Almost five months after lead singer Chester Bennington took his own life, Linkin Park released the compilation One More Light: Live. Recorded on the South American and European dates of the tour supporting the band's final album with the vocalist, One More Light: Live serves as Bennington's triumphant final bow, the last contribution of a life-changing career. Front-loaded with songs taken from One More Light, Live culls half of its set from that album (including a show-stopping appearance by grime rapper Stormzy on "Good Goodbye"), with a scattering of their biggest hits and some deep cuts to properly span their eras. One More Light tracks like "Battle Symphony" and "Talking to Myself" benefit from the live setting, energizing the pop-polished studio versions with raw stage power, while at the same time shining brightness onto an otherwise extended, bittersweet eulogy composed of familiar anthems like "Leave Out All the Rest," "Numb," and "What I've Done." While it's difficult to not impose new meaning onto these songs -- especially with the tragic benefit of hindsight -- Bennington's lyrics become loaded with even more poignancy and haunting depth, like the rap-rock generation's version of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged set. Songs like "Nobody Can Save Me," "Heavy," and "In the End" are almost prophetic, especially the latter, which is an overwhelming gut-punch where the lyrics become all too literal. With emotions running high, One More Light: Live serves as a natural part of the grieving process for the band and their followers, as well as a document preserving Linkin Park's place as one of the world's biggest rock acts of the 2000s. Midway through the set, the band steps back and Bennington takes center stage, performing in the crowd surrounded by fans in the album's finest segment. A stripped-down piano version of "Crawling" reveals his inimitable ability to channel pain and anguish into shared catharsis, while a dramatic take on "One More Light" becomes the most lasting memory of an already enduring legacy. On the track, Bennington sings, "Who cares if one more light goes out?/Well I do." Legions of fans do, too.
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung