Limp Bizkit – Live Review – Halifax Piece Hall

Limp Bizkit – Live Review – Halifax Piece Hall (4)

By Victoria Holdsworth, August 2023

As Fred Durst and his cohorts roll into Halifax, the atmosphere is electric. The sell out crowd roars into action as the band take to the stage and rip straight into ‘Show Me What You Got’ from their 1999 album Significant Other – and promptly set the stage alight with a fierce promise of what is to come.

Since their foundation in 1994 in Jacksonville, Florida, Limp Bizkit have influenced an immense number of young musicians – and while their hip-hop/metal/rock infused hybrid may not be to everyone’s taste, the consensus of everyone around me at the Piece Hall is that these guys really know how to rock and put on a show.

‘9 Teen 90 Nine’ and ‘Hot Dog’ follow, and you can see just how blown away the band are by their reception from the crowd, which is finally addressed by Durst as he chats to the audience. He genuinely seems taken aback, which is understandable when you are one of those bands that people seem to love to hate.

The fiery musicianship of Wes Borland’s riffs, especially on ‘Hot Dog’, is assisted by the exceptional grooving bass lines and rolling drum fills of Sam Rivers and John Otto. It is safe to say that over the past decade, their styles have changed, however the music remains as strong as ever. Whilst the red baseball cap of old is still in place, gone are the outlandish puffer jackets, and Durst now sports a bushy grey beard. He may not be as physical as he used to be, but he still has the magic touch to reach his listeners.

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DJ Lethal slots some quality sound bites and remixes between songs, with the likes of ‘Snacky Poo’, but as soon as the short respite is over, we are back to business.

‘My Generation’ sees the crowd go absolutely ballistic, displaying enthusiasm and an energy I have not seen at a gig for a long time, with some cheeky little musical extras, as the band play their own versional snippets of ‘Seven Nation Army’, ‘Song 2’ and ‘Master of Puppets’, delighting the mosh pit that has formed, even more.

As they launch into the unstoppable ‘Rollin’’, the crowd amps up even more, with its fluid, bouncing groove and inescapable chorus sending the place into complete overdrive.

Tonight is the first night of the UK tour and the crowd at Halifax must have them brimming with confidence for the remainder of the dates to come.

I did find it amusing that Fred Durst took to the mic to make the statement that: “ I didn’t know weed was legal here in the UK?” when some concert goers next to me were nearly thrown out for having a vape and a cigarette.

A more recent offering next with ‘Pill Popper’ from their 2021 album Still Sucks, which is as metal as hell, carries a viseral message within its opening lyrics: “It’s no secret that our governments have fostered/A culture of corruption/In which special interest and big donors advance their interests/At the expense of everyday people/The pharmaceutical industry does not create cures/They create customers.”

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The gritty rifts on this track are excellent and grind well together with the angry vocals from Durst, as he charges up and down the stage, promoting his message.

‘Dad Vibes’ from the same album slows down the mood for a few moments, as Durst shows his smooth and slick vocals, which I have to say have become a lot more polished over the years.

Another belting anthem up next with ‘My Way’, taken from their 2000 album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. It’s one of the stand out tunes tonight, demonstrating just how Limp Bizkit’s once raw chaos has become controlled. The addition of DJ Lethal’s scratching and mixing really stand out a lot more than the recorded version.

Addressing his crowd again, Durst professes his love for some of his favourite acts and we are treated to his version of ‘Heart Shaped Box’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, to which his voice is very well suited indeed.

It is safe to say that the crowd is already warmed up, but by the time the opening bars of ‘Take a Look Around’ ring out, it is an all out frenzy. The mosh pit is extending from the front, to the back of the stage, and it is really a sight to behold, as it continues non-stop into ‘Nookie’.

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There’s a much needed interlude of around five minutes as the band regroup and the background music keeps things ticking over as everyone catches a breath. However, it doesn’t take long before the guys are back out on stage and blast into the heavily riffed ‘Boiler’, which is simultaneously dark, dirty and delicious.

Durst asks the audience if any of them know the words to the next song, ‘Full Nelson’, and after toying with a few mosh pit dwellers, he picks an audience member to get up on stage and sing with him. The young lass is clearly overwhelmed and tries her best, but Fred has to encourage her to just try and go with it.

Another regular cover is up next, with their version of The Who’s 1971 classic ‘Behind Blue Eyes’. I have heard them cover this quite a few times over the years and they always seem to do a stellar job, and tonight is no different.

Ending the set tonight with ‘Break Stuff’, a palpable energy sweeps across the Piece Hall, and you can literally feel the ground shake. It’s classic Limp Bizkit – how they start songs relatively quietly and build them up to boiling point, then when the refrain changes, the band have all the excuses they need to create as much noise as they can.

The band remain on-stage to say goodnight to the strains of  Simple Minds ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’, but I doubt anyone in Halifax tonight is going to do that for a long time.

images: Cuffe and Taylor & The Piece Hall


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