Linkin Park pays tribute to its late singer Chester Bennington with today’s (December 15) release of One More Light Live, a 16-track concert album taken from European dates on the One More Light World Tour that was canceled after Bennington’s suicide in July.
The group played just 21 dates in support of its latest album, but guitarist Brad Delson told us during the tour that he was happy with the way the new material was going over with audiences:
“I would say surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, these songs are very natural for us to play because of the way they were written,” Delson explained at the time. “They’re almost easier to share and play whereas on other albums that translation process from what we did in the studio to the stage took some thinking and some work. These songs are very versatile. They’re natural to play. They fit in with the other songs really well. And one thing we’re pushing ourselves to do in the spirit that the songs were written is to be able to play the songs in different forms, whether it’s the version you hear on the album or it’s something really stripped down and intimate. I think these songs lend themselves to that kind of dimensionality.”
Linkin Park had dedicated the album to Bennington and has released a video for its performance of “Sharp Edges.”
Co-frontman Mike Shinoda tells Billboard that the group felt the live album was the best way to honor the singer:
“All six of us in the band were so proud of the shows on the One More Light tour. Everyone was at their very best, especially Chester. He was singing better than I’ve ever heard him on stage. The idea to release this album came from our fans and friends, and I’m so glad they asked for it. It’s a really nice way to showcase what a special experience each night was. And while I don’t know what comes next for us together or individually, this album is certainly a beautiful way of looking back at the body of work we created with Chester.”
Linkin Park held an all-star tribute to Bennington during late October in Los Angeles but has not announced any other plans for its future. Shinoda says that the group’s healing process, individually and collectively, is ongoing:
“Grief is a non-linear process. It doesn’t have ‘stages’ that go in order, it has phases that come and go at random. Some people are having sad days, others are having good days, others are having angry days…add the constant stress and fear of things like the news cycle, and you’ve got some exceptional chaos on your hands! So I’ve tried to make it a point to share how I’m doing, mostly on Instagram and sometimes Twitter, especially when I feel like I’m making progress. Coping with the end of this chapter is obviously devastating, but at the same time, it’s also the beginning of the next story.”
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.