Limp Bizkit House of Blues May 29, 2013
When I first heard Three Dollar Bill, Yall$, Limp Bizkit's debut album, I thought I had discovered the Mecca of music. Surely, I thought, these Jacksonville misfits would become the voice of my generation.
I was ten years old then.
As time went on, I grew out of my affinity for the Bizkit as my musical palette developed. Radio followed suit, and I all but forgot about my former heroes by college, despite a lukewarm release in 2003 that, to me, only served to solidify the notion that, without guitarist Wes Borland, Limp Bizkit was no more.
Cut to Wednesday night, when I was eagerly waiting for the curtain to drop at House of Blues. Why? It wasn't for any ironic reason, I assure you. Besides releasing an album two years ago, one that was more in line with their 1997 debut than any of the rap-infused releases since, I genuinely believed that Fred Durst and crew could and would put on a phenomenal show.
And damn it, they didn't disappoint.
Beginning their set with a cut off 2011's Gold Cobra, "Why Try," during which the sound engineers worked out a few kinks, Durst, Borland, bassist Sam Rivers and drummer John Otto quickly drew the crowd into a frenzy.
They kept us there all night, bobbing back and forth between new songs like "Gold Cobra," old hits like "Nookie" and "My Generation," all the way back to tracks off Three Dollar Bill Yall$, including "Counterfeit" and a reinterpretation of George Michael's "Faith."
But Michael wasn't the only cover of the evening. Borland also played a few Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against the Machine riffs before the band performed Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Between songs, Durst bantered back and forth with the crowd, admiring T-shirts, commenting on the venue's apparent lack of air-conditioning (fitting for the beginning of a Houston summer) and incessantly requesting the ladies in the crowd to undress.
Before playing a song about going down on a woman, aptly titled "Eat You Alive," Durst announced, "Ladies, you're making me hungry!" Elsewhere, judgement might have been passed; this being a Limp Bizkit show, the crowd cheered and sang along.
The night came to a close with "Break Stuff," the band's most influential single, during which an enormous mosh pit formed. Spanning from one side of the stage to the other, and at least a few yards deep, nearly everyone in HOB's standing-room area was sucked in. Those who weren't backed the fuck up up, as the Bizkit fucked that track up.
Durst once spoke to me, and I felt in him a kindred spirit. Like me, he was energetic and angry; unlike me, he had a microphone. And though I've grown up while Durst seems to be stuck in lyrical infancy, there's just something about his songs that still strikes a chord in me. Maybe it's nostalgia. Maybe I genuinely like nu-metal. Or maybe both? And maybe that was one of the best shows I've been to all year.
No matter the reason, judging from Wednesday's sold-out performance, I'm not alone in the sentiment.
Personal Bias: Undeniably.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Someone just grabbed a handful."
Random Notebook Dump: Deep down, I knew it wouldn't happen, but I was really hoping Method Man would make an appearance, and I'd finally get to hear "N 2 Gether Now" live. I also wish they had played "Stuck" and "Clunk." Which songs did you wish they played?