The line of cars weaving its way down Flamingo Road towards the Palms Casino in Las Vegas signified something big was going down Saturday night. Inside the building, fans wore backwards caps and Adidas; many donned free T-shirts — with Limp Bizkit’s name on one side and the words “VEGAS July 18TH 2009” emblazoned on the other — creating a small sea of black.
“I’m pretty stoked for it,” explained concertgoer Alex Duddy, of Los Angeles. “I grew up on these guys.” But only a security guard at the Pearl Concert Theater could truly capture the feeling going into Limp Bizkit’s first U.S. show in eight years: “It’s gonna be like a mosh pit,” she summarily announced.
Bizkit took to the stage around 9:40 p.m., as frontman Fred Durst — dressed in his iconic red baseball hat, a black button-down nylon jacket, and black Nike shorts — screamed, “Are you ready?” before leading the group into a stompy version of “My Generation.” Guitarist Wes Borland opted simply for one color scheme: red boots, red pants, red paint covering his entire body (minus the white ribcage stenciled on his chest), and a red headdress somehow reminiscent of both Braveheart and Bob Marley.
The show was free, and for the first several cuts (“Livin’ It Up,” “Show Me What You Got”), it felt like a mellow, gradually evolving beach-fest, only with much louder music. “Eat You Alive” (from 2003’s Borland-less Results May Vary) offered entertainment in terms of stage antics — Durst knelt into a pocket of fans at the front of the theater, while Borland tried to catch his own “loogie” in mid-air — but then the mood changed.
“I knew I had something when I wrote this bass line,” Durst boasted, as fellow original LB members John Otto (drums), Sam Rivers (bass), and DJ Lethal began whipping together the head-bopping backbone that would become “Re-Arranged.” The band gelled, a connection was formed, and suddenly Durst was in his element: shifting easily around the stage, asking the (albeit less-than-capacity) crowd how it felt, and even introducing his new wife, Esther, who was seated in one of the boxes.
“I can see you way up in the back!” he yelled.
Next came a string of hits from Limp Bizkit’s first three albums, including “Break Stuff” and “Nookie” (from Significant Other), “My Way” (from Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water), and the cover song that launched the group’s late-’90s, nu-metal rise to glory: George Michael’s “Faith” (from Three Dollar Bill Y’All). “One of the cheesiest songs you’re ever gonna hear in your life,” said Durst.
A loop of Vincent Price’s laugh from “Thriller” played the band to its encore, which began with a solo Durst (backed by Lethal) covering the Who and ended with a series of white fireworks. It seemed Bizkit was pulling out all the stops, and with a new studio album and potential U.S. tour on the horizon, maybe the mosh pits will follow.
Space Odyssey Intro.
“Livin’ It Up”
“Show Me What You Got”
“Eat You Alive”
“Behind Blue Eyes”
“Take A Look Around”