|Fred Durst (second from
left) and a reconfigured Limp Bizkit try to climb back
on top with Results May Vary
To some, they represent the worst of the
rap-metal revolution that exploded following the mid-'90s
implosion of grunge. Their adolescent, ape-like gestures,
lackluster post-Beastie Boys white-boy hip-hop, and crass
covers of rock classics (e.g., their current reworking of
The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes") make them
an easy target.
But at the very least one has to give Limp Bizkit credit for
a cunning ability to stay in the public eye. Catchy lyrics,
crunchy riffs and frontman Fred Durst's knack for feeding
the media machine with a steady torrent of titillating fodder
linking him to Hollywood sirens Carmen Electra, Britney Spears
and, most recently, Halle Berry (who appears in the "Behind
Blue Eyes" video), are the ingredients of the formula.
This weekend's dates at the Saitama Super Arena (one
of the glistening new World Cup venues for which owners are
now straining to find a profitable use) find the band with
a new album that features a reconfigured lineup. Original
guitarist Wes Borland, he of the trademark horror masks, was
finally replaced with former Snot guitarist Mike Smith following
a lengthy search that at one point prompted rumors of guitar
legend Eddie Van Halen joining the band.
An already completed album was scrapped in order to work Smith
into the band, with the result finally emerging three years
after Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water in
the form of Results May Vary, which entered the Billboard
charts at No. 2 in the first week of October.
More so than previous albums, the new disc puts Durst's
singing, as opposed to rapping, front and center. And surprisingly,
the guy (who looks like he's been on the Atkins diet)
sings pretty well. But there's nothing as catchy on
Results May Vary as the band's irrepressible chart-topper
"Nookie," and in a sign of this and a possible
indication that the rap-metal wave is subsiding (or perhaps
of increased digital downloading), the album's sales
were less than half of the million-plus posted by Chocolate
Starfish in its first week of sales.
Meanwhile, Limp Bizkit-launched in 1994 in Jacksonville,
Florida, and "discovered" by Korn when Korn's
bassist and guitarist had tattoos done by then-tattoo artist
Durst-continue to court controversy. They were recently
sued by 172 Chicago concertgoers who say they were ripped
off when the band exited the stage after 17 minutes during
a July 26 performance as part of the Summer Sanitarium tour
featuring Linkin Park and Metallica.
Filed in the Cook County District Court, the suit, according
to TheSmokingGun.com, claims Limp Bizkit cut short their set
after riling fans with Durst's "obscene and
profane messages." The complaint also alleges that
Durst screamed "disgusting homophobic and anti-gay
statements at the crowd" and took his microphone with
him to continue his rant even after leaving the stage.
For unreconstructed LB fans, the opportunity exists for ticket-holders
to attend the band's sound check and a meet-and-greet
session. For details see promoter UDO's website at
Limp Bizkit play Saitama Super Arena
December 13-14. See concert listings for details.
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