Now trending on Instagram?
What the hell?
It just might be the news of the week, or even month!
The most familiar thing that may come to mind with the above hashtag is Linkin Park's brand new album "The Hunting Party" and it's namesake tour that has been one of the most popular and successful tours through Europe! Both the album and tour through Europe have made headlines for the band, plus support act Of Mice & Men.
With a return to a punkier/harder-edged sound, Linkin Park is once again pushing boundaries and causing fervor in the music industry with their latest album; leaving fans of all eras of LP wanting a glimpse of their massive musical catalog live. Seriously, this band has a HUGE collection of hits now! So Europe has been treated to a VERY impressive tour run and like we reported in November, it would make its way to the US of A and C-eh-N-eh-D-eh!
2015, American and Canadian LP/Rise Against/OM&M fans can rejoice for a tour that is chock-full of true rock awesome-ness! Just look at these dates!
It's that dreaded word that any concert-goer fears. "Cancelled"
So what happened? Why cancel one of the hugest tours of 2015 when it's not even one month into the new year?! It all started going down just this last weekend, as the tour was rolling through Florida and Nashville. Mind you, these were the FIRST TWO dates of the tour!
After these two shows, crowd response was proving to be amazing, and the tour was off to a great start. This brings us to Sunday, January 18, 2015- as the tour rolled into the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, IN. This would mark the beginning of the end of the tour. And how would I know?! Because yours truly was there!
As many of you know, FRET12 is located in Chicago, and since this tour dodged the Chicago market like the plague, I had to resort to a fun 3 hour road trip to attend this show. Seriously, there was no way I was going to miss these three bands sharing a stage in an arena with the full-on concert production treatment!
Of Mice & Men started extremely early, just before 7pm and only played until 7:27 PM- a [sadly] very short set of only 7 songs. That's a lot of sevens actually... The crowd had not fully filled in yet, but the crowd of several thousand that HAD shown up early really enjoyed the up and coming band. They played all new material from their 2014 hit album "Restoring Force", save for one older song- the metalcore classic "The Depths".
Then Rise Against took the stage! Our fellow Chicagoans delivered an excellent performance for well over an hour, covering material from the many albums of the band's back catalog. Playing a total of 11 songs, they definitely were favoring material off the 2006 album "The Sufferer & The Witness". The only song they played from their 2011 album was "Help Is on the Way", and surprisingly not "Satellite"! Two more songs from 2014's "The Black Market" definitely proved that Rise Against and LP fans definitely are enjoying the band's newest material!
So now, the headliner. Linkin Park!
They took the stage in their trademark theatrical style, full of huge production! Lights and electronica were overwhelming to say the least. The band took the stage, but through all the chaos, the charismatic and staple co-frontman Chester Bennington was nowhere to be seen!
He came out after all 5 other members had hit the stage, and took to the stage in a truly surprising fashion....
No one could believe their eyes! Chester was limping up to his mic stand on a pair of crutches! Everyone in the crowd was beside themselves as there was no indication that he was injured prior to the show. Only some savvy fans would have been alerted to this on either Shinoda's or Chester's Instagram pages. The venue had not said anything of the show possibly being cancelled or that LP had an injury in the band-let alone with their singer.
Chester hit the mic and instantly began his trademark vocals, that were absolutely crushing to hear in person! Seriously, if you have not seen Linkin Park live yet, do yourself a favor and go! It will be one of the coolest live shows you will ever see, I guarantee you, and with so many hits, you'll get your money's worth as the band divides their live show into three full acts, with an encore! You'll hear songs you forgot about or haven't heard in years! And it's so worth it.
All of us in the crowd were all remarking to each other however about the fact that Chester was on crutches. He didn't LOOK like he was in pain however. But we could definitely see that he had injured his leg somehow. The band assaulted the crowd thru 3 full songs, (a live opener mashup of Session, 1stp Klosr, The Requiem, The Summoning, The Catalyst- all leading into Hunting Party's smash hit: "Guilty All the Same" followed by the vocally-epic "Given Up") before Shinoda finally took to the mic to tell everyone to "Give it up for Chester who is playing this show for y'all with A BROKEN LEG!"
The cheers and applause were deafening, and the band immediately began to bruise through more tunes, with Chester showing composure and utter vocal perfection! Color me impressed. I had NO idea a singer could sound THAT good live, let alone with your leg in a boot. As it turns out, his ankle was the culprit, but his leg was still in a boot, and he required crutches to walk. The powerhouse that is Chester Bennington was on full display tonight.
He assumed a sort of "leg up" Captain Morgan stance on his stage riser, with his injured leg resting on the riser. And while he couldn't run and jump he had no problem showing energy and passion and addressing the crowd between songs with a very positive attitude.
Check out these shots from Mike Shinoda's Instagram showing the injuries and the tools of the trade:
And check this out from Chester's Instagram displaying his scooter and a truly "show must go on" attitude on stage at Indy in front of thousands:
And on it went for over 2 hours!!! 25 songs, 3 acts, one five song encore, instrumental beat-breaks, solos from Hahn and Shinoda, drum breaks, and light shows. All the hits, all the deep cuts, and plenty of theatrics! Chester did not stumble or fall once and delivered a mind-blowing show in the face of true adversity. He only relegated himself to sitting down for a few tunes during the middle of the set. I mean, I was shocked he wasn't sitting the whole time! Then, for a few more songs, he used his kneeling-scooter (shown above) so he could travel around on stage. Talk about rock and roll! Check it out:
Seriously, I've shown up to venues only to find out the show was cancelled because the singer had a cold or the bass player had the flu, but a broken ankle?!?! Playing a high-energy show without the ability to move easily is simply astounding and Chester won the hearts of 15,000 adoring fans that night, including mine!
Sadly, however, the good news and perseverance would end there, as the next day it was announced via the Linkin Park website that the next two shows were cancelled.
Read More: Linkin Park Cancel Tour After Chester Bennington Injury |
Linkin Park regret to inform their fans that they must withdraw from their next two shows in Pittsburgh on January 20th, and January 21 in Albany, NY, due to a leg injury of lead vocalist Chester Bennington – who has been diagnosed as requiring immediate medical attention. Chester says, “I need to take the proper time to assess the severity of my injury and apologize for any disappointment this has caused. I look forward to seeing you all again soon.” Fans can seek refunds at point of purchase.
....I mean, for obvious reason. Chester was in a boot and would need proper medical attention to make sure it wouldn't become something serious.
Doctors must have seen something they didn't like, and advised Chester that he would need surgery, plus a long period of recovery so as not to worsen the injury. While all the details around this (how it happened, and what exactly was wrong) are still somewhat vague at this point, the least I can do is give you a good account of what it was like to see this legendary singer doing his thing in the face of a real setback! This will likely go down as one of my favorite concerts ever!
So sadly, with the surgery news, not only were the next two shows cancelled, but the rest of the tour
LOS ANGELES, CA (January 20, 2015) Linkin Park regret to inform their fans they must cancel the remaining dates of The Hunting Party tour through February 14th, due to a leg injury of lead vocalist Chester Bennington. The injury requires immediate medical attention making it physically impossible for Bennington to perform. Chester says, “I'm really disappointed this injury has made it impossible to continue with this tour. The first couple of shows were just magical. We will truly miss not being with our fans for the next few weeks. Hope to see you again soon."
Chester will now be recovering for six weeks, but the good news is that he was indeed able to have the surgery in a timely fashion (sometimes, medical attention and surgeries are not easily accessible for all musicians and artists). Furthermore, despite playing the show and possibly damaging his leg, the surgery went successfully! So yes, he will be off the road for six weeks, the show will not go on, but in time it will!
It sounds as though the band will be ready to be back in action for their Rock in Rio date! So here are some massive cheers and accolades for Chester Bennington, a true rock legend who was able to give an unbelievable performance despite a massive injury that required surgery!
Unreal. A true show for the record books.
The powerhouse that is Chester Bennington was on full display