Linkin Park And Friends, A Fond Farewell To An Icon Of Our Time3 min read

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2017 has been another year of celebrity losses. Musically, none affected me in the same way as Chester Bennington’s death did. The front-man for the band Linkin Park took his life earlier this year. I first heard Linkin Park when I was 10 or 11 with the music video for ‘One step closer’ . When it came on, I was inspired by the metal fusion sound they were creating. I had followed them for a good decade after, embracing each new album with open arms.

When I heard Chester Bennington had passed on, I was saddened. This was the man who preached love, screamed at hatred and battled his demons on record. His powerful vocals were the catalyst for many artists emerging now. One of the first questions after the obvious “why?” were what would happen to the band? The mix of sound meant Mike Shinoda could still provide vocals, but would they replace Chester, and could they?

The band sent out word that they would be holding a benefit concert, at The Hollywood Bowl, on October 27th, promising a star line up to celebrate Chester and his life, his message, and raise some money for charity at the same time.

The whole thing was streamed on YouTube, which you can watch here.

It was a lengthy three hours which each hour becoming bigger than the last. Most of the night was filled with enormous energy. Ryan Key of Yellowcard sang “Shadow of the Day”; Avenged Sevenfold’s M Shadow and Synyster Gates did “Faint.” Blink-182 performed “I Miss You,” Bush’s Gavin Rossdale sauntered through “Leave Out All the Rest,” Sum-41’s Deryck Whibley and Frank Zummo tore through “The Catalyst.” System Of A Down’s Daron Malakian and Shavo Odadjian on “Rebellion” to name only a few of the stars that paid respects to an icon front-man, to a enraptured audience.

Regarding the audience, many cameras pan to the audience throughout the live-stream, and the variety is apparent. Every demographic is counted for, showing to the world the reach Linkin Park and Chester Bennington have. Many were singing along through tears and pure emotion.

There were key several key moments of the nights set-list. The singular light on a microphone braided with flowers as the audience sang the hit songs ‘Numb’ was an emotion high point. Later on the in show, ‘In the End’ the mash up of YouTube clips of a seemingly happy Chester, debunking the myth that all people with depression are sad all the time. Lastly, the speech delivered by Chester’s Wife, Talinda Bennington. Standing in front of a crowd of over 18,000 fans, she expressed her gratitude at the fans, and the family of the band. She brandished a powerful message about mental health, and about Chester’s charity work.

Watching the concert, it had the possibility of looking like a dated charity telethon. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sure there was a link to donate, but it was purely a celebration of music between friends, with the addition of a brief clip on what the One More Light Fund was all about.

Music has a way of bringing us together. Mike Shinoda did an excellent job as the MC for the night, bravely navigating a way through a set-list that brought old and new fans together.

Final thoughts… The band did Chester proud. By projecting a message of love, support and the feeling of family, they have set the bar high for other musicians to reach. 

To find out more about the OneeMore Light fund, click here.

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