Riverstage, Brisbane QLD
March 27th, 2018
Supports: Of Mice & Men and Ocean Grove
Nu-Metal on a school night? Yes please! Following their epic set at Download Festival Melbourne (our review here), Jacksonville natives Limp Bizkit made their way up the East Coast of Australia and stopped by Brisbane for a good old-fashioned catch up and to play a shitload of songs from their Chocolate Starfish… era, which not one single person was complaining about.
The evening opened with Melbourne’s Ocean Grove, who also won over crowds at Download during their early afternoon slot. No matter how big that crowd was in comparison to the people who had come through the gates early at Riverstage, the boys played like there was no tomorrow and once again, won over the crowd as expected. The nu-metal revivalists ploughed through songs like ‘Intimate Alien‘, ‘Stratosphere Love‘ and the now iconic ‘Beers‘ with frontman Luke Holmes urging the Brisbane crowd to “get up off the floor, this isn’t a picnic” and much to his (and the band’s approval) they obliged. The band exited the stage in Brisbane for the last time (until Dead of Winter Festival) amidst a rapturous applause.
Of Mice & Men were up next and the now four-piece were (and sound) tighter than ever. Frontman Aaron Pauley taking the reigns quite well in the singing and screaming department while Alan Ashby offers up his own screams intermittently when he wasn’t riffing like a lord. Well received songs like ‘Warzone‘, ‘Would You Still Be There‘ and ‘Unbreakable‘ sent the crowd into a frenzy early on with one circle pit lasting the duration of their entire set, which also included their cover of the Pink Floyd classic ‘Money‘. Honestly, every single band on this lineup proved their worth and although the opening acts still have a few years to go before they’re at the level of status as Limp, they’re well on their way within the heavy music game to get there.
Shortly after 8:00pm Limp Bizkit entered the stage to a now Sold Out Headline Show and burst into our lives again with ‘Hot Dog‘ and there was not one single person where we were standing not singing along, screaming as many “Fucks” as frontman Fred Durst could fit into the song. Guitarist Wes Borland was back with his signature body paint, only this time he has a white top half from the forehead up. Noticeably missing was bassist Sam Rivers who unfortunately was unwell for this Australian tour, but a suitable replacement was arranged in the form of a bassist Tsuzumi Okai.
I made the mistake of checking out the setlist in Sydney to see what I was in for tonight which was a big mistake because, being the veterans they are, they changed everything completely, even chucking in a few different songs that didn’t make an appearance down south. Now, to paint a picture for you, I had only seen Limp Bizkit at Soundwave Festival in 2012 and over the weekend at Download Festival, so for 18 years (give or take) I still hadn’t seen ‘Rollin’‘ performed live yet. Tonight was the night and holy shit it was worth the wait. Looking around at the Riverstage crowd, all you could see when the chorus hit was a sea of arms swaying from left to right and the bravest of men and women ramming into each other in the mosh.
Fred played with the crowd for the entire night, cracking jokes about the unspoken rivalry between the Gold Coast and Brisbane (Brisbane is better by the way) and when he stopped down to chat next, he waited for calm before going “80’s Pop” on us and busting out their cover of George Michael‘s classic ‘Faith‘. The band tapped into their 2003 Results May Vary album next with ‘Eat You Alive‘ making an appearance before, awkwardly jumping into the title track from their 2011 album Gold Cobra. I say awkward for the fans who either stopped listening after Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water or who didn’t know the words because it only seemed like those in the pit or on stage knew what was going on. Not one of the best songs from that album (I would have gone with ‘Bring It Back‘ to be honest) but hey, another reason to catch your breath and wait for the next classic.
This time, all eyes were on DJ Lethal (who made his return to the band prior to Download Fest) as he scratched his way into ‘My Generation‘ which, as expected, sent everyone into another frenzy of bodies flying into each other, jumping all up the hill and crowd surfers galore. I noticed a visibly large smile on Lethal’s face during the “DJ LETHAL, BRING IT ON” section before that infamous scratching session took everyone into that final drop of the song. That momentum didn’t stop for ‘Livin’ It Up‘ either with crazy mother fuckers singing/screaming along for the entire duration.
For fans of 1999’s Significant Other, you really lucked out if you didn’t make this show because up next was ‘Re-Arranged‘ and despite it’s slower tempo, the crowd were lapping up every second of the historical walk down memory lane. But that moment subsided when ‘My Way‘ came blasting through the speakers and we all got our bounce on again as Wes Borland seamlessly strummed along like he had been playing that song for almost two decades (wait, what!?) but holy shit we weren’t ready for this next part as the band launched into ‘Boiler‘. Combining those heavy riff choruses with the slow bridges, it had everything long-time Limp fans needed to last the duration of the song and was a guilty pleasure for those yet to see it live yet.
After this, it was visible that the moshpit needed a chill out session moment so the band played a couple of slower sing-a-long songs for us including ‘I’m Broke‘ and their cover of “Behind Blue Eyes‘ by The Who which resulted in the entire Riverstage attendees belting out the final “No one knows what it’s like, to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes” acapella style without anyone on stage playing a thing. It was a beautiful, harmonious moment of togetherness, something you wouldn’t expect from a Limp Bizkit show. At this point the band started to get us ready for their climax by playing yet another cover, this time it was Nirvana‘s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ which was welcomed by the fans and resulted in the band launching into ‘Break Stuff‘. All bets were off with this song, every single person in some way shape or form was moving. Whether it be crowd surfers, moshers, headbangers, fist throwers, you name it, they were ALL getting into it. You can see in the video below, by the time the final drop came just after the infamous line “BREAK YOUR FUCKIN’ FACE TONIGHT“, it was fuckin mental. I reckon there were tsunamis or earthquakes on the other side of the globe because of the sheer force we created by moving around and Limp Bizkit were loving every minute of it.
The band stopped down for the last time to make sure everyone was ok and launched straight into ‘Take A Look Around‘ which has now become the best song to finish with. There were plenty of moments for sing-a-longs, air guitaring and sweaty moshing (this writer even came out of mosh retirement for the final section of the song), because of the way Limp take over your body/mind and make you just want to release. Shout outs need to be given to the caring and fun loving legends in the mosh who looked after and cared for the 10-or-so-year-old who had been crowd surfing for the duration of the show, much to the approval of Fred Durst himself. When the band came back from the quiet moment towards the end of the song, it was on for young and old. Bodies flying into each other, people flinging themselves at the barrier, circle pits erupting and bellowing screams as the Mission Impossible 2 theme song came to an epic end. The band thanked everyone for turning out and the house lights came on, but we were confused for a split second as they hadn’t performed one of their most memorable classics yet, ‘Nookie‘, and sadly, they weren’t going to… However, Fred stated the band will be back soon in support of their new record which makes perfect sense, it was a case of the old ‘Be Mean, Keep ‘Em Keen‘ attitude that helped to make Limp Bizkit a household name. Keep the fans wanting more so they show up next time.
In closing, this was one fuckin’ hell of a show. Regardless of the haters or doubters, Limp Bizkit still know how to put on a heavy AF show that fans will enjoy every single minute of and it doesn’t matter if 20 or 30 years time will pass, we will still get tickets, show up early and maybe next time don a red, new era fitted cap just like old times.
Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)
Eat You Alive
Livin’ It Up
Behind Blue Eyes
Smells Like Teen Spirit (Cover)
Take A Look Around
Review and Ocean Grove/Of Mice & Men Photo Gallery by Browny @brownypaul
Of Mice & Men