Just this Thursday afternoon, the music world tragically lost another voice: Chester Bennington was lead vocalist of Linkin Park, who in my eyes were THE band of my childhood and adolescence, and I feel a deep sense of sadness and personal regret over what many are now calling the End of Linkin Park as a band (as I’m writing this, the band has cancelled their US Tour).
For me, Linkin Park weren’t just a band or a single simple memory: their music was there during some of the most memorable and fondest times growing up. One of my favourite recalls is playing FIFA with my Older Brother; we would rarely bother with the Game’s own Soundtrack, but would instead blare some our favourite band’s music out of a little red bluetooth speaker. From Foo Fighters to John Mayer, The Killers to, of course, Linkin Park. Those artists upon another listening allowed me to relive those experiences time and time again (as well as the eternal satisfaction and glory that comes with being the better FIFA Player), and that’s why Linkin Park has stuck with me for the last decade or so of my life. Even as they transitioned from Rock and Rap to other genres, they were always a band I could consider my personal favourite, and unlike almost any other band, one I can listen to time and time again.
Bennington’s tragic death hit me like a ton of bricks, as it has seemingly put an end to a childhood desire of mine: seeing them play live: while I’ve had the fortunate experience of seeing other incredible bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Reverend and the Makers, Daughtry, and Nickelback live, Linkin Park may never be able to be added to that deeply treasured list. And that brings a tear to my eye: it adds a sense of sadness to tunes like “Valentine’s Day” and “Shadow of the Day”, which I don’t know if I can bare listening to now. It adds a sense of intensity and expression to songs like “Papercut”, “Numb”, “What I’ve Done” and “In the End”, and I don’t know if I can bare listening to them now either.
And I finish writing this, with a few more tears in my eyes, I want to say Thank You.
Thank You Linkin Park, and Thank You Chester Bennington. Thank you for being there. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the music. This little trip down memory lane has been a wonderful, but ultimately heartwrenching, experience.