The rock world is struggling to come to terms with yet another tragic death after Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington was found hanged in Los Angeles earlier today.
The singer’s death came on the same day as late friend Chris Cornell’s birthday. The Soundgarden singer took his own life earlier this year and would have turned 53 today.
Law enforcement officials revealed Bennington’s body was found shortly before 9am – the singer had a history of drug and alcohol abuse.
The 41-year-old father of six had performed Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah for the crowd of mourners at Cornell’s funeral and close friends said he was hit hard by his friend’s passing.
Linkin Park were due to tour at the end of the month in support of chart topping record One More Light – released in May.
“Although nu-metal had its day, Linkin Park set the scene alight in the early days and boasted the talent and determination to reinvent themselves time and time again,” said HRH Mag Editor In Chief Simon Rushworth.
“Bennington was a charismatic performer and a deep thinker who took his band to the next level many times. He believed in his band and its music and whether or not fans agreed with Linkin Park’s various changes in direction there was never any danger they would become stale. Bennington, like his friend Cornell, will be sorely missed.”
Rushworth followed Linkin Park on their 2010 tour and here’s his review of their Newcastle Arena show:
nU2? Believe it or not it’s the nu-metal scene which has spawned the greatest commercial threat to Bono and his buddies. Yes, you read that right.
If it was impossible to imagine Linkin Park forgoing their metal roots for a polished stadium rock sheen a decade ago then the reality is this is the band most likely to take U2’s coveted global crown.
Crafting accessible, pop-rock tunes made for middle America, Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and co. have evolved beyond all recognition. For better or worse.
If, as an LP die-hard, you refuse to look past Hybrid Theory when assessing the US heavyweights then these are dark days indeed. But if you’re prepared to accept A Thousand Suns as evidence of an act breaking barriers and defying convention this is an exciting era worthy of recognition.
As the Linkin lads showcased their new material, pop rock stadium staples including A-Ha, Moby and Pendulum sprung to mind. But most of all Bennington aped Bono and proved Linkin Park are here to stay. At the vanguard of the nu-metal movement with the releases of their 2000 debut, this canny crew have confounded the critics and laughed in the face of convention to reinvent themselves as the modern rock heroes of choice.
Who, in all honesty, could have predicted that a live performance from the kings of angular riffs would rely so little on the electric guitar? Yet this was a night when tribal beats and pounding bass lines whipped the crowd into a frenzy and soaring solos were few and far between.
Incredibly the new songs sounded awesome in an arena environment and backed by thousands of delirious devotees. Listen to A Thousand Suns on your iPod and it’s an ineffective haze of post-Innerpartsystem dance rock. Experience the new songs in an arena, against am imaginative backdrop, and the album enjoys a new lease of life. But the record’s still an obvious grower.
Bennington and Shinoda are clearly proud of their sparkling new addition and tracks like The Catalyst are pure quality. And the intensity of Wisdom. Justice And Love hinted at the duo’s development as serious songwriters.
But an encore featuring In The End was always going to tick the relevant boxes: it did. As a bunch of no-holds-barred kids Linkin Park were dogged by immaturity and indecision. A decade down the line and they’ve developed in to one of the most engaging and relevant bands on the planet. Boys to men; nu metal to rock – it’s a tough journey and failure is not an option.