The pop artist will be forever linked to Bennington, thanks to her poignant guest vocals on “Heavy,” Linkin Park’s last big hit song before Bennington committed suicide on July 20. Kiiara powered through the first few songs of her Panorama gig at the festival’s indoor Parlor Stage, before devoting its final moments to Chester. “It’s been… a pretty rough week,” she began. “I don’t know what to say and there’s nothing really to say to make it better, but these next two songs are for Chester.”
At that, Linkin Park’s “Battle Symphony,” a track off their 2017 album One More Light, began to play. Kiiara and her band simply sat aside and let it take over, imploring the sizable crowd to take it all in with them. Next came the moment many were expecting; “Heavy” began to play, its music video broadcasted on the stage’s big screen for all to see. Kiiara filled in her vocal parts, with her drummer and keyboardist performing their bits as needed.
Watch the whole tribute below:
When it ended, Kiiara offered a simple, “Thank you, New York,” and scampered offstage. Her set was over a few minutes early, but for all on hand, it was a powerful opportunity to remember Bennington, and what he meant to Kiiara, along with the multitude of other collaborators he touched.
Around the same time on another stage, A Tribe Called Quest was saluting Phife Dawg on the Panorama main stage, remembering its own lost hero in one of its first shows without him. There was a lot of cause for celebration at Panorama this weekend, but Kiiara and Tribe’s tributes were solemn reminders to hold onto our heroes while they’re with us.