Written by Jamie Brannon Saturday, 24 May 2014 12:46
Features - Reviews
Limp Bizkit, Brixton Academy, London
For a brief period in the early part of the millennium, Limp Bizkit were infiltrating the musical mainstream to a great degree with their turbo-charged rap-rock anthems propelling them to figurehead status of a scene dubbed “nu-metal”. Fast forward a decade or so and Limp Bizkit’s pulling power has gradually waned, only maintained by an audience hoping to remind themselves why they got so excited in their adolescence.
To be fair, frontman Fred Durst and the band are well aware their star is no longer in the ascendant and this headline slot on the Kerrang! Awards Tour is a trade-in on former glories, and it’s no surprise to witness all the signature hits checked off, generally in a ferocious, brutal and, on occasion, playful manner.
After opening with a taut version of ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ the crowd start to really mosh like its 2001 when the opening off ‘Rollin’ sparks pandemonium. The song that defined their commercial zenith still packs a punch, even if Durst’s delivery is wayward and the lyrics could have been pieced together when he was in kindergarten. Aside from his and lyrical and vocal foibles, Durst’s dress sense doesn’t seem to have evolved since their heyday either, as he’s still wearing garb that anyone past 24 is going to be struggling to make work. While his attempts at crowd interaction are tedious, cringe worthy and misguided.
That said, these flaws are somewhat masked by the effusiveness of maverick guitarist Wes Borland, whose energy, punchy attitude and sense of fun liven up proceedings. Conversely, Durst tends to go through the motions more, maybe the passing of time has made him realise that the majority of the Bizkit catalogue is laughable, not that it seems like this to the sweaty masses in the Brixton jungle, who are quite happy to be overdosing on nostalgia as savage mosh-pits breakout, while Bizkit run through old favourites such as ‘Nookie’, ‘Take a Look Around’, and ‘My Way’. These old hits being punctuated by snippets of cover versions, including a riotous segment of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit, which goes down a storm, even if Kurt Cobain would be spinning in his grave if he thought a band like Limp Bizkit were making hay out of an era-defining anthem.
Climaxing with ‘Break Stuff’, you can’t disguise the fact they remain an explosive live act, but seem devoid of evolving their sound. However if you wanted old-school thrills served up hard, dirty and fast, you are not going to be disappointed with the Bizkit demonstration.