Review: Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington tribute performance at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California, October 27 2017
It might have been easier to have written this as a standard “I went to a concert, it was amazing,” review, but it just couldn’t be done.
You could be told how amazing System Of A Down sounded, or how unreal it was to see Oli Sykes, Machine Gun Kelly, and Jeremy McKinnon on stage alongside Linkin Park, but honestly, that doesn’t matter.
You could be told that the guest vocalists were moving, incredible, and so special (especially when Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows and Synyster Gates and Blink-182 graced the stage), or how it was unreal how many women Linkin Park worked with and inspired musically, but honestly, it wasn’t that kind of show, and this isn’t that kind of review.
This night reminded me – and I’m assuming so many others – of why music is so powerful. It has the ability to heal.
Last night we weren’t a bunch of concertgoers in a sea of people watching a band perform live, last night the crowd was a family, celebrating the life of one of our own. There were eulogies, stories, jokes and tears as we reflected on the life of a person who changed the world for so many.
I want to tell you that the best performance of the night was Mike Shinoda sitting solo at the piano performing the song he wrote for Chester, but it wasn’t. One of the best performances of the night was watching five men get back on stage and smile out at their adoring fans who understand their pain.
Another of the best performance of the night was Talinda Bennington sharing her grief, and allowing us to be in that moment with her.
Maybe the best performance was when the crowd sang ‘Numb’ to an empty mic stand with a single spotlight. Or was it when Mike asked us to fill vocals for ‘In The End’?
Whatever your moment was, whatever speech or song or performer struck the biggest chord with you, last night was not a night to review, but a night to remember. It was a moment in time where we all sat together as musicians, fans, strangers, friends and loved ones and paid homage to a man who just wanted to make the world a little bit better for everyone.
So I want to thank all the artists who came out or took part in last night – Ryan Key, Gavin Rossdale, Alanis Morrisette, Taka, Steven McKellar, John Green, Elsie Junior, Sidney Sierota, Julia Michaels, Kiiara, Machine Gun Kelly, Korn, Oli Sykes, System of a Down, Sum 41, Blink-182, Jared Leto, Paul McCartney, 30STM, Jeremy McKinnon, Steve Aoki, Bebe Rexha, A7X and more – for allowing us to share as you mourned and celebrated the life of your friend.
I’d like to thank Chester’s wife for being so brave and a great mom to her beautiful children, but to this fanbase as well as we wonder about the future. Thank you for fearlessly leading us into a path Chester would be so proud of.
And mostly, I want to thank the members of Linkin Park for being strong enough to share in this moment with us.
We go forward as a family fighting depression, fighting our demons together and saving ‘One More Light’ at a time.
For more information on how you can #makechesterproud and #fuckdepression, click here for the 320 Change Direction website, and help Talinda Bennington make a change in Chester’s name.