Mother Nature isn’t happy with the world. From Katrina to Irene and every area that’s suffered in between, and all we can do is help those in need when disasters strike at any given moment, leaving millions without necessities and some without loved ones. So when Japan suffered a horrific earthquake that resulted in an even worse tsunami, people around the world not only tuned in to the news reports, but stepped up and donated all they could to help out a nation in need.
Linkin Park were just a few of the millions who were emotionally affected by what occurred this past March and wanted to not only do all they could for those affected, but get their fans involved. So Linkin Park teamed up with Music For Relief and Save The Children for a unique experience. Their fans were put to the test and asked to raise money for tickets to an exclusive, intimate show in The Mayan in Los Angeles, and they exceeded all expectations for their special night.
As the LP fans lined up, eager to experience what they’ve worked hard for, Whitney Showler (Music For Relief), Sam Conner (Save The Children) Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and Tak Matsumoto and Koshi Inaba of one of the most beloved bands from Japan, B’z took the stage to share some behind the scenes of the whole event.
Shinoda was questioned the most due to his Japanese heritage and although he couldn’t deliver exactly what he wanted to say in the native tongue, he did share the band’s initial response when they heard of the disaster, “I don’t have immediate family there but what we were concerned about was the people we work with when we go over to Japan.”
So with their hearts in the right place, they, along with the organizations put their minds to work. Chester told of the planning process, “I always feel things that have a big impact need to come from a very organic place and we really wanted to do something. It’s hard asking for money you know. We kind of took a few ideas and mashed them together in terms of, do we do a big show, do play a show and give all the proceeds of the show to Music For Relief but that doesn’t really engage the fans. So we tried to combine these different campaign ideas into one and I think that this really turned out to be a success. Now we have a platform and we have something successful.”
Being one of the best-selling bands in the past decade it was no surprise that they were able to turn to their fans for this cause, each raising at least $500 for a pair of tickets, the top raising around $13,000. Chester pointed out, “That is not a small fee, which is just a testament to the drive the fans have to do something great and also they’re that excited about coming to see us play.” Shinoda also touched on the community feel their fans shared, “The fans just really just connected with the effort and they really went out and did it. They talked to friends, got people talking about people who couldn’t make it to the show, but they knew somebody else from a message board or someone else they wanted to help because that person could make it and they were closer to their goal.”
I never thought about it until Shinoda pointed it out, but we often think once the news frenzy is done, everything must be fine. Like a few weeks later that whole area affected was rebuilt and life was back to normal. For Japan and for every other natural horror, that’s never the case. Koshi of B’z said his country has a long way to go before. So please do what you can and donate any way you can. You may not get a kick ass Linkin Park performance, but you’ll definitely get something rewarding out of it.
Originally published on Sept 7, 2011