Writer: Jarrett Crepeau
Images Courtesy of Linkin Park’s Instagram
It feels good say Linkin Park is back, but it’s something I never thought I would have to say. After their frontman, Chester Bennington tragically committed suicide back in July the music world was left shocked, especially because it was only a few months after Chris Cornell of Soundgarden also died of suicide, something every fan was still numb to. However, due to all the love and support from fans and fellow musicians, On October 27th the band came together with more than few guests to wish Chester one last farewell. Not only did they perform but they also raised money for some of Chester’s favorite charities.
Mike Shinoda, co-founder of the band said returning to stage was one of the hardest things they’ve ever done, and that it will never be the same without Chester. Luckily they had the help of some friends, let me break down some of the highlights. Early in the show they played one of the hits from Meteora, “Somewhere I Belong” with Taka Moriuchi, a Japanese vocalist they were going to collaborate with during shows in Japan on their One More Light tour this year. They absolutely killed it and it showed that despite this tragedy the band hasn’t lost the spark without Chester. Another one of my favorites was “Papercut” with Machine Gun Kelly off their very first album Hybrid Theory. Kelly and Mike has such a great chemistry onstage together, while it wasn’t Chester’s voice, you could feel his spirit in their voices. The love and respect for him as an artist was there that night, shared by everyone. Some of the others performing were Korn’s Jonathan Davis, Shavo and Daron of System of a Down, Alanis Morissette, Oliver Sykes of Bring me the Horizon, all of Blink-182 and Steve Aoki.
However one of my favorite moments from the show was early on. After a few songs, the stage went black except for a single microphone decorated with flowers to honor Chester as the crowd sang along to the instrumental of one of the band’s most famous song “Numb”. It was one of the most emotional and cathartic moments of the concert. The roaring voices of the crowd was such an amazing thing to watch on the livestream (which is archived on the Linkin Park Youtube channel) I can only imagine what it was like in person. Everyone was there honoring Chester, not mourning him, as his wife Talinda noted in her speech towards the end of the concert.
Ultimately, the tribute concert did Chester justice, it served not only as a healing experience for the band but for the fans as well. Linkin Park was one of the first bands I discovered on my own when I was a kid, the first band I really got into and they will always mean something to me. At the end of the concert Mike Shinoda said “We don’t know where we’re going next, but thank you for your support and helping us make Chester proud.” That really stuck with me, and I hope to see Linkin Park come back again eventually because it just wouldn’t be the same without them.