listened to Linkin Park in a while, I listened to it – and I fell in love with it. Yahoo also offered an “exclusive” listen to “Lying From You.” I would come back to the site daily and listen to the two songs, over and over again. It was all I had until the album came out. At the time, CD+DVD combos were expensive – you would pay upwards of $25 to $30. For an elementary school kid, that amount was astronomical. I really wanted to buy the album, but I didn’t have the money. My dad said if I cleaned his car and made it shine, he would compensate me with as much as I needed to buy the album. I spent a day on that God-forsaken car and got my thirty dollars. Soon after, I went to Sam Goody (anybody remember that place?) and bought Meteora. I bought the CD+DVD version like I wanted, and went home and put the CD into my boom box. I listened through the whole thing a couple of times, and for me at the time, it was the coolest thing I’d ever heard. I listened to the album non-stop, and soon after used Yahoo Music to acquaint myself with the rest of Linkin Park’s music. I also might have watched The Making of Meteora a good ten times that week. In other words, Meteora was my gateway to the band. I reacquainted myself and thoroughly listened to Hybrid Theory, I found out about Reanimation and looked at different Linkin Park fan sites. I made Linkin Park edition screen names on AIM (I thought I was so cool) and tried to make my own fan site (a failure). I might say in retrospect that I became a little bit obsessed (just a little bit). But at the end of the day, I fell in love with the band. I watched LPTV religiously, and kept up with everything the band was doing. I tried to go see them so many times and never had the chance (nor the money). I bought Hybrid Theory, Reanimation, all of the different singles, everything. That summer, the band did the Faint Trading Card competition. I was in Cyprus at the time and followed the competition as best as I could. I entered and unfortunately did not win. I watched the Faint video too many times for my own good. Actually, for all of the videos that came out, I may have watched them a good 20-30 times the day they came out. There wasn’t much I could do – I was hooked. I know a lot of people give Meteora a really hard time. Many people expected more from the band after Hybrid Theory and Reanimation – people to this day tease about how a lot of the songs are watered down versions of their Hybrid predecessors. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but I think people forget that everyone had their different way of getting into the band. For me, it was Meteora. It was songs like those off of Meteora that helped me get through my adolescence – the years I held so much angst for no good reason (gotta love puberty). But in a way, that album helped. It opened up the world of Linkin Park to me – a band that I have since relied on in times of frustration, sadness, and loneliness. That world isn’t limited to the band’s music, but to their fans. If it weren’t for Meteora, I might have never come across the Linkin Park Association. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. As I said, everyone has a right to their own opinion – there are some people here on the LPA who will mercilessly rip this album to shreds. And that’s okay, but as much as that album may have meant little to some of the fan base, it really meant a lot to me. I still listen to that album every once in a while. I listen to it when I’m upset, when I’m sad – sometimes when I need to get work done and need something to pump me up. I listened to the album a lot when I went to Meteora in Greece a couple of summers ago. It may not have fit the scenery (something about “I WON’T BE IGNORED” really doesn’t resonate with ancient Greek monasteries), but it reminded me why I fell in love with the band. To this day I am thankful that I looked at Yahoo that one day and saw ARTISTdirect’s special on the band, and I remember as clear as ever the purple page that gave me the chance to listen to “Somewhere I Belong,” and I won’t soon forget how much that song and the rest of the album resonated with me. So, one piece of advice: if you have a kid, and he or she wants to buy a CD, make them clean your car and give them the money to buy it. If they’re anything like me, it’ll mean the world to them. I will close with this. Do you know that feeling when you look at an image or a picture and it just triggers feelings right away? It could be any feeling – good or bad. It’s like a rush – as if the emotions that come to mind start running through your blood. I look at that special edition blue album cover with the hunched over guy in a gas mask spray-painting and I get this feeling of nostalgia and excitement every single time – reminiscent of how I felt when I first bought the album. Every time, without fail, I can feel my goosebumps. I guess, you could say, “It never goes away.” - - - Thank you for all participating in this weekend's events! Special thanks to Joe for putting all of it together! We hope you all enjoyed the concert stream, album stream, and podcast as much as we did! We hope this weekend brought back some fond memories for many of you, as for many of us this was the first album we ever really anticipated from the band. We know that it has certainly been a nostalgic weekend for us! What is your Meteora Moment? Comment and share your first experience with the album on the forums!