Bizkit boys saving best for last

It seemed like a match made in heaven — you know, if the Pearly Gates were overran by a bunch of dudes in hot pants punching each other in the neck.

Honestly, what better band to soundtrack the UFC 100 festivities last weekend than Limp Bizkit, a group that gained infamy for, among other things, tunes such as “Break Stuff,” a Cro-Magnon rebel yell that doubled as a boot to the crotch of subtlety? You can practically feel the hair grow on your knuckles with each passing verse.

It was the perfect combination, and Fred Durst knew it.

“The feeling I get when I watch the UFC is the same feeling I get when I’m onstage, playing Limp Bizkit songs,” the singer said in an interview a few weeks before the big event. “It’s just a feeling, an adrenaline that gets pumping.”

But alas, it was not meant to be.

Though Limp Bizkit was originally scheduled to play the Mandalay Bay beach last Friday as part of the UFC 100 weekend, the show was canceled amid a flurry of rumors. According to a statement from the band, the gig was scuttled for several reasons, chief among them, a disagreement between the UFC and the group’s label, Interscope Records, over DVD rights to the concert, as well as the band’s dissatisfaction with the venue. They wanted it moved to somewhere like the House of Blues.

It didn’t happen, and the gig was scrapped.

But just when all the Bizkit die-hards’ faces began to droop like their jeans, the band announced a free show at The Pearl at the Palms this Saturday.

It will be Limp Bizkit’s first U.S. gig in eight years, and the only one they currently have scheduled.

Though the group never officially disbanded, it took the return of departed guitarist Wes Borland to get them going again.

“Once Wes came back, we were like, ‘OK, it’s on,’ ” Durst recalls while on tour in Europe. “Once Wes quit, we always felt like one of our arms was tied behind our back. We never thought he’d really come back. And then years later, he says: ‘Hey, I miss you guys. I want to do this.’ “

Maturity was something that never was associated with this bunch — and that was the whole point, the band was meant to be a puerile pressure valve with Durst embodying a teen boy’s overactive id. Their songs haven’t changed, but according to Durst, the dudes who play them have.

“We’ve definitely all evolved,” he says. “All these songs have a new meaning for me. I feel like, ‘Wow, this is not what I wrote this song about, but this song is perfect for what I feel right now.’

“It just feels like Limp Bizkit is back, and we’re saving the best for last,” he adds, alluding to the band’s Vegas show. “It sure does feel like a great story right now.”

And what better place to continue that story than in Las Vegas, a town that knows a thing or two about happy endings.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.

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