Date: February 12th, 2014
Venue: O2 Academy, Bristol
Support: Baby Godzilla / Nekrogoblikon / Crossfaith
The Kerrang! Tour is an annual pilgrimage that cavorts across the UK with a line-up that’s more unpredictable than an evening with Derren Brown. With past headliners including All Time Low and Black Veil Brides, it traditionally has the atmosphere of a creche, but this year boasts a complete overhaul in genre and sound.
This year’s openers are Baby Godzilla (***), who annoy the shit out of everyone. There’s no let up in energy and enthusiasm as the young British hotshots steamroll their way through 25 minutes of utter terror for those in the worried crowd. They really do give it their all, diving across the stage and into the audience at times, and it’s a shame that their efforts fall on uninterested ears. Maybe Baby Godzilla would be better suited playing a gangbang or a terrorist attack. Expect big things from these lads if the hype is anything to go by.
If there was hype behind Baby Godzilla, it’s nothing compared to Nekrogoblikon (***). Catapulting themselves into the British eye off the back of a superb Download Festival performance last year, Nekrogoblikon have become the darlings of Kerrang! in recent months, so it’s no surprise that they’re on this tour. Unfortunately, their melodic death metal leanings once again fall upon confused and bewildered ears, despite mascot John Goblikon‘s best efforts to provide whimsy. Vocalist Scorpion is relatively quiet between his roaring growls and maybe his stage banter could do with a bit more pizazz. It’s a shame that another band has fallen foul of some over-presumptuous booking.
The night really begins with Crossfaith (****), Japan’s answer to Enter Shikari. The electronic elements are fierce when combined with some speedy guitar and drum work to provide ample reasons for the crowd to get off their feet. Vocalist Kenta Koie has that strange accent that foreign bands have when they speak English, but for a man born thousands of miles away he commands the British punters admirably. The highlight of Crossfaith‘s set is actually a cover, namely of ‘Omen’ by The Prodigy, including a jumpdafuckup moment that leads to showers of beer for many. It’s great to see such a mysterious band getting the whole room pumping.
You’ve got to believe that the majority of the sold out crowd didn’t even know it was the Kerrang! Tour when the headliners were announced to be playing Bristol. It’s now 20 years since Limp Bizkit (*****) formed, and despite a disappearance post-2004 they’re still every bit as brilliant as they were when you were in primary school. You never know what to expect from a Bizkit show, thanks to Fred Durst and Wes Borland‘s seemingly random choice of setlists night to night. Bristol are greeted with a cover of ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ before a barrage of blasts to the past with ‘Rollin” and ‘Full Nelson’. It slowly dawns on the ever-jumping crowd that Limp Bizkit are still fucking awesome as everyone goes ballistic to ‘Hot Dog’ and ‘Nookie’.
Even a newer song from latest full-length ‘Gold Cobra’ goes down well, and it’s refreshing to see an older band not ramming their new material down their fans’ throats. It’s almost like Durst et al have resigned themselves to just stay at the level they’re at now they’ve hit the 20 year mark, but that just allows them to appear fresh and unageing. Durst is swamped by the crowd as he jumps in mid-‘My Generation’ and, as he’s escorted back on stage by a security guard, he’s met with a sea of cheers and attempted high fives. Limp Bizkit don’t outstay their welcome; one thing that they’ve learned well over their career, staying for only 12 songs without an encore leaving fans pining for more. The hour closes with ‘Faith’, before the chaotic ‘Break Stuff’ and ‘Take A Look Around’.
Back in 2001, Limp Bizkit were written off as a fad and no-one would have tipped them to be playing sold out shows 13 years later. Let’s raise a middle finger to all of those who doubted Bizkit over the years. Go ahead and talk shit.
Written by MG Savage (@MGsavagewriter)