Rapper and keyboard player Mike Shinoda has recently announced he will be performing at Reading and Leeds this summer. It is the first time he has announced a UK show, since the death of Linkin Park’s lead singer, Chester Bennington.
Chester Bennington sadly took his own life in late July last year after struggling with depression, alcohol and drug abuse. Following his death, Linkin Park fans were devastated and upcoming tours were cancelled.
As well as a bandmate to Chester Bennington, Mike was also a good friend of Chester’s, and described the grief following his death into his latest EP, titled ‘Post Traumatic’.
‘Post Traumatic’ was released in January, and features three songs, all of which have Chester at heart. Festival organisers say they expect songs from the EP to feature in his new sets, alongside other songs written throughout his career.
“The past six months have been a rollercoaster,” Mike said at the time of the EP’s release.
“At its core, grief is a personal, intimate experience. As such, this is not Linkin Park, nor is it Fort Minor – it’s just me.”
After Chester’s death, his widow, Talinda Bennington, set up a mental health initiative called ‘320’. The organisation aims to change the culture of mental health, so that those who are struggling can seek the help they need. It also works with more than 500 organisations to seek out signs of depression and “build a resource for friends and family members who are seeking answers to questions about mental health”.
“The idea for 320 was born out of my personal experience and the recognition that we can do better to address the needs of those who are suffering with mental health concerns and addiction,” Talinda says on the 320 page.
“For 13 years I watched my husband Chester struggle with depression and substance use. I often felt scared and alone.”
“I was uneducated about the challenges he faced and I wanted information – but finding answers to my questions and available help for our family was very difficult.”
Mike Shinoda will perform at Reading and Leeds on August 25th and 26th. He will also be performing at a free-entry gig at LA’s Identity Festival in May, part of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This show will be his first time performing since Chester Bennington’s death.
<Story by Emily Clark>
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