I remember when I first heard Linkin Park on New York City’s 92.3 KROCK FM back in 2000. Being a a somewhat introverted, anxious, and depressed teenager I fell in love with the table flipping angst ridden anthem “One Step Closer.”
I immediately ran out and bought their full length CD. Their rap/rock mix of industrial metal and electronic beats was unique and exciting. The combination of Mike Shinoda’s rapping and Chester’s beautiful vocals had me hooked from first listen of the album.
Then I learned they were coming to play in March of my senior year. I was so excited. They were playing this little venue in Old Bridge, NJ called the Birch Hill. A slew of great bands played there over the 90’s and early 2000’s until it was closed and turned into retirement homes.
After seeing them live, I became a super fan overnight and even joined their Fan club The Linkin Park Underground. From then on I bought every CD and went to every show I could.
I have been following their career since the early 2000’s and were really excited for all the accolades and press they received. I even had the chance to attend a Rolling Stone Luncheon with the band in 2007.
I was devastated today when I got a text from friend saying that Chester had committed suicide. The last time I saw the band was in 2012 at the Honda Civic Tour at Jones Beach.
The best memory I have of the band is when saw them at was in 2001 when they played 92.3 KROCK’s Dysfunctional Family Picnic. They had a meet and greet and I had made a shirt that said “I’m One Step Closer” with a angry emoticon. I had waited in a long line but it was all worth it because I got my photos with the band and they signed my shirt.
This band had a large impact on my life and I am so sorry to hear about the tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the band and their families and friends.
We will miss you Chester! R.I.P