Linkin Park at the Hollywood Bowl

by Photos and Text by Steve Jennings
in Features
Band members and friends celebrate life in honor of Chester Bennington at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 27. Photos by Steve Jennings
Band members and friends celebrate life in honor of Chester Bennington at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 27. Photos by Steve Jennings

For one special night on Oct. 27 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Linkin Park band members, guest artists and 18,000 fans paid tribute to vocalist Chester Bennington after his untimely death July 20 with a concert that raised awareness and honored his life and talent.

Ayrton Fixtures back the band. 2017 Linkin Park photo by Steve JenningsFilmed for broadcast TV, the band was joined by special guests which included Alanis Morrissette, Blink-182, Zedd, Steve Aoki, Gavin Rossdale from Bush, Jonathan Davis from Korn, M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold and so many others.

We spoke with Linkin Park’s longtime production manager (and director for this show) Jim Digby and lighting designer/director Celine Royer about this event.

Blink 182 took over the stage. 2017 Linkin Park photo by Steve Jennings

Jim Digby
Production Director
“I’ve had the pleasure of steering the Linkin Park ship for over 15 years and have been fortunate to be able to build a team over that time that has transcended the usual crew model to a family model. While true that this has taken many years to evolve to its current state, we are certainly in that place of family now. We are blessed to be working for a band that values its team as essential members of that family.

Linkin Park and Gavin Rossdale. 2017 Linkin Park photo by Steve Jennings“There are four principal anchors to this performance — a celebration of Chester’s life and talent, a celebration of community and humanity, the closing of a chapter, and a view into the future of Linkin Park. The band have invested a great deal of time crafting the message of this performance, ensuring that the homage paid to Chester is worthy of his connection with the world and for the fans who have shown untiring love for the band and Chester.

Linkin Park w Synyster Gates and M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold. 2017 Linkin Park photo by Steve Jennings“Having this special event at the Hollywood Bowl holds great sentimental value for us. The setting is beautiful and lends to the celebratory theme of the night. We anticipated an emotionally charged evening that will be cathartic for all who participated.

Linkin Park and Oli Sykes of Bring me the Horizon. 2017 Linkin Park photo by Steve Jennings“We will never replace the lightning-in-a-bottle that was Chester, but if we do this right, we will uplift his legacy, the fans and those who have been instrumental in the success of the band. That’s the overriding goal of the band, the crew and the fans — the journey of Linkin Park has touched many lives, launched many careers and brought an untold musically driven emotional connection for many. We will honor his legacy and do our best to help those who struggle with the demon of mental illness to find their voice and the help to carry on.”

Linkin Park with Jeremy Mckinnon from A Day To Remember. 2017 Linkin Park photo by Steve Jennings

Celine Royer
Lighting Designer, Director and Programmer

Lighting designer and programmer Celine Royer noted how that the band left the lighting design for this special show up to her, and that she also exchanged some ideas with Jim Digby.

“It was a broadcast TV event, so I wanted the band surrounded by lighting sources for all the different camera angles. We have a completely different design from what the tour would have been, but I tried to keep the looks of the songs we agreed on for the past tour, color-wise, and how the cues are built... On the last tour, we spent a good time working on little details regarding the looks, and so I wanted to keep that.”

PRG supplied the lighting gear for the show. 2017 Linkin Park photo by Steve Jennings

PRG was the lighting vendor for the event. PRG rep Bobby Allen and coordinator Jon Morrell worked with Royer on the show. Royer programmed at Early Bird Visual in a previz suite for all the upstream work (plots, renders, file for previsualization). After all of that was done, she talked about how she used specific fixtures for the overall look of the show.

“My favorite fixtures are the GLP Impression X4 Bar and the Solaris Flares — I’m always trying to have at least those two on shows I design. I use the Flares as strobes, blinders, wash, side lights and I like using them in pixel-mapping too.

Linkin Park and Ryan Key from Yellowcard. Linkin Park 2017 photo by Steve Jennings “With the X4 Bar, the fact that they have a zoom is one of the reasons I like using them. For this show, we had a row of X4’s downstage, most of the time to light up the artists, to warm their chin, and it looked good on camera. I wanted to have something different than just a wash overhead so I chose Ayrton MagicPanel fixtures, and I had fun programming them.

“The Viper Profile fixtures are bright and have great gobos. I chose them as overhead spots, side key lights and floor back light. The MagicDots and MagicBlades I used behind the band. I didn’t want to use the whole rig at once, but I glow at least the Dots or the Blades for the cameras when they were not used as main fixtures for the looks of the songs. The only negative point I have for the Blades is that they lose quite a bit of their color when you don’t use them at full power compared to other LED fixtures.

Steve Aoki and Mike Shinoda and Bebe Rexha wade into the crowd. 2017 Linkin Park photo by Steve Jennings

“I had trusses with beams on the sides, and I actually wanted to use Mythos but PRG suggested I try their Icon Edge beams. I was surprised how bright the Icons are. Nice gobos too, and you can overlap the two prisms, which is nice. The ColorBlaze on those side trusses was a last minute addition to the rig. And I didn’t regret it. I used them in extended mode as well to do nice effects, and they were definitely adding something to the show’s look. I used them as blinders and strobes.

Tom Dumont and Mike Shinoda with Alanis Morissette and Tony Kanal. Linkin Park 2017 photo by Steve Jennings “We had side trusses’ spot with PRG’s Best Boys to light up the band, and most of the time we were using the house followspot for all the guests. We couldn’t unfortunately set up truss spots for everybody, but in general, I favor side light anyway.

“For this one night, we were not thinking about having the design match what their tour would have been. Since it was being broadcast, we had to think differently. But I wanted to keep the same mood of the tour design. I didn’t have time to re-program everything, so I kept my show file from the last European tour and made it work. We spent so much time on the past tour, on little details to make the show better, that I didn’t want to lose how the show was built and programmed, as a time-coded show.

Linkin Park with Daron Malakian and Shavo Odadjian from System of a Down. Linkin Park 2017 photo by Steve Jennings

“I kept almost all the Flares at the same locations, and I kept the [Martin MAC] Viper Profile for overhead and floor back light, but all the rest was different. On the tour design, it was a lot about architectural geometries that we were achieving with the pyramid and the 82 Beams at different locations. I had 106 Impression X4 Bar’s at different locations too. The fact that we cut the X4 Bar’s at the Bowl changed the look of some songs for sure. I could recreate some geometries with the Icon Edge, even if they were at different locations.

“It’s was an emotional evening, that’s for sure. Watching the band rehearsing was moving already. It was a special evening to honor Chester, and I am very thankful for the journey I’ve been on with Linkin Park.”

At the Tribute

z Thank you good night

A long list of special guests attended the Oct. 27 tribute to join Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave Farrell, Joe Hahn and Rob Bourdon in a heartfelt tribute to Chester Bennington at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Here’s the full list: Alanis Morrissette, Blink-182, Steve Aoki, Bebe Rexha, Zedd, Kiiara, Julia Michaels, Machine Gun Kelly, Jon Green, Lisey Juber, Ryan Key of Yellowcard, Gavin Rossdale of Bush, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian of System of A Down, M. Shadows and Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold, Deryck Whibley and Frank Zummo of Sum 41, Sydney Sierota of Echosmith, Steven McKellar of Civil Twilight, Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal and Adrian Young of No Doubt, Taka Moriuchi of One Ok Rock, Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh of Julien-K, Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon and Chester’s widow, Talinda Bennington. The event also included video tributes from Paul McCartney, Metallica, Duff McKagan from Guns N’ Roses and Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode along with video of U2 dedicating “One Tree Hill” to Bennington during their 2017 Joshua Tree tour.

Production Manager Jim Digby

Special Thanks from Jim Digby

In closing, Jim Digby would like to get out a huge thank you to everyone who helped with this benefit, with a special mention to Bobby Allen and PRG for hooking him up with a lighting package, and Danny O’Bryen and his team for the assist in video from Screenworks.

Linkin Park at the Hollywood Bowl, Oct. 27, 2017

Crew

  • Production Director: Jim Digby
  • Lighting Designer, Programmer and Director: Celine Royer
  • Stage Manager: Ethan Merfy
  • Artist Liaisons: Dick and Nicole Massey
  • Lighting Co: PRG
  • PRG Account Rep: Bobby Allen
  • PRG PMs: Jon Morrell, TJ Morehouse, Julian Edwards
  • Lighting Crew Chief: Joshua Schultz
  • Lighting Techs: Daniel Vargas, Miguel Hernandez, Allen Gutierrez, Erin Anderson, David Hernandez, Flavio Kim
  • Video Co: Screenworks/NEP
  • Screenworks Reps: Danny O’Bryen, Amy Segawa
  • Video Director: Skip Twitchell
  • Video Assistant Director: Michael Warro
  • Video Techs: Jason Varner, Tyler Munson, Waldo Alfar
  • Broadcast Producer: Bill Boyd
  • Director of Photography: Mark Richie
  • Telescope TV Webcast: Ori Ravid
  • Promptin’ West: Matt Osgood
  • The Team at Machine Shop Records


Lighting Gear

  • 2          grandMA2 full size lighting consoles
  • 30       Ayrton MagicBlade-R fixtures
  • 30       Ayrton MagicDot-R fixtures
  • 18       Ayrton MagicPanel 602 fixtures
  • 18       Color Kinetics ColorBlaze 72’s
  • 22       GLP impression X4 Bar 20’s
  • 24       PRG Icon Edge fixtures
  • 38       Martin MAC Viper Profiles
  • 10       PRG Best Boy HP fixtures
  • 46       Solaris Flares

 

 More Linkin Park at the Hollywood Bowl photos by Steve Jennings:

 

 

 

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