After Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington died last month at age 41, fans from around the world came together to share remembrances and celebrate the singer, known for his intense and full-throated vocals. His voice is what endeared Linkin Park so dearly to their fans (including me — they were my first-ever favorite band), and at the 2017 VMAs, we got to see them on full display again via a 2010 performance from the band at Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory.
A clip of the band charging into their song “The Catalyst,” from their appearance at the 2010 VMAs, played in Bennington’s honor after a touching introduction from Thirty Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto, who played with Linkin Park on the Carnivores Tour in 2014.
“Chester was my friend, as he was to so many, and witnessing his life taught me important things,” Leto said from the stage tonight before introducing the clip, “especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams, and being kind and caring while doing it. When I think about him, Chester, I see his face, which was always smiling. I think about his heart, which he wore on his sleeve.”
“And I remember his voice,” he concluded, “at once ferocious and delicate. That voice will live forever.” Leto then gave a moment to anyone watching who may be experiencing darkness of their own: “You are not alone. There is always a way forward.”
At the VMAs that year, Linkin Park stood atop a platform high above the city amid a glowing sunset, blasting into the battle-ready “The Catalyst” as fans rushed in to be part of the experience.
Linkin Park’s latest LP, One More Light, dropped in May, and though it featured a decidedly less aggressive vocal performance from Bennington, it proved that his more melodic takes were just as potent and memorable — and that they won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
The 2017 VMAs have touched down at the Forum in Inglewood, California, airing live on MTV.