I, like many others this morning, woke up to the devastating news that Chester Bennington took his own life. The iconic face and voice of many angsty teens and adults a like are collectively mourning the loss of a man who’s lyrics, melodies and screams were the only things keeping us together when we were going through times of hurt, doubt and loss.
After the death of my dad I haven’t been able to feel much for the celebrities who have left this earth, but this one cuts deep. So deep. I’m left numb and I can’t seem to find a way around that.
Chester’s voice was a guiding light through the bullying and the hurt, it may have also been the first band that allowed me to dabble in alternative notions of music. I was always a strict pop girl until I fell in love with Crawling and In The End, it wasn’t long before I came around.
Linkin Park’s ever changing sound is not only a testament to their growth but something that they were known for. I can’t speak enough about how gracefully they managed to do it, yes it was met with critics, but that’s the natural order of any creative industry. There is no distinguishing markers that allow you to be safe from critics.
Not only have a laid in the dark on, on my bed with their CD playing in the background (burnt because back when that was a thing I did it), I let myself get lost in the anguish of every word, ever rap and raspy shriek of his voice. I didn’t think that I would ever get a chance to see them live but my brother and I got a chance to see them live with our childhood friend. It was probably my fourth or fifth concert and after having seen Evanescence I thought I’d be prepared.
We were lucky enough to get general admission tickets, which meant that we weren’t necessarily right at the moshing front but we were pretty damn close. Drink bottles and cameras were concealed and smuggled in, because way back then you couldn’t bring either in and it was the day before phones had any sort of good camera on it so you were forced to be fully present at the concert. They were touring Minutes to Midnight and it was one of the most electrifying concerts I’ve ever been to. And even still to this day I can’t believe I was lucky enough to see.
And seeing Chester yell into that mic while Mike rapped, it was amazing, but nothing and I mean nothing can compare to the chilling goosebumps I got when he performed Pushing Me Away acapella. Everyone stood still and I could have sworn I would have cried if I was that kind of person (I cry at just about everything else though…go figure) at the mesmerising voice. He pulled on every single persons heartstrings and tied them into a knot.
It’s by far one of my favourite and most highly thought of concerts in my life and I’ve been to quite a few concerts in my life so far.
Nothing could have prepared me for the death of a man who not only influenced my music taste but also my writing ability. I’ve written many of the scenes from my first novel to his lyrics. Valentine’s Day let me get into the pain Lucy was dealing with when she lost her siblings. In The End and Crawling helped me with her cutting scene, but more than that it was always the right amount of heavy that I could drown out the rest of the world. I could go on and on about what songs helped fuel every scene but I would be here for too long and give away all of my novel (ha!).
I can’t begin to understand what Chester would have gone through on a day to day basis that would make him take his own life, but all I can say is that I’m glad that he’s no longer in any more pain, my condolences go out to his family and fellow band mates. I understand the pain of losing someone so very close and while it doesn’t get better it does get more manageable.
Here’s to binging LP’s albums over the next few days and remembering the memories that were attached to every song. Thank you Chester for your amazing voice, words and talent. The sky gained another shining star tonight.