Limp Bizkit at Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam
Missing out on seeing Limp Bizkit in their prime in Melbourne on their 2001 Australian tour was very disappointing, especially as a metal-hungry 16-year-old. When guitarist Wes Borland left, their music went horribly wrong and I thought that was it for the band. Thankfully Borland returned and now, almost 10 years later, I got the opportunity to see them play the songs that fuelled a new generation in the late-'90s.
With so many stomping tracks and live videos like Family Values, it was pretty easy to surmise that they
would 'bring it'. From the first song Hot Dog they had the whole crowd jumping. And I mean the whole crowd. From the front to the back the whole floor was a tidal wave of moshing - even people in the seats were going nuts. Understandably as well, most of the crowd looked in their late 20s. Smiles and high fives were flying around everywhere - fans obviously stoked to be seeing the band that gave them so many good memories in their teenage years.
Limp Bizkit have always copped a lot of crap over the years, especially lead singer Fred Durst with his trademark big mouth, baggy jeans and backwards cap. But tonight he was in fine form. Every growl and rhyme was spat with the utmost intensity. He looked fit as he ran across the stage and down the ramp jutting into the crowd, especially during a thumping rendition of Break Stuff. He slapped hands and interacted with as many fans as he could, clearly enjoying being back at the helm of one of the most energetic bands of recent times.
He could only be upstaged by Borland, who was painted black from toe to nose then bright white on the top half of his head. Just in case he wasn't standing out enough, at one point he brought out a guitar riddled with neon lights. Wes shredded like a man possessed throughout the entire set, which was mostly composed of songs from Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavoured Water such as Rollin', My Generation and Livin' It Up. Early in the show a girl got onstage and danced around without a worry from the band, then later Durst got a kid no more than 10 years old onstage who had a marijuana leaf on his hat. "Only in Holland," Durst chuckled.
During the lighter-waving snore-fest of their cover of The Who's Behind Blue Eyes he changed the lyrics to: "No-one knows what its like, to be the bad man, to be the sad man - In Amsterdam." Next they played their new single Walking Away, and people did just that, to which Durst commented, "That's okay; go to the toilets if you want." They did two more covers - one was a terrible rendition and a terrible choice, Coldplay's Yellow. The other was their classic take on George Michael's Faith, during which Durst tried to get everyone on their knees and then jumping back up, but got little co-operation. He'd lost the crowd momentarily after the whole Yellow debacle.
After starting off so strongly, the 'Bizkit lost the break-neck momentum they had going. But the moshing madness soon returned with Take A Look Around (from Mission Impossible II) and their biggest hit Nookie, which the whole crowd sung/shouted in unison. I left the arena shirtless, sweaty, hoarse and almost feeling 16 again - delighted to have been given the chance to see them live.