Just a few hours after the news of Chester Bennington’s passing, the Internet overloaded with reactions – fan remembers his moment with the singer
While Bennington’s close friends and family rush to pay their respects, the members of the band’s fan community are just as devastated. Mike Shiel is among those most affected by the singer’s passing.
The UK 34-year-old computer engineer, Shiel, was one of the last fans to speak with Bennington before his tragic passing. Shiel said that he has followed Linkin Park ever since before they released their first album (2000). Moreover, he mentioned speaking with the singer backstage at Birmingham show on July 6, as he was part of a fan club meet and greet. That was the last show that Bennington would ever perform.
“During the meet and greet, I spoke to all members. They came out and signed some stuff for us, one at a time. But this moment is pretty special to me,” Shiel said
“I spoke to Chester about doing a tribute for Manchester, since it was the last show of the U.K. tour and the Manchester show was meant to be the following day. I asked him if they could tribute their new song, ‘One More Light,’ which is about loss and death, to the victims of Manchester. He immediately said ‘yes!’”
Shiel also mentions that before he suggested the song, Bennington told him that he had already been thinking about a way to do something about it, but he was not sure how to do it. Furthermore, the fan explains that Bennington seemed to be his usual self. However, he was terribly upset by the Manchester tragedy.
During their conversation, Bennington showed off his earrings to Shiel.
“We talked about what happened for some time and he told me how he had been wearing these earrings since the moment it happened, with bees on them because bees are a symbol of strength and hope for Manchester,” he explains. I am from the U.K. and didn’t even know this, so I was touched that he had done so much research into it,” Shiel notes, adding that Bennington revealed that he “wasn’t going to take the earrings out until we all learned to live together and stopped being this way.”
While on stage, Bennington kept his words and said beautiful, touching words regarding the Manchester incident, and mentioned the significance of his earrings:
“We share some of our love and our prayers for the families and the victims of the tragedy of Manchester arena. My heart has never been broken so much on the day I found out that tragedy happened and since that day, I have been wearing these little earrings with the bees in them. I know that’s a symbol of strength and hope for the city of Manchester and I am going to keep these in until all this nonsense stops and we can start loving each other (…)” Bennington shared on stage