Linkin Park branches out
Review • Two bands, each with two frontmen, excite EnergySolutions Arena crowd.
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While it wasn't exactly a Doublemint gum commercial, the pairing of headliner Linkin Park and opener The Prodigy at EnergySolutions Arena on Friday showed that when you have two frontmen for each act, you can double your pleasure and double your fun.

Linkin Park's singer Chester Bennington and rapper Mike Shinoda led their band through a confident, energetic show that built upon the frenzied foundation that The Prodigy's Keith Flint and Maxim laid during a searing, seat-shaking set.

The Prodigy, a British electronic dance-music group celebrating its 20th anniversary, not only opened the show but broke down the door in its 45-minute set. With Flint and Maxim frequently exhorting the crowd to stand up and shake since it was the band's first show in Utah, the crowd was built into a lather with one of the loudest, most rhythmic sets I've heard in a while. The group's closing song was its controversial but undeniably catchy "Smack My Bitch Up," where most of the audience at the well-attended show finally stood up and shook like the ground underneath. (For the record, it is not a misogynistic song.)

When the California-based sextet Linkin Park took the stage, it showed how its hybrid theory of rap and rock has not only sold more than 50 million albums but is an anthemic, fist-pumping type of music perfect for a high-energy rock show. The interplay between the rapping Shinoda and singing Bennington illustrated a compelling chemistry of trading verses, and their showmanship eclipsed the rather austere stage.

The band's most recent "A Thousand Suns" album moved in a more experimental direction, and the concert showed glimpses of the band growing up. Teenage angst has paid off well, but instead or raging against girlfriends or parents, the band is now raging about political machinery that threatens the world. The group didn't use its new focus to dilute its power, as old songs such as "Faint" and "What I've Done" blended well with newer songs. And when older classic "Numb" ended with an ominous video of father of the atomic bomb Robert Oppenheimer ranting about Vishnu and the destroyer of worlds, it made sense and put the song, and songs, in a new light.

dburger@sltrib.com —

Linkin Park

R Rap-rock sextet grows up with confidence in thought-provoking show.

When • Friday

Where • EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City