and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke. it’s an actual recording of Chester’s in-ear monitors during a 2011 live performance in Japan. this means we get to hear exactly what Chester was hearing when he was singing. Astat did a write-up:
General mix notes: Guitar, scratching, and Mike’s vocals are very low in the mix (the bass usually is too). Drums, samples, and keyboards are much more prominent. Chester’s vocals are obviously much louder than everything else! Interestingly enough, Chester’s IEM mix actually has all of his vocal echoes and various other effects present, which you wouldn’t normally expect.
01. Numb: This one doesn’t really have much noteworthy stuff going on other than the previously mentioned notes on the general mix…lots of keys, very little guitar.
02. The Radiance: Mike’s vocoder is VERY prominent in the mix on this one, without all of the additional echo and other effects you’d normally hear in the full mix. Very interesting to hear, even though it’s a song Chester doesn’t sing on!
03. Breaking The Habit: The sustained string note that ends the song is boosted WAY up in Chester’s mix (it normally fades out while Chester does the “acapella” ending, but he needs to hear it for pitch reference). There’s also what sounds like a weird little audio glitch on the “I” right at the beginning of the second chorus? Not sure what happened there.
04. Fallout: Mike’s “dry” vocals are much more “up front” on this mix than they normally are (you usually can’t hear them at all for the first half of the song, just the vocoder parts). This should finally put to rest the rumor that Mike lipsyncs part of this one!
05. The Catalyst: This is the one exception to the “rule” of Chester hearing his vocal effects in his IEM mix - the flanger plugin used on both his and Mike’s vocals on this track isn’t heard here.
06. Wisdom, Justice, and Love: The weird “swirly” sound at the beginning of this track is the tail end of the long sustained guitar chord at the end of One Step Closer that runs through the encore break (it has some kind of flanger effect on it). Also, check out how loud Mike’s piano is on this recording, it sounds really nice!
07. Iridescent: The first verse of this song has something VERY interesting going on in Chester’s IEM mix: Notice how Mike’s vocals sound all weird? That’s because the album version vocal track is actually present in the mix along with Mike’s live vocals! This is definitely NOT something that’s heard in the audience mix, I’m guessing it’s just something for Chester to use as a pitch reference for when his part starts, in case Mike sings off-key during his first part of the song (the album version vocal disappears once Chester starts singing). As for the gang vocal part that enters at 2:56, we’ve long since established that the band sings over the album version vocals there. In Chester’s IEM mix, this gives the illusion that the entire part is lipsynced since everybody else’s vocals are low in Chester’s mix to begin with, and Chester sings that part way off-mic, so what you hear is mostly just the backing track. You CAN still hear Chester here if you listen close enough, most easily at 3:11 on “remember all…” as he goes slightly off key there. Chester’s guitar part at the end of the song is also much louder than any of Brad or Mike’s guitar parts on other songs typically are.
08. Blackout: The vocal samples Joe does in the intro are SUPER LOUD in Chester’s IEM mix for some reason…it’s kind of funny to listen to out of context! There’s also a computerized voice that counts to 4 to cue Chester to start the first verse. Brad’s keyboard part is completely muted out of Chester’s mix on this song, leaving Mike’s piano very loud. The 4-count voice is also present at a couple spots in the bridge while Chester’s playing drums to help keep him on time. Chester’s drum parts throughout this song are also pretty loud in his IEM mix, and I learned something new while listening to the outro: I always thought Chester did the highest of the 3 vocal parts at the end, with Phoenix taking the middle harmony, but it turns out it’s the other way around!
09. New Divide: There’s a click track in Chester’s IEM mix throughout this song because there are some parts where Chester sings without any drums to accompany him, so he needs something else to keep him in time for those parts. Brad’s guitar also randomly gets louder in Chester’s mix during this song and stays that way for the rest of the show.
10. In The End: Nothing really noteworthy going on in this one…
11. Bleed It Out: …Or this one! Last two songs are pretty straightforward. Chester’s parts in the verses are pretty interesting to hear, though.