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02.09.2010: Linkin Park join F1 lineup


ABU DHABI // The frontman of the US rock band Linkin Park yesterday told of his delight at the band’s trip to the UAE later this year to perform as part of the capital’s Formula One celebrations.

Chester Bennington said he had never before visited the Middle East and conceded that the band, known for its heavy rock style and explicit lyrics, may tone down its performance to make it more palatable for the UAE audience.

“Different cultures in the world accept different things, and we are fine with that,” said Bennington, 34.

“We occasionally do need to make changes to the lyrics or the set list and we may have to do this for Abu Dhabi, we haven’t made any final plans yet. We want to make sure everyone is happy.”

He said he had no preconceptions about playing in a Middle Eastern or Islamic country.

“I try not to predict what I’m going to experience when I visit a new place,” he said. “I am usually really surprised by how amazing a place is. I’m sure it will be the same in Abu Dhabi.”

Making judgements about people or a place before experiencing it was a limiting way of looking at life, he said.

“I have been lucky to have travelled to so many countries with the band that I don’t tend to place too much value on generalisations. People could have the same kind of generalisations about Americans and I’m sure many do. I just think the majority of people in the world are inherently good. They like good music, good food and good company. We just want to come to Abu Dhabi, play our songs and have a good time.”

Bennington, who often performs shirtless to show his many tattoos, became known as a vocalist with Linkin Park’s debut album in 2000, Hybrid Theory, which was a massive commercial success.

Flash Entertainment, the events company organising the entertainment during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, announced yesterday that the double-Grammy-Award-winning band would perform on Saturday November 13 as part of the Yasalam after-race concerts on Yas Island.

John Lickrish, the managing director of Flash, said his team could not wait to welcome the band.

“Following the rock legacy of Aerosmith last year, Linkin Park will blow audiences away at the concerts.”

Bennington also admitted to being something of an F1 fan, although he was not sure if he would be able to stay in the capital to watch the race on November 14.

“I love cars, I don’t care what kind of fast car it is. The Formula One is the most technically advanced motor race in the world and I am really excited to be part of it some way. This will not only be my first time in the UAE but my first time at Formula One.”

The singer said he would be bringing his wife Talinda Bentley, a former model, and their four-year-old son Tyler Lee with him to the UAE. - September 2, 2010


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