First Limp Bizkit Ticket Handout Goes Smoothly

Observers had warned that overwhelming demand for free show could lead to disaster.

Limp Bizkit's Napster-sponsored free tour moved smoothly toward kickoff Tuesday (July 11) in Detroit, where wristbands were distributed without incident to thousands of fans lined up outside the State Theatre.

The tour, which also features hip-hop outfit Cypress Hill, kicks off a two-night stand at the venue Tuesday night.

Members of Limp Bizkit greeted early arrivals Monday, appeasing them by handing out bottled water and signing autographs.

Concert-industry experts predicted that the "first-come, first-served" premise of the tour would spell disaster, considering Limp Bizkit's draw as a live act far exceeds the 3,000- to 5,000-seat capacities of the venues on the itinerary.

Detroit police said there were no arrests or crowd-control problems. "We didn't have any problems at all," police spokesperson Sana Brikho said.

Joe Neiporte, general manager at State Theatre, said Tuesday afternoon that all of the estimated 5,000 fans who had stood in line outside the venue received wristbands for either Tuesday's or Wednesday's show. "We accommodated everyone," he said.

The venue will hold 3,000 fans each night; the remaining wristbands were still being given out Tuesday afternoon.

"It went off flawlessly, which was exactly what I expected, because we were prepared," Neiporte said, adding that security had been beefed up with Detroit police officers and personnel from a private security company. "We made sure the kids were comfortable, happy, relaxed and safe, and everybody was on their best behavior."

Between 2,000 and 3,000 fans camped out at the venue Monday night, he said. Members of Limp Bizkit, including frontman Fred Durst, turned up outside the venue Monday afternoon and Monday evening, spending several minutes each time handing out water bottles that commemorated the event, which is dubbed the Back to Basics tour.

"They talked to the kids, signed autographs, took pictures," Neiporte said. "It was very cool, actually."

The first 500 fans on-site were given "I Waited for the Nookie" T-shirts, according to MTV News. Pizza was passed out later.

The tour includes 19 dates in 11 cities. The bands will announce venues for each city 24 to 48 hours before each show.

Limp Bizkit, whose multiplatinum 1999 album, Significant Other, featured the hits "Break Stuff" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Nookie," are expected to released their third LP, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, this fall.