The ever aging nu-metal scene was set to be resurrected on a brutally bitter Nottingham evening, with the founding fathers on the scene coming together. However, 2016 felt a long way off, with fans both old and young sporting the classic snapbacks and pocket chains. This resurgence of the oh so familiar angst, along with punchy verses and heavy breakdowns is what brings the nu-metal veterans to Notts this evening.
Openers, and New York hardcore veterans Madball seemed somewhat star-struck, with frontman Freddy Cricien pronouncing his feelings of pride and establishment from the off. For a scene which quite often connotes a much more compact and small circle following, it’s nice to see a seemingly introverted group of guys adapt to a venue of this size. Cricien is a bundle of energy, running up and down the stage whilst conversing with the crowd between songs. Sampling a selection of material from each album over the years signified their establishment in the hardcore scene, the most prolific from 2000 album, Hold It Down. The same named single created nothing short of a huge pit, with windmills flying about. Closing hit Doc Marten Stomp sent the guys out on a storm, with adulation from front to back.
An array of red caps push forward, as nu-metal legends Limp Bizkit take the stage. Anticipation is certainly at an all-time high, with the infamous Hot Dog riff opening the show. Fred Durst is out in full form, sporting his usual individual style, and galloping around the stage whilst mid rap. Guitarist Wes is opting for a similar mind-set; a full white suit and matching skull face paint. The nostalgia in the arena is somewhat overpowering, with surrounding dads rapping each and every word to friends of similar ages. Fading straight into Rollin signified a hysterical crowd, who were sporting the infamous dance move with Durst throughout each chorus. The running theme of crowd-pleasing hits goes down well with an obviously older audience, including My Generation, Nookie and My Way, followed by Durst entering the crowd for a cheeky dance. Tearing into Break Stuff once again sent the crowd into breakdown mode, opening up pits left right and centre. Durst bursts with excitement as he announces a new album for 2017 before leaving the stage.
1994 saw Korn’s self-titled debut create the nu-metal scene as we know it, and so it was nothing short of a pleasure to see these guys come back, along with promising new material. Right Now opens the show with a bang, setting up for a truly amazing set. A few songs in, and the first new piece of material is sampled. Recent single Rotting In Vain showcases the band’s ease of maintaining their own sound after decades, keeping the moshpit open. A rendition of Cameo’s Word Up mixes the set up a little, and gives frontman Jonathon Davis time to praise the crowd for their enthusiasm. Coming Undone sends us all back into meltdown, with riffs belting around the arena. Korn smash through their hour slot with fan favourites from an array of albums, and Davis reminds us of the 20 year anniversary of their second album, Life Is Peachy, before launching into two favourites from the album, Good God and Twist. Despite somewhat mocking the apparent age gap between me and most of the crowd, pits were consistent throughout the set. The sheer love and admiration for this band shines through throughout the whole set, with encore closer Freak on a Leash creating absolute chaos from front to back.
Despite both bands absolutely killing it, I find that artists of this velocity are much better suited to smaller venues, which definitely create much more of an angst vibe, which is what these bands are so very popular for. The somewhat commercial feel of arenas almost ruins the atmosphere for me, which shouldn’t be acceptable. However, despite this, it felt like much more than a nostalgic event; both bands demonstrated that they’re far from finished in this scene.
Photos by: Ryan Winstanley