rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (hope is all we have)
Riona ([personal profile] rionaleonhart) wrote2017-07-22 11:23 am

It's Hard To Let You Go.

I've never grieved for a public figure like this before. I'm not sure I even realised it was possible. I loved Hybrid Theory so much when it first came out, but I didn't really get to know the band members as individuals until the concert a few weeks ago, so it's a weird double-punch of 'he's been important to you since you were a child' and 'you didn't know him for long enough'.

My birthday was two days before Chester's death, and [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus gave me a DVD of Linkin Park's 2010 'Shadow of the Day' concert in Madrid. I was actually watching it when the news broke, and, unsurprisingly, I didn't finish it that day. I couldn't contemplate watching it yesterday, either, when I hadn't slept enough and I was still intermittently crying and I could barely eat. (Getting tearful again typing this, come on. I'll move past this, I'll be okay.) But this morning, after a full night's sleep, I started it up where I had left off, in the hope it might offer some sort of catharsis.

I think it helped.

Below the cut are the text messages I sent to [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus while I was watching, both before and after. I'll spare you the messages I sent at the moment I actually learnt the news.



(These messages are from the ill-fated evening of the 20th of July.)


Just started up the Linkin Park live performance DVD you gave me!

They open with a song from their concept album about nuclear war, designed to be listened to from beginning to end, that they released in 2010 because they're maniacs.

Tragically, this is from the era of Mike Shinoda's Bad Hair, when he's usually very handsome.

Anyway, Chester is looking cute as hell in his stupid knitted skullcap, and that's the important thing.

I can't believe how much running and bouncing around Chester does. He spent a lot of the first song here bouncing on the spot; he spent what seemed like most of the first three songs at the O2 gig spin-jumping. There are another ninety minutes to go, Chester! How do you not collapse halfway through every concert?

I'm sad to note that Chester and Mike have not yet developed their habit of singing half of 'Papercut' with their arms around each other.

Chester's really making out with the microphone while he sings. We keep getting close-ups of his lips touching it.

Not quite on the level of the 'Bleed It Out' video, where it looks like he's straight-up banging the microphone stand.

CHESTER, DON'T PULL THE HOOD OF YOUR HOODIE UP OVER YOUR KNITTED SKULLCAP, YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS.

Bizarrely, the camera keeps trying to pretend there are more than two people in this band. (I'm sorry, instrumentalists. I know you do an important job as well. And one of you is wearing the most incredible pair of sparkly rhinestone Linkin Park headphones.)

That was a really good performance of 'Waiting for the End', even if Chester had his hood pulled halfway over his cap again, why

Now Mike is just playing solemn piano chords over a distorted, repeated sample of someone saying 'there is no justice in war'. This band is so weird.

I assumed it was leading up to something from their nuclear war concept album, but instead it's one of the songs they did for Transformers.

NO, WAIT, I'D FORGOTTEN THAT THIS TRANSFORMERS SONG WAS ALSO ON THE NUCLEAR WAR CONCEPT ALBUM.


(At this point I learn of Chester's death and stop watching. The messages below are from the morning of the 22nd.)


I thought I'd start up the DVD again, in search of some sort of catharsis. This is what he left us: his voice, his life, his performances. I'll turn it off if I start getting too wallowy, I promise.

Chester is singing 'remember all the sadness and frustration, and let it go.' Thanks, Chester.

I love the way he skips around the stage on high-energy numbers.

More piano chords over historical figures talking about war, and then Mike singing with his voice distorted so he sounds like a chipmunk. This continues to be the weirdest band.

'Breaking the Habit' is one of my favourite Linkin Park songs, but it's also a song about addiction and suicide that made Chester cry so much he had trouble recording it, so it's tough to listen to now. Great performance, though. And more cute skipping across the stage.

'Shadow of the Day': also pretty tough! Linkin Park, you put out a lot of songs that are incredibly sad in retrospect. At least this DVD doesn't contain the beautiful song that's Chester literally going 'hey, so this is how I'd like to be remembered after I die.'

MORE WEIRD SAMPLES, AND NOW CHESTER IS RUNNING AROUND AND SHINING A TORCH INTO THE AUDIENCE FOR SOME REASON. I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOU, LINKIN PARK.

Chester spinning around and headbanging on stage, bless him.

God, I don't even know 'The Messenger', but that song really did a number on me. That was beautiful.

'In the End'. Is the camera operator okay?

'The song is so awesome it's making the whole of Madrid shake,' Ginger explains when I voice this thought aloud.

Incidentally, the Wikipedia article on 'In the End' contains one of my favourite lines on Wikipedia, regarding the flying whale in the music video. 'The whale in the video was Joe Hahn's idea. He has been quoted as saying, "It's not like I pulled it out of my ass; it made sense to me." The reasoning behind its inclusion is still unknown.'

'What I've Done'. God, Linkin Park have so many great, instantly recognisable intros.

That last performance ['Bleed It Out', with elements of 'A Place for My Head'] was the most high-energy of the night. I can't believe Chester was still capable of running and jumping and dancing after ninety solid minutes of performing. I'm not sure this guy was entirely human.

Mike and Chester with their arms around each other as they wave to the audience, awww.

I think watching that was the right decision. I was worried it might just make things worse, but I think it helped. It feels like it ended too soon. I suppose that's to be expected. But I'm glad the things he created are still here, even if he isn't.



Thank you for everything, Chester. I wish you hadn't left us. I wish we could have spoken. You'll be missed.

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