I walked into the Cow Palace in San Francisco to the introductory strains of The Damned Blue Collared Tweekers by Primus. I rushed over to the front so I could grab a few pictures before they escorted the photographers out and started grooving to an amazing set that included Wynona's Big Brown Beaver, Jerry was a Racecar Driver, My Name is Mud, Electric Uncle Sam and The Antipop. The latter were from their new album, which I consider to be their best effort since 1995's Pork Soda. Ler, Les, and Brain were in fine form, though their set was way too short (but really got the pit going!).
Primus was definitely an incongruous addition to the rest of the lineup. Method Man and Redman, a hip-hop group came on after Primus and while they were good, it certainly clashed with the Primus sound. Filter were next, and they were also decent. They played a solid set, but again, I wasn't exactly able to get into them.
Limp Bizkit came on and all I can say is "yawn!" They retread and rehash the same old ground that has been done before (and better, though they're quite decent at what they do) combining rap with thrash. The biggest highlight of their show was when the sound failed and the audience was forced to listen to their own ambient sounds... shades of John Cage's 4:33! Seriously, the biggest highlight was when they launched into a bunch of covers, including snippets of Sweet Child of Mine, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Master of Puppets, and Faith. They had an elaborate machinery-based set with moving gears with some cool pyrotechnics.
Throughout the show, frontman Fred Durst railed on and on about "They", The Establishment (it always amuses me to no end to hear millionaire rock stars who so depend on it talk about this---my theory is that this is ultimately destructive because it simply dissipates the anger of the youth which could be channeled for more constructive purposes). That was fine. And then he went on about how the band was nothing without its fans. And I was quite impressed by his apparent sincerity, but they were just crocodile words. As the show progressed, Durst kept commenting about the girls in the audience and even invited a bunch of them on stage. This bit of chauvinism could be overlooked, but:
I had VIP passes for the show to say "hello" to Primus. Now, I personally don't give a rat's arse about meeting Limp Bizkit but I did hang out afterwards to see what was up. As all of us who had passes were waiting, the roadies asked all the girls to come up so their IDs could be checked and their wrists tagged. But as soon the girls were checked, they told the boys (and some of them were young idealistic fans) to go home.
As I said, Limp Bizkit weren't a big deal to me, but after my initial amusement (but you have to admit, this is funny) I strongly empathised with the young male fans who were looking forward to meet their idols (now this is why I say you shouldn't put other human beings on pedestals) and were given shoddy treatment by a band that claims to owe its existence to the fans (Durst didn't mention anything about male vs. female fans :). Compound this with the fact that couples were separated without knowledge of what was happening. All of this goes to show that fans shouldn't adulate rock stars so much. But admittedly, all this makes for an interesting lesson in family values.