KORN frontman Jonathan Davis says that taking part in LINKIN PARK‘s tribute concert to Chester Bennington was a “bittersweet” experience. The performance took place on October 27, 2017 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and saw LINKIN PARK return to the stage for the first time since Bennington took his own life last July.
Among the artists that appeared at the show were Davis, Oliver Sykes from BRING ME THE HORIZON, M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from AVENGED SEVENFOLD, all the members of SYSTEM OF A DOWN except Serj Tankian, members of BLINK-182, Machine Gun Kelly, ex-YELLOWCARD singer Ryan Key, pop singer and LINKIN PARK collaborator Kiiara and more.
During a recent interview with Philadelphia’s 93.3 WMMR radio station, Davis said about his participation in the Bennington tribute concert: “It was bittersweet. It was nice to see people I hadn’t seen in a long time, but I didn’t like the reason why we were all getting together. It was a night of just remembering and a night of coming to grips… It helped a lot of people deal with the fact that Chester had passed. For me, it helped me as a way for us to let go and just celebrate his life and his mark that he left on the world. I was very honored to be involved and to be able to sing that song [‘One Step Closer’], ’cause me and him did that back when [KORN and LINKIN PARK] did [the] ‘Projekt Revolution’ [tour in 2004], I came out and did that song with him. So just to be able to do that, it made me happy, and to be a part of it and celebrate his life.”
Proceeds from the concert, which was billed as “Linkin Park And Friends Celebrate Life In Honor Of Chester Bennington”, went to Music For Relief‘s One More Light Fund in memory of Bennington.
One of the most memorable moments of the evening was a spine-tingling rendition of LINKIN PARK‘s 2001 track “In The End”, which saw the band encourage fans to sing Bennington‘s vocal part.
Davis told Kerrang! magazine last year that he understood the “depression and everything” Chester was going through. “It’s always the seemingly happy, sweetest ones that are hurting the most. It’s a terrible disease that can make things feel unbearable. When I found out what had happened, I didn’t even have the words.
“I loved his smile,” he said. “I always looked forward to seeing him. If we were playing at a festival together, he’d make a point to come and find me, which I always appreciated. Chester‘s was an amazing journey to watch. I loved that kid.
“His lyrics hit home and were very relatable,” he continued. “On a lyrical level, Chester touched upon a lot of things that people feel, and when you experience that with music, it’s a release. When you’re helping so many people, you can sometimes forget about yourself. We’re like superheroes to kids that are hurting — we’re supposed to be the living proof that things will get better. There should be more Chesters in the world.”
Bennington was found dead on July 20, 2017 after committing suicide at his home in Palo Verdes Estates, California.