Feature: Limp Bizkit – "Diary of a Band Here to Stay"
Wed, 29 May 2013 15:52:51
It's too easy to label Limp Bizkit's current tour a "comeback".
The mind-numbing magic of their recent run of small venues shouldn't be relegated to such a tired term either. The sold out venues across the North America aren't witnessing a band simply dusting off its boots and taking the stage for nostalgia purposes. It's quite the opposite actually.
This is a collective that feels as young as ever—especially surveying crowds in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Ft. Lauderdale where half the audience couldn't legally drink. Kids are finding them. Maybe it's not via "Nookie" on TRL but rather their Cash Money Records debut single "Ready to Go" featuring Lil Wayne on Soundcloud. The times have changed, but the music's as fierce as ever.
Limp Bizkit are so unflinchingly phenomenal live because they really never stopped. Whether they were making thousands of people at festivals bounce from Australia to Europe or even during stateside one-offs such as Rock on the Range and Epicenter, they've been fine-tuning their patented rap metal machine into a veritable sonic terminator over the past few years. Limp Bizkit's always been dangerous on stage, but they're downright deadly now.
Early on, catching a Los Angeles rehearsal, the Jacksonville juggernaut injected pure ferocity into "My Way". In the tiny space, Wes Borland's guitars, John Otto's drums, Sam Rivers's bass, and Fred Durst's vocals accumulated into a focus energy that's as immediate as it is infectious. Durst referred to a "freedom" with Cash Money Records and "the ability to do whatever we want" as touchstones of this chapter. His words proved prescient beyond belief as soon as the U.S. got a taste of the band on the road…
That same day, Borland likened the past few years to "going to the gym" as if he and his cohorts had attained a newfound strength. He didn't have to say much more because the music did the talking at the tour kickoff in Ft. Lauderdale.
A line with a few red ball caps stretched around the block while signs on the box office window read, "Sold out, No tickets left!" The evening marked a few firsts for the band. A favorite from "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water" made its live debut with a poignant rendition, while the band had finally ventured "that far south" in Florida. The set couldn't have been more pummeling with Otto and Rivers locking into airtight rhythms and Borland ripping through "Ready to Go" and "Break Stuff" with violent elegance befitting of his on stage garb. Durst commanded the audience as he seamlessly shifted from impressive mic skills into soaring singing. The Limp Bizkit monster bared its teeth and claws, taking a bite out of Florida and leaving the audience wanting more.
Durst put it best when asked the meaning of Limp Bizkit in 2013 exclaiming, "You see that you affected people, and you know you have because you can see the sincerity and the honesty that's unspoken. It's unsung purity. It's an incredible thing."
Hollywood isn't easy for anybody. It's a strange place where you can see Mumford & Sons or Phoenix play the Hollywood Bowl, but Five Finger Death Punch are at the Palladium. Simply put, it's not a rock 'n' roll town. It's a hipster mecca that breeds shit for people who don't like anything "popular" to listen to. Even there, Limp Bizkit fucking slayed, and anybody will back that up, including attendees such as Sean Penn, David Arquette (who danced to "Eat You Alive" on stage), and Corey Feldman (who joined the band for "Billie Jean"). For as weird as Los Angeles is, Limp Bizkit rose through the flames victorious as ever, making the city that's too cool to go-the-fuck-off.
Then, there was Sunday's blast of a set in Phoenix. From insane pits to a kid holding up a sign that he waited 12 years for the show, it was a full blown party. Phoenix got ratchet in the best way possible to "Stuck", "Faith", "Full Nelson", and more. The band even dropped in hints of The Smashing Pumpkins' "Cherub Rock" and Metallica's "Master of Puppets". Durst hit the stage in an oversized sombrero and shades like some kind of cowboy rolling through the desert to make rock and rap better for the rest of us. He and the rest of the band rode off into the sunset with their heads held high.
(Credit: Rick Florino)
So where are we at now?
Well, Stampede of the Disco Elephants looms on the horizon, but the age of YMCMLB is thankfully underway. Limp Bizkit is here to stay. Then again, they never left…
Photos: Kevin Estrada
Check out these other recent Limp Bizkit articles:
Interview with Fred Durst about Stampede of the Disco Elephants
Live Review at House of Blues West Hollywood
Limp Bizkit Stories From Travie McCoy, Korn, Slipknot, MGK, Five Finger Death Punch, Aaron Lewis, and More
Live Review at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Limp Bizkit "Ready To Go" Featuring Lil Wayne Song Review
List: 10 Songs We Hope Limp Bizkit Plays at "Welcome to Rockville" and "Carolina Rebellion
Feature: Albums We Hope Change the Game in 2013 – Limp Bizkit