July 28, 2003

Famously Brainless: Fred Durst

Limp Bizkit booed offstage in Chicago:

"...So it's no surprise that even a memorable meltdown by openers Limp Bizkit failed to derail the band's triumphant return to the local stage.

"Tens of thousands of fans paid $75 apiece to attend Saturday's daylong event at the defunct Hawthorne horse track in Stickney, and Metallica responded with a performance worth every penny. The quartet's set featured a raft of churning hits, stellar showmanship and masterful use of the super-sized stage, replete with showy lighting, four huge video screens and well-placed pyrotechnics.

"The metaphorical fireworks started much earlier, however, when heckling fans induced a profane tantrum from Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst and the band quit playing after just 20 minutes.

"It was easy to predict a rough reception for the rap-rock has-beens when a significant segment of the crowd booed a mention of the band by previous openers Linkin Park. When Limp Bizkit actually appeared around 7 o'clock, the boos intensified, and some fans pelted the stage with garbage.

"The famously brainless Durst only fanned the flames, first encouraging the catcalls and flying trash, then swerving into a bizarre tirade against the crowd and city. Ranting that he'd fight anyone in earshot and spluttering explicit sexual putdowns, uncreative curses and ludicrous homophobic slurs, Durst simply self-destructed. Had the villain in 'The Wizard of Oz' been a vile little boob like Durst rather than a snarly old lady in greenface, the movie's 'I'm melting!' scene might have looked like this.

"The crowd, perhaps stunned, calmed down, and Limp Bizkit played a few more songs (including a sarcastic, gay-bashing cover of George Michael's "Faith" with potty-mouth lyrics that would embarrass a fourth-grader). But then the band left the stage and Durst resumed his vulgar invective from the wings until, mercifully, he was relieved of the microphone.

"The aborted set left fans to wait more than 90 minutes for Metallica, but the mood never turned ugly--maybe because a lengthy delay was better than suffering through any more Limp Bizkit."

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