Review Summary: A good performance, but not the band's best tribute to Chester.
Linkin Park fan or not, the death of Chester Bennington was a crushing blow to both the music community and pop culture. This blow was particularly brutal for the band whose reactions were very much of shock and grief. Down the line, the band released official videos of Chester’s gorgeous live performance videos of Crawling and One More Light which initially received attention as fan recorded videos. November, the same year of Chester’s death, the band live streamed their tribute concert for Chester dubbed Linkin Park and Friends Life in Honor of Chester Bennington. Indeed, not a single singer in the performance could even come close to matching that of Chester, but this was easily more than made up for the amount of effort and passion every performer put into the show. Despite all the promotion and attention the tribute concert had, there was also this live album slated to be dropped in the middle of December titled One More Light Live
which the band also proudly dedicates to Chester as it is a recording of the final show that the band performed with Chester.
On One More Light Live
, the One More Light
songs definitely benefit from the fact that they are performed with more organic instrumentation, but a running problem throughout the live album is how every instrument is mixed. The guitars are very quiet (somewhat more noticeable than on the One More Light
studio album, although that's surprisingly not saying a lot), the bass could have been more noticeable, and the vocals are a bit too on top of the music. Frankly, it sounds like a very well polished bootleg from soundboard audio of the different performances. However, if that actually were the case, it would not be very surprising considering how this live album seems to primarily exist as a tribute to Chester and the show was not considered to be transformed into a live album.
The tracklist is very well chosen and the band absolutely brought their A-game. There are times like on “New Divide” and “Burn it Down” where Chester's or Mike's vocals will suddenly go low in volume (although this may likely be due to their mics going too far away from their mouths) but it is not persistent enough to be an overall detriment to the experience. However, there is an instance during the performance of the song “One More Light” where Chester screams “Well I Do!” away from the mic but loud enough that its echo creates an extremely chilling effect. The now famous renditions of “One More Light” and “Crawling” are phenomenal with the latter being reminiscent of the beautiful piano ballad rendition of “Pushing Me Away” from the band's Road to Revolution
gig. In typical Linkin Park fashion, some songs will have a little twist to them. The mashup of “Fallout” and “Roads Untraveled” that opens “Talking to Myself” and the “Numb/Encore” verses that show up on “Numb” are great surprises for the fans listening.
Overall, the performance quality of One More Light Live
is not very far off from that of their last legendary concert/live album, Road to Revolution
. Unfortunately, because of the nature of this album’s existence, this does not seem like it will have a DVD video to come with it. Just like Road to Revolution
, the performances themselves are great, but there is not much to offer in them that the studio counterparts do not already offer (bar the performances of the One More Light
songs on here, to an extent) and this is further hurt by not having the additional pleasure of actually watching the band performing the songs. There is also the fact to consider that the listener’s enjoyment will also come down to how much they may tolerate a tracklist that heavily leans on songs from One More Light
because these are still very much the same songs from that studio album, just with the passion of a live performance and played with more organic instrumentation.
Despite this, One More Light Live
is very much a recommendable listen for any Linkin Park fan because of how much justice was done for the One More Light
tracks and the strong vocal performance of Chester. However, a more definitive and stronger tribute to Chester can be found with the Linkin Park and Friends tribute gig from November.