Written by Nir Regev

Losing Chester

Losing Chester by Nir Regev

Each Linkin Park album painted a memory, capturing a moment in our lives whole on canvas. Richly filling in the colors of the good times and the bad.

Chester Bennington’s warm voice was the chorus in our very own personal soundtrack for years. That one favorite song you recognize within a second of it playing, taking you back to that exact time you first heard it. A jog through memory lane.

He was one of us. The sound of a generation. We could confide the full range of emotional hues through Linkin Park without judgement. No shade unworthy.

Many of us were teenagers or in our twenties the first time we heard One Step Closer play on the radio. In less than three minutes we became fans for a lifetime. Each new release soon became a talking piece, a community brought together on passion. A love of music that needed no explanation. It simply connected, timeless.

It’s been difficult for us to accept this chapter of life has come to a sudden close. You first hope against hope that it’s not true, it can’t be true. Then you instinctively search for reasons or answers for why. Though you know even if you had one, it wouldn’t bring them back. Which is what you’re really seeking. Subconsciously, trying to delay coming to terms with what has transpired for as long as possible.

When such a passing has occurred in your youth, you don’t fully comprehend it. Growing up at the cinema you still somehow expect them to come back. Against all rationale, you believe it’s some type of break. Life paused. You understand what has happened on a superficial level only.

The idea, this is it, is not processed. Now, here we are, adults… With complete recognition of the significance of the news on July 20th, 2017. The realization’s impact cannot be understated. It’s one of our musical peers, and they’re gone.

Then it hits you how another tragic passing two months prior on May 17th, 2017 may have had a domino effect. How fragile we all can be at different points of our lives. That one event can change the course of our lives at any time.
 Everything has an impact.

I last saw Chester Bennington at a special solo show on June 2016 in Los Angeles where he played covers of some of his favorite rock hits. I was up close to the stage and noticed that he looked in great spirits. Thrilled to be singing renditions of Ace of Spades, Them Bones, and finishing with Paradise City.

I’d previously been lucky enough to see Linkin Park at Madison Square Garden on the Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns tours. All concert memories I will forever cherish.

The first time I ever saw Linkin Park live was with my brother, who shares just as big of a love for Linkin Park as me. Today, I would have seen Linkin Park again with my brother at New York’s Mets Stadium, originally a present for my birthday.

The thought there can no longer be an encore is hard to accept. It’s surreal. Linkin Park and their side-projects were a constant theme in my car and at home. A bond between family, friends, and relationships alike.

Chester Bennington will be remembered for a lifetime. Every song, a memory.

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