I’LL BE GONE “Let the sun fade out and another rise, climbing through tomorrow I’ll be gone” Alternative rock anthem, I’ll Be Gone is the fifth featured track on LIVING THINGS. The song was neither promoted as a single nor released before the album. It was demoed as “Primo” before finally finding its final title. Although the track wasn’t featured as a promotional single, I’ll Be Gone was hyped to be an amazing song due to the collaboration with Owen Pallett – string producer for Grammy winning band, Arcade Fire. Band members explained time and time again how Pallett’s contributions were incredible and that the song benefitted greatly from the collaboration. I’ll Be Gone is a love letter to Linkin Park’s organic third album, Minutes To Midnight with a crisp, alternative instrumental that fires from the beginning of the track. After a brief and calming sample intro, a massive burst of electric guitar forms a wall of noise over a pounding drumbeat. This opening riff would almost sound right at home with a sequel/tribute to What I’ve Done. I’ll Be Gone briefly winds down for a subtle verse nuanced by background synths and strings. The moment features Bennington singing soothing and flavourful lyrics until one can feel the song rising again. The chorus strikes with the same force as the intro, but has the added benefit of a soaring Bennington as he seemingly bellows from the rooftops about leaving everything behind. The bridge carries Bennington even further as he sings over a blazing wall of octaves until the song returns back to full swing with one last chorus. I’ll Be Gone concludes with a crescendo similar to the outro of Waiting For The End with the lead vocalist raising his voice higher than thought possible before the intro samples fade the song out. I’ll Be Gone has been frequently criticized by critics and fans alike for its mixing. Much like In My Remains’ beautiful synths, Owen Pallett’s string contributions have all been washed away in the drowning wall of guitars. They are present in the verses, but completely inaudible in the chorus and bridge. The idea that a song can be too loud or too powerful for its own good can be seen here, as I’ll Be Gone feels like wasted potential due to the lack of the beautiful strings the song was intended to feature pre-release. Lyrically, I’ll Be Gone is about leaving something behind – whether it be a relationship, a current lifestyle, or even the world we live in, as referenced by Mike Shinoda in a Rolling Stone interview: Although I’ll Be Gone is a standard 3-minute alternative rock track that follows a cookie-cutter structure, the original demo “Primo” is anything but familiar. Released as a promotional song for LPU XIII, Primo is a 6-minute long, progressive song that features different lyrics, an atmospheric, acoustic intro and a raw vocal take. What truly separates Primo from I’ll Be Gone though is the extended subtle electronic bridge that features a tense, brooding drum line from Bourdon over Bennington’s vulnerable bridge vocals. What follows this is a staggering outro with extra vocal melodies not featured on the final track. Many fans argue Primo to be superior to I’ll Be Gone. There’s no question the demo dives into far more experimental and substantial territory. Two remixes of I’ll Be Gone are also featured on Linkin Park’s 2013 remix album, Recharged. The first mix is the I’ll Be Gone (Vice Remix) and it takes the alternative anthem into the electronic world of EDM. Following the first chorus is a bass drop that leads into a rap first from Pusha T. The surprise comes from another rap verse that follows it from Shinoda himself, who spits out some truly riveting rhymes from the new material. The I’ll Be Gone (Schoolboy Remix) extends the album song to 6-minutes and features a different, less exciting take on the song. Currently, I’ll Be Gone has not been played live. Despite the fact that Living Things was designed as a “live album” as told by band members, and the song has been brought up several times as something the band wished to play during the album cycle, the song ultimately has never seen the light of day. The song shouldn’t be hard to translate to a live performance, which makes the fact that it hasn’t been played all the more mysterious. Here’s to hoping we’ll hear it once soon enough.