Mike Shinoda proves that in the end it does matter

The Linkin Park vocalist provided healing powers and salvation for fans still devastated by the 2017 suicide of his band's co-frontman Chester Bennington.

March 26, 2019 21:33
1 minute read.
Mike Shinodat in Tel Aviv, March 25, 2019 (Orit Pnini)

Mike Shinodat in Tel Aviv, March 25, 2019 (Orit Pnini). (photo credit: ORIT PNINI)


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As dozens of rockets were being launched from Gaza on the South of the country Monday night and residents were gathering in shelters, a couple thousand young music fans in Tel Aviv were swaying and singing in the sold-out cavernous Hangar 11 in Tel Aviv. Was it an act of defiance or simply a realization that in Israel, you grab whatever joy you can?

On this night, it was Mike Shinoda who provided the joy, with a riveting two-hour performance. It was more than a performance though. The Linkin Park vocalist – who last performed in Israel at Hayarkon Park in 2010 – provided healing powers and salvation for fans still devastated by the 2017 suicide of his band’s co-frontman Chester Bennington.

His unflagging energy, good cheer and sense of authenticity permeated every song in the set – based on his lengthy solo career along with a few Linkin Park nuggets. Backed by Israeli drummer Dan Mayo and multi-instrumentalist Matt Harris, Shinoda nimbly moved from animated hip-hop verses to rousing metal sing-along choruses, with the audience’s voices acting as full band members.

During an interlude featuring a solo Shinoda on piano performing some old classics, he let the crowd take lead vocals. In between songs, instead of the usual rock-star “great to be in Cleveland” patter, Shinoda told stories about his life, his love of Israel and engaged with the audience.
On a night when there was a sense of uncertainty over possible war and a sad puzzlement over the loss of one of their heroes, those gathered needed to feel like they belonged and that there was hope. Mike Shinoda provided it.

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