LINKIN PARK Blends Rock And Electronic Music In Tour Opener

According to The Pulse Of Radio, LINKIN PARK opened its 2011 North American tour on Thursday night (January 20) in Sunrise, Florida, with Spin.com reporting that the concert "showed a group of veteran performers standing on a divide" with the band wanting to explore the electronic sounds of its new album, "A Thousand Suns", while also aiming to please the diehard fans who came to hear the band's many rap-rock hits.

Rap-oriented vocalist Mike Shinoda dominated the early portion of the show as the band reeled through a series of hits like "Given Up", "New Divide" and "Faint". Shinoda also played guitar and keyboards.

The middle of the show found singer Chester Bennington taking more of the spotlight as the band worked out new cuts from "A Thousand Suns". Spin.com described the mood as "somber" during these more atmospheric offerings.

But the energy level picked up as the band hit the homestretch with favorites like "Crawling", "One Step Closer", "In The End" and "Bleed It Out". Spin reported, "Though fans had respectfully listened and sung along to the subtler songs, it was during these ragers that the mood became electric."

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Bennington told The Pulse Of Radio how the band went about putting together its set list for this trek. "We kind of put, you know, the obvious ones, like any song that we've done that's been No. 1," he said. "Then let's go and look at all the most popular ones from fans, the ones kids are listening to. And then, you know, obviously there are things that we like to play. And then there are songs that we put in to keep the flow of the show going. So we try to, like, give a good mixture of energy, you know, rock, with the more emotionally driven kind of mid-tempo stuff and use that to take people on a ride."

"A Thousand Suns" has received mixed reviews from critics and fans, due to the band mostly abandoning its old style in favor of a heavily produced, electronic sound. The record has sold more than 600,000 copies since coming out last fall.

LINKIN PARK next plays in Detroit on Tuesday (January 25).

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