Thursday, 2 July 2009

My concert experience: Limp Bizkit

I saw Limp Bizkit live. I didn't actually intend to do that, but it did happen and I am not sorry about it. Alright, I should go back in time further when I still kind of liked Limp Bizkit and the music alike, although I have never been a fan of Fred Durst and co., but liked several of their hits when they were still big. Years past, their fame faded away and I moved on, becoming one of the many who liked this band just cause it was hype. The moment the concert was announced only for a few seconds the idea of going to the concert ran through my mind. Limp Bizkit were brought to my attention no sooner than the day of their concert in Sofia when I received an unexpected invitation to attend the concert...for free. Here is the right moment to thank my friend Olia, who made this experience possible! I will skip the details about the tickets and move the action straight to the concert itself.

Limp Bizkit's performance was part of the first edition of the Rock the Balkans festival that was supposed to be a 3-day rock event. The whole idea was scrapped as soon as Biohazard had to postpone their gig, and probably due to poor sales and the bad weather in addition the festival was held in a single evening. These changes caused chaos, brought too different genres on the same stage one after the other and pissed off most of the attendees. Frankly said if it weren't for the free ticket I would have never given out money for something that had no actual concept and relied entirely on the main attraction.

My friend Olia and I got there just for the Turkish neo-metal band maNga, which were my personal surprise. The play an intriguing combination of crossover, electronica and Anatolian tunes, and sing exclusively in Turkish. I guess, the fact that they sung in a language different than English didn't trigger the chemistry between the band and the audience, which was slowly growing bigger. maNga was the only band to actually adequately clicked with the sound of Limp Bizkit, something that didn't happen with the rest of the acts.

The Turks were followed by the Canadian heavy metal quintet Saga. This band was a few minutes away from making me fold hands and pray to any god willing to save me from this ridicule and annoyance. A bunch of senile headbangers jumping around the stage led by a pathetic copy of Conan the Barbarian. I had rather spent their whole performance in the toilet, but someone had allowed them to play for a whole hour. Poor old guys, did no one tell you that we have never heard of you! The frontman asked us if we had listened to their new crap...ummm...stuff or had bought their newest album. Now that can be sure that no one will even illegally download anything by them.

After this dreadful performance, which almost put everyone to sleep, was time for the American progressive rock band Queensrÿche. Let's say that they didn't make me think of a suicide while listening to them, but can be sure that I will never ever dig up any torrent sites for their discography. They were bearable and the smaller evil, although I was counting every minute till the frontman says "This was our last song". Definitely there were people who were there for them and knew every single song, which was quite comforting recalling the previous act.

Five hours after the official start of Rock the Balkans the moment of truth was about to blast the hall. Tension grew, the multitude gathered impatiently and a black curtain fell in front of the stage. Of course, the curtain was just for those in front of stage. This time I was comfortably seated on the tribunes having an excellent view and seeing all the preparation going unnoticed for those down. The moment the crowd heard the drums from "My Generation" and it went crazy. There he was: Fred Durst in flesh. Honestly I was really happy that I wasn't any near to the stage as most probably I would have been squeezed out in the mosh or even worse my friend would have practically understood what moshing means.

Durst, with his red cap and shorts, true to his renowned style had a bunch of hits coming for the eager audience. People were frantic! Honestly, I had never thought that Limp Bizkit have that many fans in Bulgaria. Don't get me wrong, but nu-metal bands are no longer among the A-list and I didn't expect the crowd to know all of their songs by heart, let alone sing them out loud. Silly me. This is the third in a row reunion concert that I've watched and another one to have all of the original members as line-up. Wes Borlan, the prodigal guitarist, was the big attraction with his original outfit and make-up. Rumors surrounding his return to Limp Bizkit have it that after this tour the band will hit a studio and start recording. I doubt any chances recalling their break up, which was pushed into the media as going on hiatus. Hiatus, my socks!

Limp Bizkit went on with "Living It Up" and "Show Me What You Got" and I just let myself with the flow, despite the fact that I didn't remember some of their stuff. Still, I enjoyed myself a lot and remembered the good old times when baggy clothes, skaters and nu-metal were on the prowl. Thank them for the memories, but apart from recalling a few pleasant moments, I most certainly didn't feel the urge to go back to the teenage roots. "Eat You Alive" and "Hot Dog" were the next to bring me to my junior-high school years. With "Re-Arranged" the crowd went to cloud nine and in front of stage there were plenty of people who were still devoted to Bizkit's music.

"Break Stuff" is the "moshers" favourite, probably because of the song's context. Watching from the comfort distance of my seat I understood the heat of a concert. When you are into it you just forget about the discomfort, the sweat and the pushing, and totally indulge into the music. To be honest I kind of really wanted to mix with the crowd and experience everything to the maximum, but let's call it bad timing. "Boiler" and "My Way" continued the string of hits coming as the crowd's next multiple orgasm. "Nookie" made even me go crazy and Limp Bizkit did know how to rock my socks! The encore included another bundle of hits, which was a clever move as we had all come for their best known stuff and no more teasing was necessary for the night.

The final included the ballad and cover song "Behind Blue Eyes", which was virtually the only slow track played throughout the concert. "Rollin'" was the one that everyone expected and we all knew the gig won't go without! It just blew our tops! The final touch was put with "Take a Look Around". The crowd wanted more and just couldn't believe that it was all over...the journey to the beginning of this millennium when were all rolling as one generation living it all up. Good old memories...yeah, thank you, Limp Bizkit. Thank you!

NB: I've made some photos, but you'd better surf the net for some with higher quality and from a shorter distance. Sorry! Free is free!