Gig Review by Kirsty Hillyer with Gig Photos by Lee Allen

Limp Bizkit

My fingers were well and truly crossed that I would be able to review this show. Limp Bizkit are a band I have loved for a long time but never actually made it to see, not sure why that is. With Crossfaith supporting I was expecting great things, and with Baby Godzilla, whom I was assured were fun, I was set for a goodnight.

Baby Godzilla

After I hauled ass from Rugby to make it to the show on time I got inside 3 minutes into Baby Godzilla’s set. I had heard their EP a looong time ago but it hadn’t really made an impact upon me. My strongest opinions of these guys were based upon one ugly T-shirt my friend owns. Thank fully it was with much pleasure that I watched these guys leap around the stage, on and off amps, swing a mic menacingly at the photographers and have the crowd assist in mic stand holding as they played on the barrier.

Baby Godzilla
Baby GodzillaBaby Godzilla

You were never sure where to look at anyone time. With two-gym bunny beardy lead vocal, guitarists in Johnny Hall and Matt, Reynolds sporting their vests and looking tough, bassist Paul Shelley has carved out his own stage presence. With his serious metal faces and side swinging leg jigs you have to watch him too, whilst drummer Tome Marsh has an 80’s rock feel to him. Between songs it was like a game of musical statues on stage. I felt like we needed to judge who pulled, and held, the best rock pose and award the winner.

Baby Godzilla

So what do they sound like? Explosive, thrashing, hard hitting beats akin to the ‘Kill the Rhythm’ days of Gallows but with the killer sea shanty track of ‘Powerboat Disaster’. With a 5 song-ish set it was just the perfect amount of Baby Godzilla to leave you with a ‘Hell Yeah!’ feeling. Sadly their awesome delivery of ‘Powerboat Disaster that builds to a fade out in an a cappella anthemic, rousing of salty sea dog ‘YO HO’s’ and rum should have been the end of the set and it wasn’t. There was a lack lustre last song that just didn’t live up to the standard and finale of what is their best song that also enables fans and newcomers to their music, to participate and be a part of their set. Anyway it was a good, enjoyable start to the show and it was a shame that doors weren’t earlier to get more bodies in before they played.

Nekrogoblikon

Having checked out Nekrogoblikon when the tour was first announced I had low expectations for this band and still can’t understand why they were on the bill. There was a committed fan base in the crowd for this lack lustre rock band, that gets away with too much just because they have a man in a suit, dress like a goblin. How did I know there was a hardcore fan base in the crowd? It was the wave of cardboard goblin masks that gave it away.

Nekrogoblikon
Nekrogoblikon

This band from California are the metal version of the Party Rockers, trading neon for black and ironic (but probably seriously worn) psychic animal, keyboard cat t-shirt and a sock monkey hat. They are laughable and have an interest factor of 5 minutes but at least they told you the song titles as they went along.

Nekrogoblikon

With chants of ‘GOBLIN COCK’ it was quite an embarrassment to the bill and didn’t do the other acts the justice of sharing the tour. This bout of metal vomit and fast wrist action guitar playing was not for me. It sounded like the soundtrack for a medieval chase scene of galloping space horses. They even ended their set with the goblin doing a high five run along the front row and a group bow. Unlike the joyous set time of Baby Godzilla, Nekrogoblikon was just 25 minutes too long for a novelty act.

*CF*

Thankfully, Crossfaith was up next and let’s just start by saying they killed it! As they set up I was wary that they were super moody but once I got past the cheesy fist pump salute, as they each made their entrance, the wall of sound totally destroyed my ears and made me happy.

Crossfaith

This Japanese metalcore band is the Godzilla equivalent to our own Enter Shikari but with a high end 30 Seconds to Mars quality, just harder. Terufumi Tamano on keyboards and programming is a bare chested Akira in his dark red leather jacket. Ikegawa Hiroki on bass is like a lost member from that 90’s TV Show ‘The Tribe’ and drummer Tatsuya Amano is androgynously hot. Finally guitarist, Takemura Kazuki, is a Japanese, male anime version of me and the lead vocalist Koie Kenta, is just downright cute. Yes, I want to take them all home with me. With broken English declarations of love for the crowd, the UK and their enthusiasm, you can’t help but love them and get carried away. Not to mention the ballsy and consistent vocals and hard-hitting beats.

Crossfaith

Throughout the opener ‘We Are The Future and ‘Monolith’ the place erupts. Michael Bay’s Transformers have nothing on the samples and programming as Crossfaith hits us with ‘Transformer metal’ at 11. Yep, I’ve coined a new genre.

CrossfaithCrossfaith

The stark lighting and fog machine give their sweeping samples an atmosphere that is hard to beat. They create a headline act experience for a much bigger venue and with the row of Jager bottles on stage there were several calls for circle pits that were obliged.

Crossfaith

Next they hit us with a cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Omen’ and they knew how to play to the British crowd. Whilst on top of the barrier, singer Koie leapt into the crowd just as the song kicked back in and made security panic. The crowd were called to kneel down in preparation for the final drop, ready to go mental. At least a third of those standing were on the floor except for the one obstinate female in the centre shaking her head and waving her finger in the air. Crossfaith are a band not to miss if you’re at Download this year or when they return for their own headline tour, just do it, go and see them.

Crossfaith

Crossfaith saw the start of the crowd surfing and girls being pulled out of the crush. It has been a long time since I’ve witnessed so much surfing, especially at this ultimate crackdown of a venue. The whole show had a feel from a 90’s gig with Guns and Roses playing between bands and a blown up condom floating above the crowd.

Limp Bizkit

As set-up begins for Limp Bizkit the parasol at the back is revealed as part of a Tiki Bar, all set up with pineapple and martini glasses full of neat vodka or maybe water. To help get everyone in the mood for the show to come Wes’ guitar tech sports a grass skirt and voodoo make-up and the mic stand is awash with Hawaiian Leis. In other news the bass tech appeared to be the bassist from Alien Ant Farm but with a hat tucked low it was hard to confirm.

Limp Bizkit

Loitering at the back of the stage are A Day To Remember and a bunch of girls. First out is Wes. There is no intimidating full body paint look tonight, we have ultra sun blocked, blazer, tie, straw hat and stripy pants wearing tourist garb with a lei and shades. Rocking a Ukulele the intro for the rest of the band is a ditty about cowboys. 

Fred is still sporting the big beard and came out in the standard issue red baseball cap and Limp Bizkit hoodie. Fred’s beard just freaks me out, some people look better with a beard and for others it just doesn’t work. Part of the reason why I don’t think it works for Fred is that he just doesn’t have the balance up top and with hat hiding for it to look anything other than intimidating.

Limp Bizkit

Having to follow Crossfaith I was expecting an explosive start with something like ‘Nookie’ or ‘Break Stuff’ but instead they opened with ‘1999’.

Limp Bizkit

From my vantage point bassist Sam Rivers, drummer John Otto and DJ Franco were only identifiable via sound onstage. After the initial explosion and excitement of the crowd upon hearing this first song Fred said: ‘Something’s simmering in here tonight. I think its gonna be very special. Thanks for inviting Limp Bizkit back into your home.”

As the show continued Fred espoused similar lines, following with “The energy and spirit in this place is in unforgettable thanks for giving a 110%”.

Limp Bizkit

I’m afraid I just can’t give you a full run down on what was played as the written set list and the one that was played were two very different things and to be honest I was just having too much fun. After being blown away by Crossfaith it was like hanging out with an old friend seeing Limp Bizkit perform and this was my first time.

Limp BizkitLimp Bizkit

Having seen Guns and Roses recent incarnation last time they were over, through free mass give away tickets, it was so bad I walked out. I can honestly say Fred makes a better Axl than Axl does as we were given a brief rendition of ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ accompanied with Axl moves.

Three songs in and we get ‘Rolling’. This will be the one and only occasion where you will see my hands in the air at a gig. I hate arm wavers and the crowd’s need to feel noticed by the band as if that hand in the air will prove they know more words than the hidden person at the back of the room. Some might say this is just passion for the music, I say this blocks my view and opens increases sweaty pit aroma access. However, in this instance you just can’t not do the actions to the song. This is metal’s answer to the YMCA and the ultimate party song. It was just too much fucking fun not to join in.

Limp Bizkit

In between songs we had a recorded interludes that included Wutang, Notorious B.I.G. and I’m pretty sure there was some Pharcyde too. With the tiki bar in full effect, Wes was regularly sampling the range of cocktails available that resulted in the occasional pineapple glass thrown into the crowd. Hopefully no injuries were reported thanks to flying pineapples.

Limp BizkitLimp Bizkit

Fred officially labelled the night a party rather than a concert and it was time to engage with the people in the balcony about their experience up there. This was met with much boos as they would rather be in the pit but as a fast selling gig, you snooze you loose. Cliched but true. A mock guitar tuning spat between Wes and Fred having a dive moment resulted in ‘Golden Cobra’. For this Wes had a hat change to Pith helmet, and safari Wes stalked the stage.

Limp Bizkit

As the home of metal it was Birmingham flattery time from Fred: ‘Wait till you get to Birmingham, they said. They’re gonna blow you away. Is it cause this is rock city?’

Fred was a humble and engaging front man who didn’t ignore the audience especially with the number of boobs being flashed. The girl-gasms increased when ‘Hot Dog’ was played. This saw more crowd surfing to which Fred decreed ‘You’re all out of your fucking minds here and I consider that healthy’ before giving the look after each other speech.

Limp Bizkit

As we hit the half way juncture of the night it’s another hat change for Wes to a sailor Dixie hat and it was time for ‘Faith’. How Wes made such a bizarre and freaky look hot is something I still feel weird about.

Limp Bizkit

A falsity of free beers on Kerrang vs. high priced water results in a debate about Kerrang readership. Fred claims he still reads it to know what’s cool, the audience disagreed. The “song for the misfits” is next with ‘ My Generation’.

We were warned “Dont believe the things you hear, believe the things you see” before band introductions saw Wes described as originating from the Island of Dr. Moreau with commentary on his “twigger berries” thanks to the tightness and shortness of his pants providing quite a view. 

We were honoured with an odd set list turn of ‘Behind Blue Eyes’. This could only have been a request as Fred said “only once on this tour will we stoop this low – just for you Birmingham”. This song was rather bluntly ended to be followed by ’High Way’.

Limp Bizkit

Upon seeing a quick snap of the set list the show felt like a greatest hits tour but with two glaring omissions, ‘Nookie’ and ‘Couterfeit’. As someone who always seems to end up with a fake person in my life it is always an apt song. I was pretty disappointed not to see it live in favour of a few other choices. Thankfully we got ‘Nookie’. Before the breakdown the song came with a disclaimer: “I apologise for anyone who misinterpret the meaning of this it can happen sometimes”.

To finish we had ‘Break Stuff’, the perfect song for a crap day and when people piss you off. It is my office song for such occasions. As you may gather the place totally erupted and it was heart warming to see the ever-alert security singing along whilst keeping an eye out and pulling surfers out of the crowd.

Limp Bizkit

You cannot deny the utter filth Wes achieves with his guitar and the fun and apt lyrics from Fred. The rest of the band offers the perfect accompaniment to these two big personalities. It was a good solid hits set that was a heap of fun and executed with aplomb. As the exit music of the Bee Gee’s ‘Stayin’ Alive’ played there were still crowd suffers making the way to the front.

Limp Bizkit

Sadly we missed the after show and Fred’s invite where he’d “appreciate it if we could have a beer, or a wank after the show”. It meant we missed seeing off stage Fred, in a fleece, with a woolly hat, scarf and some good knitwear as he signed stuff and chatted away.

Awesome night!

(See the complete photo set on our Flick page)

One Response to “The Kerrang! Tour ft Limp Bizkit + Crossfaith + Nekrogoblikon + Baby Godzilla at O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 13th February 2014”

  1. john bentley Says:

    Very fine photos and entertaining review! Well done guys.

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