Take it from someone who went to Summer Sanitarium at the New England Patriots own Gillette Stadium. Limp Bizkit was opening for Metallica, of all bands. Prior to Limp Bizkit taking the stage had been Mudvayne, Deftones, and Linkin Park. When it was time for Limp to take the stage, boo's had filled the stadium as if the crowd was expecting Carrot Top to perform. It wasn't long before everyone was out of their seats and jumping around. Security had their hands full for the first time all day and didn't know how to keep it all under control. Saying that Limp Bizkit had a lot of energy live is just the beginning of an understatement. It doesn't matter if you loved them or absolutely loathed them. It was just an undeniable fact.
For the first time on DVD, their live experience has been brought to DVD for those who are either curious (which I'm sure isn't many), or simply for whoever wants to relive one of the best live bands from the late nineties.
This particular concert was recorded at Rock im Park 2001, Nurnberg, Germany on June 1st 2001. It was only months before Wes had announced his departure from the band, which may comfort the Borland era fans.
The disc itself contains two versions of the concert. One simply called the 'Original Version (TV Edit)', which clocks in at about an hour and twenty-six minutes.
This version is an unaltered recording of their set. The set-list is typical for their performances during the final year before Wes left. Most of it was made up of songs off of their 'Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water' album, with a few tracks from their sophomore 'Significant Other' album. 'Faith' had unfortunately been the only track from their break-through album 'Three Dollar Bill 'Yall'. The bill listing is as follows:
-Show Me What You Got
-Livin' It Up
-Master Of Puppets (short)
-I Would For You
-Take A Look Around
-Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)
Fred Durst, despite being despised as the red capped icon for trendy rap-metal, interacted with the crowd to a degree that's hardly ever seen. Concerts with mainstream bands are usually about performing a great set for the crowd, while occasionally speaking to them and trying to make the performance feel as if it were unique. Durst had taken it to a whole new level by bringing fans to dance with him on stage, and even going out in the middle of the crowd himself to perform.
It wasn't just Fred that kept the crowd reeled in though. Every member of the band was giving it their all throughout the entirety of the show. Sam was buckle grooving his entire body while Wes was jumping around like a marionette horror on the loose. DJ Lethal had turned himself into a human accordion while scratchin' it up, and John Otto gave his set of drums a worthy beating despite the non-complexity of what he had to play.
The second version on the disc is listed as the 'Remix Version'. Take this listing quite literally, because the concert footage has practically been assaulted to the point where it would even make an MTV video editor scratch their head. What were they thinking when they pieced this thing together? Between words being thrown up on the screen karaoke style, image blurring on beat with the music, and the fast paced editing style of a Michael Bay film, it's just not tolerable for the full length of the show. That's not to say there aren't some appreciable qualities to this highly stylized edit. It actually at times adds to the insane energy the band was able to put on stage. Unfortunately, it's only somewhat acceptable if you were to view a single live track as if it were a music video. Instead we're berated the entire hour and fourteen minutes (it cuts out the fat between songs) with effect after seizure inducing effect. In fact, I honestly couldn't wait for it to be over.
For the TV edit, the cut and dry explanation is that it looks pretty decent for a concert that was only supposed to be televised. The colors saturate well enough to bring alive the concert going experience, and thanks to decent black levels, the constant change of lighting never leaves us with a 'washed out' look. The image isn't the sharpest I've seen from a concert DVD, at times it can even look soft. I can only assume this is from the footage that was filmed, and not a result of the transfer. Being a televised performance from 2001, this is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio.
The remix however has been presented in a 16:9 aspect ratio, and it presents a few problems. Being that the original source footage is 4:3 there are some cropping issues, as well as minor degradation to the overall picture quality. Fortunately due to the 'in your face' editing, the degradation caused by blowing up the picture is hardly noticable.
What you will notice on both versions, is some pretty noticable interlacing. It can be ugly, but again, I believe this is because this show was filmed for television in 2001. I applaud the fact the footage wasn't artificially altered which could have caused other issues, but surely something could have been done.
We've got an excellent sounding 5.1 track offered on this disc. Each instrument, as well as Fred's vocals, can all be heard very well individually, although 'clean' isn't the word I would use.
What we have is a soundtrack that makes you feel as if you're in the midst of the audience. The bass pumps, DJ Lethal's scratching is mean, and John and Sam on the drums and bass are just begging for a good sound system to demo on.
The audience is going to roar around you at all times on every channel, and you'll hear the concert heavily from the front, yet surround you with the reverb from the back. Play it loud and it's going to feel like you're actually at the concert, but with all the benefits of not being overpowered by one instrument over another.
The stereo track also sounds pretty good. The difference is night and day though when you switch between that, and the 5.1 mix. Once you hear it in surround, you'll never look back, and that's a guarantee.
Before I wrap up the sound, it's rather important I note the first disc I received had a synch error on the surround track. It has been fixed, so if you own a first pressing that had this issue, you should go to the place of purchase for an exchange. This disc had been released a while ago, so any pressing made after the fact should have been available for a while now.
There's an interview with DJ Lethal here, and that's about it. It's only just over eight minutes in length, and it's pretty dry and unenlightening. Limp Bizkit has had a lot happen within the band since 2001. They reformed with new guitarist Mike Smith (who happens to actually appear within the booklet, yet Wes is nowhere to be found) for Results May Vary, and even reunited with Wes to release their EP album, 'The Unquestionable Truth Part 1'.
I'm not trying to give a history lesson here, I just find it incredibly disappointing that there are no questions about what's been going on with the band, or what their future may (or may not) hold. Perhaps I should try staring at the interview like it was one of those 'Magic Eye' books, so I could perhaps see the very large elephant that's been ignored in the room.
There's an amazing performance on this disc. The TV edit is everything I remembered Limp Bizkit to be back in the day. For a band that hasn't been on a true headlining bill for quite some time, this live DVD was enough to make me feel that fire inside again.
The video quality isn't anything fantastic, which again is mostly due to how it was filmed, but it is a live performance of one of the greatest live acts from the last decade. On top of that it's been given a very accurate representation of what it would have sounded like to be in the crowd. I've heard live DVD's that have an incredibly clean sounding instrumental while using the crowd merely as background noise. That's fine and good, but I usually want a live DVD to recreate the experience. This one does that very well.
My rating of recommended is only really going to entice the fans of the band. Nobody is going to go out and blind buy a concert DVD if they didn't care for the music in the first place. If you are a fan, even a casual one, the concert is worth experiencing. It's a lot of fun, has a lot of energy, and with Fred's interaction with the crowd it's almost like a big party. A higher rating was not given, based on the amateurish editing for the remix, as well as the 'I don't have a clue what to really be asking' interviewer that had the opportunity to chat with DJ Lethal, which was the only extra to be seen. If you have no interest in the band at all, then this one is not for you.