SHOW REVIEW: Limp Bizkit
By: Jen Brown
For anyone out there who doesn't listen to hardcore music like Korn, or Limp Bizkit, but is interested in it, I would strongly recommend attending a hardcore show. It is one thing to go to your local record store and buy the latest hardcore CD, but in order to truly appreciate the music, one needs to be there to hear it live. I will be the first to admit, I am not a fan of hardcore, but as a writer, it is my job to keep an open mind to all types of music. When a friend of mine called me up and said, "I don't care what you say, you are going with me to see Limp Bizkit," I was less than thrilled. However, I went to the show with her, and decided upon my arrival at the small club in Scranton, Pennsylvania that I would review the show.
The show began around 8:30 that night with a small little known band playing to an anxious crowd. The majority of the line that had formed on the street had not even entered the club when the first band began with their room shaking bass. As the heavy, hardcore sound pulsed through the club the crowd began to come alive. After about a half hour or so it was time for a set change, and a new band to come out.
The next band was a little more known by the crowd, thanks to the 4 teenage boys on the street that handed out stickers and free tapes to the poor souls waiting in 90 degree weather. As the California based band, Cold, took the stage, more people filtered in from the outside. Despite the large neon writing on the support beam in the middle of the club loudly proclaiming "NO MOSHING," the crowd was clearly not about to stand still. It was only a few minutes after nine PM and already a healthy mosh pit had started. If it is possible to imagine the sound of old school Pearl Jam crossed with heavy, throaty lyrics, that would be the sound that pounded from the speakers while Cold played. At one point, the band toned it down a bit to do an acoustic number the joys and woes of being trendy. Cold was certainly a band who spent a great deal of time developing their lyrics.
Shortly after Cold was through another California based band took the stage, Incubus. I must admit, I was quite anxious to hear Incubus. I had the privilege of speaking with a few of the band members prior to the show, and was eager to hear them preform live. I was anything but disappointed. Their set began with DJ Koppel spinning a few warm up tunes on his turntables. Minutes into their set the entire room came alive. The funky, upbeat , electric sound of Incubus was a definite crowd pleaser. It was during this set that the official act of rock concerts began, yes, I am talking about crowd surfing. Incubus managed to create a healthy mix of power chords, funk, bass and record spinning to really get the crowd going crazy. Also, a high note for me was when lead singer Brandon Boyd took the stage with a Didgerido. This is an Australian instrument that I have only ever seen played like by two other bands, The Violent Femmes and an upcoming band, Yolk.
Soon it was time for the headliners, the band that everyone was there to see, Limp Bizkit. Somehow the crowd, which may I add was made up of mostly guys, began jumping even before music began. It was during Limp Bizkit's set that the most stage antics occurred. The set was filled with crowd surfing, a great deal of moshing and stage diving.
Not to mention the heavy, hardcore, sound of Limp Bizkit's music. It was during their set that I realized hardcore is not to be listened to late at night in your room by yourself, you need to be there, at the show, experiencing it. The sound, the bass, the spinning of the records need to be pumping through your body to fully appreciate that kind of music.
Everyone in the club was enjoying the show, even the security guards who most likely prefer bands like Dave Matthews and Alabama to Limp Bizkit were rocking out to the hardy music. My view of the club was unreal, people were hanging from railings, standing on the bar, and jumping around on the floor. About halfway though the set lead singer Fred Durst ventured out into the crowd, disappeared for a while and then reemerged near a railing on the upper level of the club. From this spot her proceeded to jump into the awaiting arms of the fans on the ground level. In addition to playing their own songs, the band also paid homage to their DJ, former House of Pain DJ, DJ Lethal, by covering the old House of Pain tune, Jump Around. Also during their set, the boys decided to get the crowd going even more, as if they weren't already pumped enough by nicely inviting a girl and a guy up on stage for a race to see who could strip the fastest. Hmmm, I wonder who won.
All in all I would have to say I was glad that my friend dragged me along. I ended up having a great time, and learned a great deal about a type of music that I had never really been exposed to before. Even though I was not in the crowd, the energy and emotion from the audience managed to reach me at my vantage press spot. There is something about being in a closed in room with that great amount of music that really gets to a person. It was one of the most energetic nights that I have had in a while.