Mike Shinoda reveals the challenges of preparing Chester Bennington’s tribute concert

"It was really great, but super super hard to do"

Mike Shinoda has opened up on the emotional toll of playing a tribute concert for Chester Bennington in Los Angeles last year.

Linkin Park celebrated their late frontman at the Hollywood Bowl last year, with a star-studded array of vocalists joining them to perform their hits.

Speaking to NME, Shinoda described how six weeks of intensive preparation were required for the show – which took place just three months after Bennington’s death.

“It took six weeks of rehearsal to get to the point where we were ready to play the show”, he explained.

“The exercise of rehearsing for that show, for all the guys. It was heroic, they were dedicated to finding the right people and getting them on the right songs.”

Describing the show itself, Shinoda revealed how it proved to be one of the band’s toughest experiences to date.

“It was really great, but super super hard to do”, he explained.

“Our longest set before that was 90 minutes, it was three hours, a marathon. We fell on the ground in the dressing room afterwards like ‘oh my god I can’t move’. All our brains were just mush.”

The wide array of guest vocalists also meant that the band were forced to ditch their tested ways and play songs in entirely different keys.

“It required relearning so much of our own material”, he said.

“It was like ‘this song we’re gonna play in a different key because this person sings higher, this song in a different key because this person sings lower’.

“This one I always play it this way, but they’re singing my part so I’m gonna sing the melody while playing piano. The mental gymnastics of it were hard, while I’m thinking this sucks doing it without Chester.

Meanwhile, the band have been leading the tributes to Bennington today on the first anniversary of his death, saying they were “eternally grateful” to have worked with the singer.