August 7, 2017


Machine Gun Kelly Tears Up During Chester Bennington Tribute at Lollapalooza 2017

Josh Brasted/FilmMagic & Chiaki Nozu/WireImage via Getty Images
Josh Brasted/FilmMagic & Chiaki Nozu/WireImage via Getty Images

Chester Bennington's suicide last month created a huge loss in the music community with tributes still pouring in for the late Linkin Park singer. Recently, Machine Gun Kelly (who was set to tour as the special guest on Linkin Park's now-cancelled One More Light Tour) recorded a cover of the band's classic 2003 single "Numb" which he performed live for the first time at his Lollapalooza set on Sunday, Aug. 6, that seemed to bring the singer-rapper to the verge of tears.

While the "Bad Things" star's set varied from turn-up rap show to full-fledged rock concert, MGK took a second to pay tribute to the singer by asking attendees to hold a moment of silence for Bennington. "I've been waiting to do this for three fucking hours, man," he told the crowd, growing noticeably quiet compared to his uber-energetic stage entrance earlier. "And I just don't want to rush through it. While these skies are gray and cloudy, I'd like to just take a moment to maybe dedicate this moment to our friend Chester Bennington from Linkin Park," as opening notes of "Numb" played from a single piano.

While Machine Gun Kelly oozes confidence and poise on the daily, the audience was instead treated to a much more vulnerable MGK with audible quivers in his voice and an undeniable melancholy felt in his approach to the performance. The final note is particularly haunting as he delivers the final, "I've become so numb" with almost the same gusto that Bennington was known for during his life. See fan-recorded videos from social media below.

Official footage of the performance will likely never be released so the live cover was a special, intimate moment between MGK and his Lolla crowd, a crowd who instantly joined in and sang along to the lyrics. Machine Gun Kelly later thanked his crowd on his Instagram Story, saying "That was one of the coolest vibes I've ever experiences" and writing on Twitter that he "never felt so alive."

Below, watch our Machine Gun Kelly interview at Lollapalooza talking about his emotional Chester Bennington tribute. Check out all of Fuse's on-the-ground coverage here.

Plus, remember Chester Bennington with Fuse's a 20-minute in-depth interview with Chester and Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda from our 2011 On The Record special: