TIME TO BREAK STUFF.
Written by: Dan @ Cherry Dog Apparel
Birmingham O2 Academy
Thursday 13th April 2023
No bones broken, just my voice, but that's bad enough because we had to record a podcast the next day... Anyway! I have no idea why Limp Bizkit was holding their Birmingham appearance at the O2 Academy, but I am super happy they did. I have always liked this venue but I assumed that a band as big as Limp would have been booked at the Utilita arena or something. This is no complaint thorough! Having them play there was awesome. This was my first time seeing the nu-metalers play live and my expectations were exceeded. I love the full on energy the crowd emulated through the classic sounds of late nineties early noughties Limp Bizkit. Having listened to ‘Break Stuff’, ‘Nookie’, ‘My Way’, ‘Rollin’ and more for the last 15+ years had built up an urge to hear these tracks performed live.
Before I splurge all over Fred Durst and the raw talent that is Limp Bizkit, I have to give a huge shout to Wargasm. Not only am I a big fan of their music, I’m also fortunate enough to personally know Adam Breeze who plays drums for the band who had a killer performance on the night. The energy that Wargasm brings to the show as a ‘support’ act is second to none. If you wanted a crowd to gear themselves up for one of the most influential nu-metal bands ever, then Wargasm are the band to do that! Sam, Milkie, Eddie and Adam put on a highly energetic performance every-time and the amount of noise they can put into 45 minutes blows my mind.
Before Wargasm gave birth to their filthy raw electro-punk-metal on stage, the O2 was given a performance by ‘Black Gold’, a band that has amassed a keen following this year and has plans to support more headline bands this year including Skindred! I wasn't able to catch their whole set but I was present at the bar for the last couple songs they played and I gotta say, they have been added into my ‘catch-up’ playlist. They pose some mean sounds and I will certainly be listening to them a little more from now on.
Now, back onto the headline act. Not only does Limp Bizkit have the power to attract the new wave of metalheads and rockers that are jumping in on rebellious, almost neo-punk attitudes, but, they also have the backing of fans from decades ago. Fans of Limp who saw all the stages the band went through will have loved this gig more than the youngsters, as it probably felt like a resurrection tour more than anything. I was personally very happy to see the variation in age at this gig. Many men and women my age and above were in attendance and there was a good stronghold in the mosh. I’ve always enjoyed a mosh pit and letting off some steam with friends you haven't met yet. But, with that being said I would class this as one the more hairier pits I’ve been in. I definitely got knocked a couple times - note to self buy better footwear for Download Festival - but I was immediately angled back into the masses by a super friendly crowd. There were plenty of crowd surfers and many circle build ups which made songs like ‘Take a Look Around’ and ‘My Way’ feel way more amped up then I imagined they could be.
After a long wait and a rescheduled set of dates, this tour/gig - as I said above - outlived my expectations and also gave me a huge sense of appreciation to what Limp Bizkit have done for rock and metal in their time. The way Fred Durst can control the crowd energy by not even saying anything and just letting only his gaze into the crowd do the work is fascinating to me. The band itself speaks volume for what Nu-Metal is and these live performances prove that. Limp Bizkit have proven that after a 10 year break they can still put out a decent album and kill it on tour. All I ask from them now is to headline a festival close to me. I would love to see the energy they can bring to something like Bloodstock or Download in the UK. I would also state here and now that I believe Wargasm have what it takes to support that headline appearance too. The intense verve and enthusiasm that both those bands brought to Birmingham on the night was spectacular and I urge anyone to keep an eye out for the next time they are knocking around their home city.
Just a little nod now to the after party. It was really cool to continue the night and I have a lot of respect for Sam and Milkie from Wargasm for putting on a really cool DJ set at Subside bar. It was something I rarely do as for me once the gig is over that’s the time to catch the train or your ride home, and to let the ear ringing play out until the adrenaline has worn out. So yeah, this was a nice cherry on top! More after parties I say!
Original feature image sourced via @limpbizkit_forever