CHICAGO About 400 music fans from around the country got a
surprise preview of the upcoming Family Values tour when Limp Bizkit and
Filter took the stage here Saturday at the Riviera Theater.
The concert was part of Miller Genuine Draft's Blind Date music series,
in which contest winners are flown to see shows whose performers are kept
secret until the last minute.
But it wasn't the Family Values festival that was on the mind of Limp
Bizkit leader Fred Durst.
"I haven't seen real human beings since that sh-- at Woodstock," the
29-year-old singer for the rap-metal outfit said. Saturday was Limp Bizkit's
first live show since the riotous July concert, and the remark was one
of a few times he mentioned Woodstock on Saturday.
His band has been accused of provoking some of the destructive behavior
at the three-day festival, charges Limp Bizkit answer in their recent
video for "Re-Arranged."
The clip shows the band on trial, in prison and being executed by drowning.
Fictitious newspapers sport headlines such as "Limp Bizkit Accused of
Inciting Riots" and "Limp Bizkit Guilty Until Proven Innocent."
"How many of you saw Limp Bizkit at Woodstock?" he later asked. "It's
good that you didn't."
At points, however, Durst's attitude ran counter to the Woodstock vibe,
which included numerous performers encouraging women to remove some or
all of their clothes. When one of several young women invited onstage
Saturday exposed her breasts, Durst ignored her.
After a muscular rendition of their hit "Nookie" (RealAudio
excerpt), from Significant Other, Durst urged the crowd
to let their good feelings flow. "I want everyone to dig down deep inside
and lay out that positive energy, because this is one f---ing amazing
night," said the singer, wearing his trademark red New York Yankees cap.
It was the polar opposite of his Woodstock directive to "reach down and
take all that negative energy and let that sh-- out."
Guitarist Wes Borland donned black-and-white face paint that looked like
a cross between the styles of Kiss and "Stars Wars" character Darth Maul.
Wearing a red necklace with electric lights to match his apple-red hair,
he often spun in planetary motion, turning in small circles on an imaginary
axis while making bigger circles across the stage.
Limp Bizkit's Significant Other is one of the best-selling discs
of the year, having sold just under 3 million copies so far, according
to album sales tracker SoundScan. Shortly after its release, Durst was
made a vice president of Interscope records.
Although the band's set clocked in at under an hour, Durst claimed the
stage like someone unabashedly riding at the top of his game. He proclaimed,
"I am Elvis Presley, and I'm the king of rock 'n' roll!"
As the band brought its cover of George Michael's "Faith"
excerpt of Limp Bizkit version) to a close, Durst thumped his
chest like Tarzan.
The Family Values tour, headlined by Limp Bizkit, will also include Filter,
rappers DMX, Method Man and Redman, art-rockers Primus and electronica's
At the Riviera, Filter's set was plagued by muddy sound. When the hometown
industrial-rock band broke into the rhythmic bridge of the single "Welcome
to the Fold" (RealAudio
excerpt), singer Richard Patrick cupped his hands to the mic and
delivered a staccato reading of the lyrics, ignoring the jungle feel of
the album cut.
Filter focused on songs such as "Dose" and "Hey Man Nice Shot" (RealAudio
excerpt) from their 1995 debut, Short Bus. Patrick
frequently raised both arms above his head, seeming like an Olympic
victor in slow motion.
Philadelphia blues-and-rap act G. Love & Special Sauce opened with a
short set that included two Beatles songs, "Norwegian Wood" and "You've
Got to Hide Your Love Away." Few in the crowd seemed to recognize the
group, which recently issued its fourth album Philadelphonic.
"Even if people don't know us, they know the Beatles," singer and guitarist
G. Love said afterward.
Hip-hop folkie Beck was originally booked to headline this edition of
the Blind Date, according to Love and Nikki Chase, a publicist for the
event. Chase said she could not say why Limp Bizkit played instead.
Beck may have been more suited to the tastes of the contest winners, who
had to be over 21.
"I thought it catered to an underage crowd, 16 to 18," John Dagnon, 32,
of Chicago, said. "But I wasn't disappointed, just surprised."
But Jon Shulin, 25, who was flown in from Arizona, had his fingers crossed
for Limp Bizkit. "I was just taking a guess," he said after the show.
"I was hoping I'd see them. And they rocked."