Friday, July 12, 2024

Limp Bizkit did it all for Yorkshire

Limp Bizkit are still one of the biggest acts in music and could probably sell out every venue they could find due to their newfound audience of younger nu-metal fans but they continue to play smaller venues, perhaps out of love for the audience, maybe it’s just a logistical issue or maybe it’s all for the Nookie. Regardless, their show at The Piece Hall in Halifax showcased Limp Bizkit at the top of their game as well as introducing people to new acts; Joey Valence & Brae and KennyHoopla.

First up was Joey Valence & Brae, a hip-hop duo and they were fantastic, they had a 90s hip-hop sound and a genuinely funny dynamic together. An easy comparison you could make would be The Beastie Boys, their music has a sense of humour about itself but their flow is dead serious as are the beats behind them. ‘Hooligang’ and ‘Underground Sound’ were instantly added to my playlist and have been on repeat since the show ended. 

Joey Valence & Brae

The biggest surprise of the night was that I actually knew a song from Joey Valence & Brae: ‘Punk Tactics’. I had no idea this was a modern song until starting this article, I’d always thought it was an early 90s staple from House of Pain or Cypress Hill or someone of that ilk but either way, it got me sufficiently hyped for the show with its in your face attitude and stellar sample work and DJ. 

Joey Valence & Brae

KennyHoopla was next and my first thought was how his music would fit on the Crazy Taxi soundtrack. It’s all so lively and energetic and Kenny’s stage presence matches the energy so well. It would be very easy just to let the music speak for itself but the whole band seems to be into what they’re doing and that passion is contagious. 

KennyHoopla

There’s a lot of emo influence in the music, ‘Estella’ could have been written during the original emo movement and been shelved for the right artist to perform it and Kenny Hoopla would definitely be the right choice for it. He seems to understand and respect all of the music that came before him so well and that does so much to make it feel authentic and life-affirming. 

KennyHoopla

‘Hollywood Sucks’ was a brilliant track to jump around to with its bouncy drumming and surprisingly technical riffing. It would be perfect to have on in the background while playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, partly because of its short run time but mainly because of how much it feels like an original skater punk song. 

KennyHoopla

A brief tangent: I’ve been recognised at shows before due to my jacket and hat but today was a unique experience. While en route to the bathroom, a drunken gentleman offered to buy my hat for double what it was worth, while in the toilets. This whole experience probably would have been really strange and uncomfortable in any other environment but at a Limp Bizkit concert? Just a standard transaction. I hope you’re enjoying that hat wherever you are. I spent the rest of the show hatless but at least I had a drink. 

Limp Bizkit calmly made their way to the stage in an orderly fashion and the crowd reacted accordingly in a reserved and respectful manner, much like you would see at the symphony or the opera… and then everyone lost their goddamn minds. 

Limp Bizkit

‘Show Me What You Got’ was the first song played and despite being a band that’s nearly 30 years into their career, they still feel as youthful and exuberant as ever. Fred Durst still has that inimitable swagger and stage presence he’s always had but now he has a beard. 

Limp Bizkit

I was positioned to the right of the stage but that didn’t really matter because the entire crowd was a war zone during nu-metal staples like ‘My Generation,’ a song that has since developed new meanings in a way similar to The Who’s song of the same name. Fred acknowledged that Limp Bizkit is a throwback act by saying “You guys are here for that Limp Bizkit time machine, right?” and that speaks to how wrong all the critics were when they called nu-metal a fad with limited shelf life. 

Limp Bizkit

Regardless of what you think of Fred as a rapper, his skills as a hype man are undeniable. I challenge everyone to hear him scream “Ladies and gentlemen, the chocolate starfish and the hot dog flavoured water” without needing to throw down, once the riff on ‘Hot Dog’ kicks in. ‘Hot Dog’ has become a new favourite of mine due to Wes Borland’s unconventional and addictive guitar work, the man has a unique style and doesn’t get nearly enough credit. 

Limp Bizkit

If you listened to absolutely any form of rock radio between 2000 and right now, then you’ve heard Rollin’. It’s so deeply ingrained in pop culture that it broke through into the mainstream and refused to budge for almost 25 years, much like Limp Bizkit itself. People were doing the steering wheel gesture from the video, pogoing in what I’d describe as a highlight of the show outside of Fred expressing his love for Yorkshire which is understandable, Sean Bean is from here after all. 

Limp Bizkit

The crowd was feral and untamed during ‘My Way’ but it became clear that some people were learning how to carry themselves at a metal show in real time. People were starting pits in random parts of the venue instead of the centre before thinking “oh, the pit is in the middle” and then moving away from the stationary crowds at the side. People were getting thrown around when they didn’t want to be and this was likely because a vast majority of the audience hadn’t much experience with shows before this and that’s okay. It’s an unusual environment if you’re not used to it but everyone is there to help and that’s what makes it such a wonderful place. 

Limp Bizkit

‘Nookie’ was a huge moment in the set and it really brought the rhythm section to people’s attention, the bass line is incredible and the hip-hop beat is infectious to the point that you could completely cut out the heavy guitars and still call it an amazing hip hop song. 46 f*cks later and the crowd is still revved up and ready to go with just one other massive track to go but first; a bizarre inclusion. 

Limp Bizkit

In 2003, the mediocre supernatural horror film Gothika was released and Limp Bizkit’s cover of ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ by The Who was included on the soundtrack. Its inclusion in that movie is still baffling to me as is the video which features Halle Berry and Fred Durst as a couple? I’m not saying he couldn’t do it, I’m just saying it’s a weird call. Tangent aside, this version shows that Fred has more range than just pure youthful aggression, that he can show a softer side and that his voice can be melodious when he needs it to be. He may not be an amazing singer but he can carry a melody even at his age. 

Limp Bizkit

After that sombre moment, it was time for everyone to remember all their survival skills as Wes Borland’s guitar started to growl. The anthem of aggression was about to start and everyone was pumped to ‘Break Stuff’. There really hasn’t been a more perfect song about just wanting to punch someone square in the face before or since it’s pure lightning in a bottle and it’s always been effective but seeing it live with thousands of other people feeling the same way you do is transcendent as everyone screams “if my day keeps going this I just might break your fuckin face tonight” as they channel all that anger into the music. 

I’m regularly asked why I do so many of these shows and the answer is always the same: “I do it all for the Nookie” and then the other person usually walks away in disgust but at least this time I can actually say I did it all for The Nookie

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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