This year's Projekt Revolution, the annual all-brands-of-aggro tour birthed by Linkin Park, came with instructions for rocking out courtesy of Atreyu singer Alex Varkatzas.
"Make a fist," he directed the crowd during Atreyu's set on the Revolution Stage Sunday at Dodge Music Center in Hartford, Conn. "Clench it up real tight, and raise it vertically into the air."
Good advice: The fist-pumping rarely stopped during the day-long festival, featuring main stage acts Linkin Park, Chris Cornell, Busta Rhymes and the Bravery. Although Cornell has a growing body of solo material to choose from — including the soulful new Timbaland-produced tune "Long Gone" from his forthcoming album Scream — he peppered his set with past favorites including Soundgarden's "Spoonman," a solo-acoustic version of Audioslave's "Like a Stone" and Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike." Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington joined him on the latter tune, and Cornell returned the favor during Linkin Park's set on "Crawling" — and was serenaded afterward when Bennington led the crowd through "Happy Birthday" to mark Cornell's 44th.
Busta Rhymes crammed in as many tunes as he could during his half-hour, turning his set into a collection of greatest-hits snippets and exhortations for the crowd to clap along and make noise. An exodus to the beer stand meant less noise during the Bravery's out-of-place performance, but the New York band persevered with twitchy, angular dance-rock songs including their biggest hit, "An Honest Mistake." Ashes Divide and Street Drum Corps rounded out the main stage, while 10 Years, Hawthorne Heights and Armor for Sleep braved the sweltering heat and periodic thunder showers on the outdoor Revolution Stage.