As they have done their entire career, Limp Bizkit defied the odds last night and packed out the Olympia Theatre last night on their return to Ireland after 4 years away. Nowadays they're recording their seventh (yes, seventh) album, the atrociously titled Stampede Of The Disco Elephants and somehow still attracting audiences worldwide to their live show. Before the gig I pondered to myself about the type of audience one would encounter at a Bizkit gig- newly enticed teenagers (do young people still begin listening to Limp Bizkit these days?) or perhaps those who never got over the first time around, although surely it you'd have to question your life choices at this point if you find yourself still clinging desperately to the memories of that red cap.
But it is the latter who populate the Olympia and just like it was 2000 all over again, Fred Durst is rocking that distinctive baseball cap. The band's entrance to the stage is greeted with a maddening reception from the crowd, and Durst seems to feed off this energy instantly. He asks us ''Are you ready''? I really don't know. Wes Borland, kitted out in his usual elaborate attire, kicks things off with the band at full volume, and in fairness with regards to the setlist, Durst and co. know exactly what their doing and who they are playing for. What we have here is a collection of what I suppose you would deem ''the hits''.
Early on we get tracks taken from the band's two bestselling albums Significant Other and Chocolate Starfish in the form of ''9 Teen 90 Nine'', ''Full Nelson'', the 48 Fuck's of ''Hot Dog'' and ''My Generation'', while occasionally they slip in newer material like ''Gold Cobra'',which the crowd still goes wild to, ignoring the lack of familiarity. Bizkit seem grateful if not shocked about the energy demonstrated by the Irish audience throughout, hundreds of whom form a moshpit that seems to compass the entire floor area, and they go even harder when Durst introduces two incredibly strange song choices mid way through the set. ''Heart Shaped Box'' and ''Smells Like Teen Spirit'' are both covered and both butchered equally with Cobain's lyrics going unheard through Durst's screeched, amateurish vocals but again, they get a tremendous reaction from the crowd, and I'm sure that's the only reason for these two nonsensical covers and their inclusion in the set in the first place.
Just as with their song choice, the band are sensible in their timing too, not outstaying their welcome by any means as they wrap up the set after just 13 songs, the final few of which are undoubtedly saved for last for good reason, with nu metal classics ''Rollin'' and ''Take A Look Around'' bringing things to a hectic close. The latter is of particular note, filled with the angst that represents the band and, just it did 10 years ago, banks on the hatred that Limp Bizkit can be guaranteed they'll get everywhere they go.
And so Olympia fills out after an admittedly premature ending, but the vibe in the air is certainly one of satisfaction; those who came got what they expected, and if you're a fan of the band you won't have been disappointed- Durst, Borland and the rest are still the same musicians they were in 2000 for good or bad, and having come through hell and high water to even still exist today, you really have to give them credit to be on the verge of dropping another record to a still attentive fan base.
As Durst put it himself quite poignantly in a recent, and quite forthcoming interview last year, he's "lucky to be on the mountain; no reason to be standing on top of it." It's 2014 and Limp Bizkit are, for better or worse, still here.
Review by Andrew Lambert