Soulfly / Limp Bizkit / Cold.
Nottingham Rock City.
May 20 1998
It's about an hour after the gig has ended. About to start typing. If what I feel at the moment is what flows to the keyboard, then this isn't really going to be a review. At the moment I need to express a collection of thoughts. It built up I guess during the day, and reached melting point during the gig, which is why this is happening. I don't know if it's even going to make it to the web pages / zine. That will be decided tomorrow. If it goes in, it stays and I wont be looking at it. It's probably not going to be coherent or articulate. Turn the page now if you wish.
Well, going to the gig I'm stressed. Work is stressing me, life and people are stressing me. Not normally a good combination for me. Gigs when I'm feeling this way, tend to go one of two ways. Inspire me that the world isn't full of bastards, or just increase the feeling of isolation.
This one probably wasn't going to help from the outset. I'm not what you might call a major fan of Cold or Limp Bizkit. And arriving about halfway through Cold's set wasn't going to break my heart. But maybe they'd inspire and change my mind. Im willing for bands to prove me wrong and put me in my place. Ah well, it was a thought. I just don't get it with them. There's many more bands doing better that get ignored. They just don't impress on me, or fill me with passion. The delivery is just well, deaden. Respect to them for the concept of getting people on stage to dive, and watching them via a guy who helps. Nice idea for the safety aspect. Smacks of desperation though in order to incit a response that the music just doesn't generate. And, well, good ideas sometimes look cack. This one did.
And Limp Bizkit. Well, I guess with my frame of mind today, I didn't want to like them. But fair's fair, the place went off to them bigtime. I still didn't get it. Fred Durst summed it up best for me after they did the intro to Korn's Blind. Some heckler must've shouted something. I didn't hear what. Fred's response. Respect to Korn. If it wasn't for them, there would be no Limp Bizkit. And he's right. Or Cold. Or Coal Chamber. Or so many other bands. Maybe it's why i'm getting onto a few of them these days. The variation between some is so limited. Fred kept asking what we wanted to hear. Requests. Like they're going to listen. They know people shout for what is going to be played anyway. Was it really a surprise when someone goes Counterfeit and they play it. Like they weren't going to otherwise. LB aren't the only culprits of this crime, so I shouldn't get on at them for it. I think another spleen may surface from that one. Anyway, asking what we wanted to hear, well, because I'm not over the top and expressive at gigs meant there was no way I was going to shout what I was thinking. "Some originality".
I guess one of my main problems is I don't come from a hip hop background. So the bands that mix it up, great, no problem. But, when there's no variation, I don't deal with it as well as I would something from a rock background. I'll illustrate what I mean further in a little while. Or I'll try at any rate. Others do similar, believe me. But, I just feel that there are many great bands being ignored because they aren't American or don't fit. That's not Anti- American. Just a reflection that we should treat bands equally, be they American or "other".
I don't know, bad night bad mood.
Why bother going you may ask if you're not going to enjoy it. Well, because music, and gigs, are the only constants that I know when I have problems. They're my outlet, my source of inspiration. Sometimes, it feels like it's all there is. When it doesn't work though, they are a source of desolation. Sometimes you don't have to be aggressive and fuck shit up at a gig. Sometimes you get that "something" from elsewhere, but being there is still important. Music soothes me through broken relationships, problems at work, problems with people, people dieing, people being people. It gets me through, when I know that no-one will be there for me. It's my substitute. My isolation chamber. I can get lost in it, although I may not look too expressive to others. It doesn't matter. I'm not out to impress others. I have a bad opinion of people. Maybe that's a sad reflection on me. Yeah, maybe. I find more comfort in music. Sad again. Maybe. But, just because you may believe you can trust people, don't get down on those that don't feel that.
If you want to tell me to lighten up. Fine. To quote Anthrax, There's the door, your name's on the knob. I will lighten up. When the time is right. You wouldn't tell Max to. You'd rejoice at his honesty. Sometimes, for some people, life isn't a bed of roses. Just 'cos you find life one way, don't expect others to experience it the same.
Which I guess brings us to Soulfly. Greeted by some as the return of God it would seem. Well, at this stage in my life, I'm not sure I believe in a physical or a spiritual God. Im still searching for something. So, I'm a bit more reserved about it. A new tribe, a new sound. Well, yeah of course. That's evidence in the choice of support acts. Max himself looks happy. A little more at ease maybe. I'm jealous. Don't ask why, must've been the mood, but I kept wondering if he would get a sponsorship from Vauxhall. As in Cavalier. Max Cavalier? Well, maybe you need my sense of logic and humour.
A reasonable size selection of the Soulfly album was aired. My first reaction though was the appearance of Logan Mader. When Logan left Machine Head, Robb Flynn said there initially been little problems, like no matter if it was freezing, Logan would go onstage topless. Yet here, on a hot day, sweltering in Rock City, he emerges in a long sleeve top. It's a minor point. You need to be in my head to understand the relevence of it to what I'm writing here. It just didn't fit with me. It revolves back around that most unreliable of animals. People. Do you trust people? Do you believe people?
Delving back to the Seps catalogue, we get "from 1989, Beneath The Remains". The days when the Seps were thrash. and you look around, and all the people that went off to Soulfly, ripped shit up for the hip hop of LB, didn't really get it. See, that's what I meant from earlier. This was closer to where I grew up. Kids now grow up with the Korn, Deftones, LB etc. They don't get the earlier stuff as much. It's not what they know. Which is fine. But don't bag on me cos I don't get hip hop fully. No-one knew LARD being played before the set either. Refuse / Resist, Territory, some Nailbomb and Roots Bloody Roots. The aggression is there. The commitment. And Max is able to break it up with the traditional Brazilian instrument piece. Don't remember the name of it.
Strange, the place wasn't full. Plenty of space, which given the heat was a bit of a godsend actually.
Attitude was dedicated to Dana. People cheered. I felt sad and sick. Those people never knew him. Before his death, they never knew OF him. Neither did I. It struck me as similar to people expressing grief over Princess Diana's death. And many people, myself included, got sick of that. We didn't know her. How could you eulogise someone you never knew? Like people are grieving more than they would for family. That's not right. I don't know that it was right to cheer. It didn't feel it. Maybe it's seen as support of and to Max. Only Max knows if that's what he wants. I guess it's his therapy. Doesn't feel right for me. And I've had more than enough experience of bereavement thankyou very much, so don't even bother thinking of saying "well do you know what he feels". No one knows WHAT he feels, but people do know the process he's going through. And I include myself in that. I deal with mine differently I guess. Maybe a commonality is that death also led to my reliance on music as a source of comfort and inspiration in life.
The highlight of everything was Benji's appearance for Prejudice. Soul, passion. It lifted me. A couple of Discharge covers started the encore, and No finished it. I'll be going tomorrow night as well. Tomorrow is another day. Tonight the music was there for me in desolation. Tomorrow it may feel like more of a celebration. Whatever, I'll be approaching it as a new day. Tomorrow I may love Cold and Limp Bizkit. I'm there to be convinced. The passion may have returned to me. Maybe not. Time will tell.
I know this has been self indulgent. Just thoughts and feelings I needed to express to me. I find writing words easier than speaking even if they sometimes don't make much sense to others. And maybe as a result I actually caught in my own way, the spirit of what Max is trying to achieve. It wasn't via energy in the pit for me. It was through thoughts and feelings and emotions that coursed through me. That's maybe what Max is about. So this is legitimate as well. At least for me. Life changes and life evolves. And it's different and personal for everyone. And so is music. This is me tonight. It's not a review, but, well, tonight it wasn't meant to be for me.
Driving home I was listening to one of the compilation tapes I've put together for going to gigs. Pitchshifter finished. Sade's "Everybody Wants To Live Together" came on. I needed that. I'm going to bed. Tomorrow, well, tomorrow's another day.
And if you feel the need to go "that was crap, you self-indulgent piece of shit". Great. You have a different view on some things to me at the moment. My usual counter now follows. "So you now go write a review, do a Zine. You have just as much right to express your thoughts as I do". These are mine.