Don't Stay

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"Don't Stay"
Song by Linkin Park from the album Meteora
Working title Sick
Recorded 2002
Length 03:08
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 90
Key B Minor
Live debut February 23, 2003
Last played August 24, 2008
Writer Linkin Park
Producer Don Gilmore, Linkin Park
Label Warner Bros.

Meteora track listing
  1. Foreword
  2. Don't Stay
  3. Somewhere I Belong
  4. Lying From You
  5. Hit The Floor
  6. Easier To Run
  7. Faint
  8. Figure.09
  9. Breaking The Habit
  10. From The Inside
  11. Nobody's Listening
  12. Session
  13. Numb

"Don't Stay" is the second song on Linkin Park's sophomore album Meteora. It is the first full track on the record, and is the first song in Linkin Park's discography to feature guitars tuned to Drop B. It continues Linkin Park's signature style of rapped verses and angry choruses, but also shows the band move into a rawer rock sound.


In March 2003, Mike Shinoda did a track-by-track of Meteora for ShoutWeb. About "Don't Stay", he said, "That song started off as almost a Spanish or reggae style sound with the guitar. The first time I heard it, I almost thought it sounded like some kind of Latin dancing thing. And it was funny because it didn't sound that way. It just gave me that idea in my head so Brad and I worked on it. Brad ended up coming up with the final thing, which is what you hear there. The nice thing about the song is that it's written really heavy. It's got an interesting bounce to it and that Spanish guitar thing is gone now. Because it came from that place, it has a different vibe to the rhythm of it. I think it's a really fun song. It's going to be a really fun song to play live. It's really energetic."

On the Meteora booklet, the band wrote, "Mike and Brad's original guitar parts for this song had a Reggae-Style vibe. After numerous transformations (Probably 5 or 6 different guitar variations), Brad developed the final recorded version. Under the working title "Sick," this song was one of the first tracks finished for this album... Notably, Joe recorded the opening scratch solo on the first take."


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Don't Stay Meteora 3:08 2002 March 25, 2003
Don't Stay Meteora - Instrumentals 3:06 2002
  • Official instrumental version.


Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Don't Stay LP Underground 3.0 3:11 August 02, 2003

August 03, 2003

November 17, 2003
  • With "Foreword" (Short).
  • Live From Summer Sanitarium.
Don't Stay LP Underground 3.0 3:12 August 11, 2003 November 17, 2003
  • With "Foreword".
  • Enhanced live video.
  • Exclusive live footage from Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Don't Stay Live In Texas August 02, 2003

August 03, 2003

November 18, 2003
  • With "Foreword" (Short).
  • DVD only.
  • Recorded live August 2nd 2003 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX and August 3rd 2003 at Texas Stadium in Irving, TX on the Summer Sanitarium Tour.
Don't Stay (Live In Shanghai, 2007) Meteora - Live Around The World 3:16 November 18, 2007 June 5, 2012
  • With "Foreword".
Don't Stay (Live In Texas) Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:19 August 02, 2003

August 03, 2003

April 7, 2023
  • With "Foreword" (Short).
  • Edited differently from the 2003 release.
  • Live In Texas.
Don't Stay (Live In Nottingham 2003) Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:15 March 03, 2003 April 7, 2023
  • With "Foreword".
  • Mixed and edited differently from the radio broadcast.
Don't Stay Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:11 July 12, 2003 April 7, 2023
Don't Stay Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:07 October 29, 2003 April 7, 2023
Don't Stay Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:39 June 15, 2004 April 7, 2023
Don't Stay Meteora (20th Anniversary Edition) 3:42 August 30, 2004 April 7, 2023


"Don't Stay" was a staple in Linkin Park setlists throughout the Meteora touring cycle. "Don't Stay" was the opening song for most setlists on the Meteora touring cycle. The song was one of the first songs from Meteora to be performed live, with it debuting as the opening song of the setlist at the first show of the cycle in Milano, Italy. For the entirety of that first tour, the LP Underground Tour, "Don't Stay" opened the show right after the 2003 version of "Session" was played. When "Session" was dropped on the following tour, "Don't Stay" still remained strong at the beginning of the setlist, opening the shows on its own (with "Foreword" preceding it). The song opened up each show for the better half of 2003, until October, where "Papercut" took over as the show opener instead. "Don't Stay" was moved down to the third slot in the setlist, after "Points Of Authority". In December, "With You" began to open the shows, pushing "Don't Stay" even further back in the setlist, to the fifth position. The song remained in this position until the Meteora International Tour in the summer of that year. "Don't Stay" returned as the opener of the setlists with a brand new intro, entitled the "Gacela Intro". This intro featured a reading by Joan Baez, of the poem entitled "Gacela Of The Dark Death" by Federico García Lorca, remixed with the intro riff of "Don't Stay". The song and its intro opened shows for the rest of 2004. In 2005, "Don't Stay" only appeared in one of two shows played that year: at the Music For Relief: Rebuilding South Asia Benefit, where "Foreword" returned as the song's intro. The same held for 2006, where "Don't Stay" and "Foreword" opened each show at the band's Summer Sonic festival appearances.

"Don't Stay" returned on the Minutes To Midnight touring cycle, where the song (with its "Foreword" intro) took up a mid-set position. The song was played in this position on the first Minutes To Midnight European Tour, being dropped only when the band opened for Pearl Jam in Chorzów, Poland, where the both "Don't Stay" and "Given Up" were dropped for time constraints. The song was not played at the few promo shows the band performed between the European Tour and Projekt Revolution 2007. When the band introduced rotating setlists, "Don't Stay" only made it on to two of the three: Set A and Set C. In Set A, "Don't Stay" was fifth in the setlist after "Lying From You". In Set C, "Don't Stay" was moved farther down into the mid-set, after "Given Up". By the end of the tour, however, "Don't Stay" was added to a modified version of Set B (known as Set D), where it was performed mid-set after "From The Inside". Due to an unknown reason, the song was dropped at the band's show at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York. The band continued to use these setlists on the following tour in 2007 (the Minutes To Midnight Asian Tour), "Don't Stay" retained its positions in all of the sets (including the new version of Set B).

In 2008, "Don't Stay" returned to the setlists. Of the three new setlists on the Minutes To Midnight Winter European Tour, it appeared in two: Set R and Set S. In Set R, it was moved up early into the set, being the second song, right after "No More Sorrow". In Set S, it was later in the set, at the fifth position, where it was still performed after "No More Sorrow". This stayed consisten on the following Minutes To Midnight North American Tour. In the summer, on the second Minutes To Midnight European Tour of 2008, it only appeared in Set Y, where it was performed mid-set after "Lying From You". This carried over to Projekt Revolution, as well.

"Don't Stay" has not been played since the last show of 2008, for multiple reasons. The main reason being that the baritone guitars that Brad would use to perform the song have either been sold or auctioned off by Music For Relief at this point. Brad had four baritone guitars, each of which are no longer in his possession. One was donated to the Hard Rock Cave in Denver in 2011, another sold at the Music For Relief auction at the Music For Relief Benefit in Los Angeles, California, and another was auctioned off by Music For Relief for Typhoon Haiyan relief in 2013. This leaves one guitar left that is unaccounted for, but it is unlikely the band still has the guitar. Another problem persisting with the song being performed live is that even if the band had the guitars still, they would simply take up space on the guitar racks, as only two Linkin Park songs actually use the tuning that "Don't Stay" utilizes (Drop B), the other song being "Nobody's Listening".


Last Updated: December 13, 2015

Type Description First Played Last Played
Intro Foreword Intro March 23, 2003 August 24, 2008
Intro Devil Worship Intro w/ Foreword Tease July 4, 2003 August 10, 2003
Intro Ambient Intro November 15, 2003 March 15, 2004
Intro Gacela Intro June 3, 2004 September 11, 2004


Linkin Park

  • Chester Bennington: vocals
  • Rob Bourdon: drums
  • Brad Delson: guitar
  • Joseph Hahn: records, sampling
  • Phoenix: bass
  • Mike Shinoda: emcee, vocals, sampling


  • Don Gilmore: producer
  • Andy Wallace: mixer


In Other Media

  • "Don't Stay" is featured in the 2004 film Riding Giants.
  • "Don't Stay" is featured in the 25th episode of Season 11 of the TV series Hinter Gittern - Der Frauenknast, titled "Dickes Ende".
  • "Don't Stay" was used as the opening theme of the TV show Zona Urbana (from Uruguay). Various other Linkin Park songs were used during the episodes throughout its existence.

External Links

  • Don't Stay (Official Audio): YouTube
  • Don't Stay (Live In Texas): YouTube
  • Don't Stay (Live In Nottingham 2003): YouTube