PHOTOS: Hybrid Theory: A Night Dedicated to Chester Bennington and Linkin Park
On Friday night, fans of Linkin Park gathered at Easton’s One Centre Square for an evening to pay tribute to Chester Bennington, the band’s late frontman who tragically committed suicide in July.
A group of local musicians led by Jake Lare (formerly of Sandlot Heroes) came together, perfecting a set of some of the band’s biggest hits over the course of five weeks in an effort to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and awareness for all mental health conditions. Lare played guitar and performed Mike Shinoda’s vocal parts, and was joined by vocalist John Corsale (Chester’s vocals), guitarist Ryan Shin, and bassist Alex Jacobs and drummer Foli Creppy of the band I Am King.
The evening began with a quick opening set from singer-songwriter Kara Hartzell, who performed a blend of originals and covers including, in the spirit of the evening, an acoustic version of Linkin Park’s “Final Masquerade” from 2014’s “The Hunting Party.” Hartzell did a good job of warming up an excited crowd, and would later join the band onstage to sing a duet with Lare on “Heavy,” Linkin Park’s 2017 duet with singer Kiiara.
From there, it didn’t take long for the band to take the stage, kicking off, appropriately, with Linkin Park’s first single “One Step Closer” and rolling through selections from most of the band’s albums. The collective of musicians sounded much tighter than their five weeks working on this project would suggest, and Corsale’s performance of Bennington’s parts was particularly inspiring. The singer was engaging and displayed a range and versatility that did great justice to the late frontman.
Overall, the common thread between everyone inside of One Centre Square on Friday night was a love for Linkin Park. A sense of unity and support prevailed in the room as musicians and fans alike stood together to honor the memory of a fallen rock icon, pushing forward to shine a light on a worthy cause.