Metallica Summer SanitariuM TOUR at Skydome (1 Blue Jays Way), Saturday (July 5). Tickets: $80-$90. Attendance: 39,000. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
If you'd told me a week ago I'd be writing this, I'd have been skeptical indeed, but here we go: churlish "Fuck you's" to alleged ex-fling Britney Spears aside (What are you? 17? Oh, yeah, I forgot...), limpbizkit put on a wicked live show. Something's come together since I saw them three years ago and was near bored to tears. Fred Durst is a dynamic and engaging frontman in his little "I'm such a badass but we're all in this together so let's all feel the love" kind of way, encouraging audience participation and making security work a tad harder by wandering off into the crowd.
And while they aren't exactly songwriting geniuses, limpbizkit's pop tunes with lots of swear words in 'em have proved undeniably infectious. I don't own a limpbizkit album, nor do I listen to radio stations that might play them, but I'm still familiar with the bulk of their material - and it doesn't make me want to scream.
Though they didn't showcase much of the (long-awaited by some) upcoming record on which he's featured, new guitarist (finally) Mike Smith seems an ideal fit. The band shelved an already completed record upon discovering Smith and set to work on a new one.
By contrast - again, I can't believe this is something I'd ever say - after limpbizkit, Metallica were a bit of a letdown. They were having sound troubles that would have been barely perceptible had James Hetfield not continually apologized for them.
Or perhaps it was the little art project happening on the Skydome 's screens. The baseball media box is far enough back that you really need the screens to get a sense of what's happening all the way up onstage. Unfortunately, someone must've hired a crew of first-year film students to treat us to a shaky montage of extreme close-ups of Metallica's wallet chains, shoulders, shocks of hair and shoes, over and over again. It was all très Blair Witch and not unlike listening to your favourite Metallica tunes in some obscure repertory art house.
Too bad, because Jason Newsted's replacement, ex-Ozzy bassist Robert Trujillo , would've been a trip to watch. As it stood, all I could see of him was this half-man, half-ape thing gambolling about the stage in a squat. Good bass player, though.
Linkin Park , who also performed beyond my expectations, had to stop their opening set so a fan could be taken away on a stretcher.
Hope everything's OK.