By Chris Fung
Earlier this week I found myself in Manchester Academy 1 for the 2014 edition of The Kerrang! Tour. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Kerrang! Tour, it is an annual run of shows throughout that UK that feature 4 bands on the bill. It usually consists of 2 small upcoming bands opening the tour, a fairly well established band as the main support and a firmly well known big name topping the bill to bring each show to a grand finale. It was my first time seeing a show on the Kerrang! Tour and the headliner choice this year was a little bit different, but pleasing, from the usual headliner name that you’d expect. Fresh from recording their upcoming 7th studio album, Stampede of the Disco Elephants, it was nu-metal legends Limp Bizkit’s turn to lead the way for this year’s edition of the Kerrang! Tour.
For me, the night began by seeing 3rd down the bill, American metalcore 6 piece Nekrogoblikon. In actual fact this band is actually a 7 piece as their 7th member is a goblin who goes by the name of John Goblikon who pretty much acts like a hype man/slave for the band. Whilst the majority of the crowd were probably unfamiliar with the band’s material, they still provided a light hearted and fun element to the evening’s line-up, it’s not everyday that you see a goblin on the stage during a gig after all. On the whole the band put on a pleasing performance in terms of sound and also technical ability. The band’s take on ‘goblin metal’ was sure to give people a unique performance that they won’t forget.
Next on the bill was Japanese metalcore/electronic band Crossfaith. Having released their 2nd studio album, Apocalyze, and performing sets on the Rock Stage at Leeds and Reading festivals last year, the band were all set to return to the shores of the UK to conquer the stage. I’ve been waiting to see Crossfaith live for a while and so I was very much looking forward to their set. As soon as they stepped onto the stage, from start to finish they put on a flawless show. All 5 members of the band gave it their all and put in as much energy as they could into their performance. It was pleasing to see the crowd reacting well to the performance and also their participation when the band initiated circle pits and other forms of crowd interaction. Despite only being on for half an hour, the band pulled off a satisfying set consisting of a mixture of songs from their 2 studio albums and Zion EP. They also threw in a cover of The Prodigy’s Omen, much to the crowd’s delight.
Around about 9.50 pm, the moment which the majority of the crowd had saved their energy for had arrived. The lights dimmed and shouts of ‘Bizkit!’ filled the 2500 capacity venue. Guitarist Wes Borland was the first to take to the stage and unveiled his chosen costume for the night which consisted of a Hawaiian hat, sunglasses, a Hawaiian shirt and little more than a pair of very short striped shorts. He opened the band’s set with a ‘Cowboy Song’ played on his Ukulele before the rest of the band, completed by drummer John Otto, bassist Sam Rivers and vocalist Fred Durst took to the stage accompanied by DJ Skeletor. The band then went on to go straight into their song 9 Teen 90 from their album Significant Other. From that moment on, it can best be described as carnage from that moment on, but I mean carnage in a good way. You can’t go into a Limp Bizkit show and expect a quiet night, far from it in fact as following a cover of Guns N Roses’ Welcome To The Jungle, the band jumped straight into their monster anthem Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle) only 3 songs into the set! Needless to say, the room erupted with delight as the crowd just went insane with many pits and singing occurring throughout the song. During the whole set Fred Durst maintained great interaction with the crowd with a constant emphasis on encouraging the attendees to enjoy themselves but also not letting things get too out of hand. At several points during the set the band would launch into a jam or an interval provided by DJ Skeletor playing a number of songs. Other songs in the set included Nookie, Gold Cobra and Hot Dog along with the classics My Generation, My Way and the cover of George Michael’s Faith. It was of course the classics that got the best reaction and also rowdiest highlights of the night. In the later part of the set a cover melody was played which consisted of Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box and also Smells Like Teen Spirit. Unfortunately due to starting their set slightly late, they had to cut their set a bit short and so gave the crowd a choice of whether to end their set with Take A Look Around or Break Stuff. Of course the crowd wanted the show to be concluded with an anthem that could let them use up whatever energy they had left and also the need to satisfy everyone’s request to ‘give me something to break!’. Break Stuff provided a fitting way for the band to end their set that left the crowd leaving the venue knowing they’d had a great night. Some people out there may think that Limp Bizkit are past their time but to them I say they are far from it. They still maintain a reputation as being a great live band who have a great back catalogue to support it and will always please the fans when they answer the call.