Linkin Park to honor Chester Bennington in band's first concert since his death
The hard-rock group will play a one-off gig at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl
Linkin Park has announced their first concert since singer Chester Bennington died in July. The hard-rock group will perform a one-off “celebration” to honor Bennington on Oct. 27 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
The performance will feature “a number of other artists,” according to a press release. Linkin Park’s members plan to donate their fees from the gig to Music For Relief’s One More Light Fund; Bennington and the rest of Linkin Park began the charity Music For Relief following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and the One More Light Fund was established after Bennington’s death.
“I know it’s going to be a rollercoaster of emotion, but when we talk about this, when we’re focusing on the show, it’s really about celebrating life,” the band’s Mike Shinoda said of the concert in an interview on KROQ Monday morning.
The musician went on to reflect on the tributes from their fellow music stars, including Chris Martin, JAY-Z, and Jared Leto. “It’s been two months since Chester passed away. The fans have been incredible — I don’t think we could have ever expected such an outpouring of love and all these tributes,” said Shinoda. “There have literally been tributes all over the world for two straight months.… The guys and Chester’s family were deeply moved by all this stuff.”
Shinoda indicated that the decision to move forward with the tribute concert took some encouragement. “I had gone to Rick Rubin as a source of guidance,” the musician explained. “He had said, ‘I think you guys need to get on stage. I think that’ll be the thing that’ll feel good. It’ll be super, super hard.’ We haven’t gone out together in public, we haven’t played — we haven’t gone on stage. He said, ‘The fans want to see you. Not because they want to see a show, but there’s a cathartic experience that needs to happen and it’ll inform what you guys are doing.’ And I thought it over — and I know for some of the guys in the band, getting on stage is more scary than [for] other guys in the band — but I will say that for all of us, it’s definitely the thing that we want to do; it feels like the right way to celebrate Chester.”
Shinoda also touched on Bennington’s death by suicide. The singer was found dead at 41 after hanging himself at his home in Palo Verdes Estates, California on Thursday, July 20, leaving behind his wife Talinda and six children from multiple relationships. “I know that the circumstances of his passing were really dark and as we said at the time, the darkness that he had was always there and it was kind of part of the package, but what was so unique and special about this guy is that he used it as fuel to do so many positive things,” said Shinoda. “His overall … the way he was, he was such a happy guy, he was such a fun guy and when he’d walk in the room there was such a positive, funny, upbeat energy and that’s what we want to get out of this show.”
RELATED: Chester Bennington’s Life in Photos
Also on Monday, Linkin Park released a music video for “One More Light,” the title track from their May album. “‘One More Light’ was written with the intention of sending love to those who lost someone,” Shinoda wrote in a statement. “We now find ourselves on the receiving end. In memorial events, art, videos, and images, fans all over the world have gravitated towards this song as their declaration of love and support for the band and the memory of our dear friend, Chester. We are so very grateful and can’t wait to see you again.”
In the wake of Bennington’s death, artists from My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way to Rise Against singer Tim McIlrath honored the singer. “The right music to the right person is so powerful,” McIlrath told EW when memorializing Bennington. “To have a guy like Chester be able to tap into the angst that is adolescence, that was such an important thing.”
The pre-sale for Linkin Park’s Hollywood Bowl concert begins Sept. 19, while tickets become available to everyone on Sept. 22. For now, watch the “One More Light” video above and revisit EW’s list of the band’s best songs.