Yesterday, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington died by committing suicide at a Los Angeles residence. Shortly after the news came in, fans began sharing personal anecdotes of how his music got them through tough times, as well as sharing stories and photos of meeting the rock legend in person.
From the life-making moment of Bennington singing you “Happy Birthday,” to keeping your post-concert keepsakes on display 15 years later, it’s clear that the singer was an important figure in many fans’ lives.
13 year old me loved Linkin Park with a passion. Chester Bennington and Linkin Park was the first actual band/artist I listened to when I turned around 11, and the angst-filled lyrics fueled my formative years haha. Their music is what has formed the rest of my music taste today. I listened to them for a good while too, well past the middle-school phase and halfway into high school.
It sucks looking back on those lyrics, as I have done all of today while drowning myself in his music. 7 years later and the lyrics mean something else, now that this has happened.
RIP Chester. I’m glad you got to share a moment of his life with him OP
I hope he knew how much he meant to a lot of people who were (or are) struggling with rough times and uses LP’s music to help cope. Thirteen-year-old me hates you, btw.
My headphones were glued to my ears back then. Hybrid Theory was my jam, and I’ve discovered tonight that I still know an astounding amount of lyrics.
I’m genuinely glad he isn’t suffering anymore. But the best had been if he hadn’t suffered at all. He held my hand through some really, really shitty years, and I got through it. I wish he could have gotten through his.
Their live shows – even before the album was released – were pretty much album-quality. There are some videos from that time period and you can tell that even with a shitty camera mic and the effect the venue has on the shape of the sound in recording that everything is coming through clearly. They all listened to each other during performances and constantly adjusted levels on the fly – their “DJ” (he’s really a live producer, and he’s goddamned brilliant) Joe Hahn – he didn’t just push buttons and scratch records. He was handling inputs and levels before they went out to the house. That’s about half-speculation, but I’m pretty confident in it. I was privileged to see them as the bottom-of-the-bill act in a little venue called Ziggy’s in Winston Salem NC in September of 2000. It was them (only about two dozen or so people in the place for their set), then ReHab (before they released their popular album), then Twiztid, then Kottonmouth Kings.
NOBODY was there to see Linkin Park because nobody had any clue who the hell they were.
Five minutes into their set and everyone in the place was just standing still, staring. It was pretty surreal. I’ve never heard live sound like that before or since, and I’ve seen some setups that probably leveraged millions of dollars worth of equipment to try and distribute good sound out to the audience. I’ve never heard it “click” like it did at Ziggy’s that night. Every sample could be heard, the voices were at correct levels even though Chester was screaming at the top of his lungs three feet away from Mike who was using a voice pitched barely above speaking volume. You could tell that performing live was just how they did things. The record sounded like the show. Never heard anything else like it.
Mike and Chester were at the merch table after the set, and while I only spoke to Mike in passing I spent a good ten minutes telling Chester that within a year they were going to sell a million records and sell out coliseums. He acted like there wasn’t a chance in hell. He gave the impression that he was sure he was going to be screaming into the void like that for years to come.
…and they left it all on the stage too. Completely burned that fucker down, upstaged the three acts that they were “supporting” all to hell. The only other thing I remember from that night is that ReHab brought along strippers to dance on stage while they did their thing. If you were to tell me that actually Twiztid and KMK cancelled their sets at the last minute, I’d hesitate to argue the point. I sure don’t remember it.
But I remember that LP show better than almost any other show I’ve seen, and I have seen some crazy fucking shows. I saw a guy get thrown through a wall during a house show. I was running sound for MDC at a show that didn’t have a stage, and the pit started to crush in on the band…shit got aggressive pretty fast. I remember little clips like that, from big stand-out moments, most of them within the last ten years.
The LP show was seventeen years ago – I was dropping out of college for the first time when this picture was taken – and I remember so much. I’ve written a lot about it in the last 24 hours, look through my post history if you want…there’s probably a couple of thousand words just reflecting on how that show impacted me.
Such amazing talent. Such incredible drive, and consistency. He could scream on pitch for like 30 seconds and then hit a clear note after a pause of only a sixteenth to an eighth. People talk shit about his lyrical content, whatever. The fact is that in any time period, given any singing job, he’d have risen to the top. He had the range, the sustain, the drive and the will. Raw talent and hunger. But he was also affable, chill, funny, and kind.
…and I wish he weren’t gone.
My wife read to me the news about Chester, and I was like “You know that song that you love, ‘When life leaves you blind? That’s him.” She then got a lot more sad.
Chester singing Rolling in the Deep by Adele was one of those moments I realised he wasn’t just all about the screaming.
As one of the comments pointed out Chester starts of in the wrong key and Mike smiles and corrects him on the piano, a cute moment.