Thrash-rap rockers Limp Bizkit stage their own execution in the video
for "Re-Arranged" as a satirical response to accusations that they incited
violence during their Woodstock '99 set.
Fans praised the band's decision to make a statement through its art.
But some industry insiders wondered whether the clip, released Monday,
is a clever vehicle for the band to defend itself or simply a guarantee
to keep eyebrows raised.
"I think they're probably just fighting back against somebody making them
the scapegoat," said Eileen Grobe, sponsorship manager of the skater-punk Vans
Warped Tour, which has featured the band. "It's probably a good
idea, and hey, it's a good publicity stunt, too. It gets more people
talking about it."
Limp Bizkit, and frontman Fred Durst in particular, found themselves
under attack following their performance on July 24, the second day of
the three-day 30th-anniversary Woodstock festival. Police and on-site
doctors said crowd unruliness which resulted in vandalism and
hundreds of injuries reached a peak during Limp Bizkit's set.
Durst has been accused of egging on the chaos.
In the clip to "Re-Arranged" (RealAudio
excerpt), Limp Bizkit are shown in separate cells of a prison
and on trial in a courtroom. A judge, portrayed by MTV VJ Matt Pinfield,
and a jury watch footage from the band's Woodstock performance.
The video also depicts newspapers with fake headlines, such as "Limp
Bizkit Accused of Inciting Riots" and "Limp Bizkit Guilty Until Proven
Innocent." The clip, which Durst directed, ends with the band being
drowned in an execution room, while men and women dressed in suits witness
their deaths from a viewing booth. The band continues rocking as the
room fills with water.
The camera cuts to performance footage and then back to the room, now
empty but for a copy of Significant Other the album which
contains "Re-Arranged" and "Nookie" (RealAudio
excerpt), its first single. The camera zooms in on the album
resting on top of a drain, then Limp Bizkit are shown floating against
a white backdrop.
"Are we in heaven?" guitarist Wes Borland asks. "I think we're dead."
"Dude, if we were in heaven, I'd be kickin' it with Method Man right now,"
Durst answers, referring to the Wu-Tang Clan rapper and solo artist.
Durst told MTV News last week he chose the video's concept because, "It
sort of sucks to have the finger pointed at you, and all you're doing is
a Limp Bizkit show."
Woodstock '99 spokesperson Hayley Sumner would not offer comment on the
video because she said she had not yet seen the clip at press time.
Woodstock promoters John Scher and Michael Lang did not return phone calls
Tuesday (Sept. 14). The promoters earlier admitted that some of the
problems on the second day of Woodstock resulted from bad planning.
Scher said organizers were "victims of our own idea" by scheduling
back-to-back sets by Limp Bizkit and fellow hard-rockers Rage Against
the Machine and Metallica.
Scher also defended Durst against accusations that he incited violence,
saying the singer was prevented from doing more to calm the crowd by
problems with the public-address system.
Limp Bizkit fans said the video is a smart response to the band's being
attacked unjustly for things that were inevitable at such a large concert.
"I really believe that Limp Bizkit was given a lot of undeserved blame
from Woodstock '99," was a typical fan comment. It was written by
15-year-old Casey Jones, who runs the fan website "BoNg's Limp Bizkit
"They were just doing what comes natural onstage and it isn't their fault
that the place turned into a disaster," Jones wrote. "I think that they
are mocking justice because it's a bunch of BS."
Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the touring-industry magazine Pollstar,
said the video won't have any effect on how the concert industry views
Limp Bizkit. He said most promoters didn't pass judgment against the band
as a result of Woodstock.
"No promoter [would refuse to] promote a Limp Bizkit date at this point
in time," he said. "The band's hot and they're selling tickets. The danger
is if they develop a reputation where they might be considered a threat
to public safety, and that really hasn't happened. People forgive an
isolated incident. If it becomes a pattern, then people get concerned."