Chester Charles Bennington, of Linkin Park. The man whose songs inspired me ten years back and will continue to inspire for years to come.
Linkin Park was the band whose songs were like a gateway to a parallel universe. Their songs fueled our emotions and were a constant inspiration during our rebellious teenage years. When everybody else judged us, including our parents, relatives, friends, crushes, and the system as a whole, Linkin Park’s music, blended with Chester’s strong vocals and lyrics full of pain, kept us sane. Chester Bennington, the late frontman of Linkin Park, was the reason why I found my peace in music, and why music became an integral part of my life. The night when I came to know that Chester is no more, left me in tears. I have been sad, but not this sad in a very long time. Sadly, today when I put all my favourite tracks of Linkin Park on repeat, and listened to each word carefully, all of it made sense. Chester was battling depression, alcoholism and substance abuse. What aches the most is the fact, that, the love of his fans, our love, couldn’t bring him out of this depression.
In the end, it did matter, Chester and you did not have to leave us and go. Your songs encouraged brotherhood and brought all the rebels together. You formed an army of people whose dreams and passions were fueled by your songs.
I got introduced to Linkin Park via their track, Numb, and I assume most of you were introduced to Linkin Park in the same way. Their music was the reason why I started listening to Alternative Rock. It breaks my heart to realise that we’ll not hear Chester’s voice anymore. He’s left a void in the heart of all his fans. Chester was one of a kind stage performer. His vocals were so powerful and his screaming will always be incomparable. The energy that he brought to the stage and transmitted to all the young guys and girls who hummed every song of the band like it was some sort of an anthem, was unbelievable. An anthem that we could all connect to and for that one moment everything made sense.
I have become so numb and I can’t feel you there.
I have so many memories attached to Linkin Park. I remember that the first time, I discovered that I was a vocalist, was when I was asked to audition for a Western Musical Competition in high school. I sang, ‘Shadow of the Day’ and was amazed to see when people looked at me with surprise. This appreciation encouraged me to sing. The first time I performed as a vocalist for a group, in my school, and won a music competition, I was asked what songs are on my playlist, I said it was Linkin Park and I cheered loudly for Chester on stage for inspiring me to find my truest self. Everyone in the audience started chanting his name. It was one of the best feelings, I had experienced on stage and I was so happy to learn that there was a budding musician inside of me that I had been hiding for years.
Forgetting, all the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well.
Pretending, someone else can come and save me from myself
I can’t be who you are.
You hid your pain, you kept yourself bottled, your depression was the reason why your lyrics hit every corner of our hearts. But you didn’t have to take your own life. You gave us a reason to fight back and I wish you would have fought back too. Yes, I or anyone else can’t be who you are. We’ll forever keep you in our hearts, in our playlists, and of course in our memories while we leave out all the rest. When I was a kid, I had a dream. I wanted to watch Linkin Park perform live, at New York Times Square and I wanted to spend every dime I would earn on it for that once in a lifetime experience. And now, it’s all gone. You’re gone. My dream and the dreams of millions of fans are shattered. Thank you, Chester Bennington, for making our teenage years a lot more tolerable and for keeping us sane in an insane world.
Here comes the end of an era.
In the loving memory of Chester Charles Bennington, frontman of Linkin Park.
One of those million fans, who cannot hold back her tears tonight.