KORN & LIMP BIZKIT + MADBALL - SSE Arena Wembley, London 16.12.16
Thomas Ashman - Guest Reviewer for The Gig Gals
Going to the SSE Arena (Wembley Arena in old money) always brings back memories of treks across London, from Victoria, to see the bigger rock/metal bands, which seemed to occur more often, before the bigger, closer American style O2 Arena opened. It seemed fitting that this venue should host the double headline tour of two of the most famous bands from the 90’s Nu Metal era.
Korn are a band that always kept going right from the very start of the Nu Metal genre. They were to Nu Metal what Black Sabbath was to the whole of Heavy Metal. Trendsetters that were never afraid to try something bold and new, yet still deliver a heartfelt knockout blow. Limp Bizkit came a little bit later in the 90’s and indulged in the more rap metal end of the sub-genre reaching a peak around the year 2000. They are a band that seems to divide opinion among some metal heads in the years after the Nu Metal wave seemed to have passed.
Madball were a pretty decent choice for support act, a hardcore punk band from New York City. Madball deliver a very New Yorker, blue-collar, attitude laden set list perfect for getting a crowd going. It’s always good to see a band that is energetic.
Limp Bizkit came on and played 'Hot Dog' first up which is one of my favourite songs from Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavoured Water. I remember being a big fan around the time of that album being released, so the fact they played seven songs from it (five of which were the first five on the set list) helped make it quite a memorable throwback to a time almost forgotten.
Limp Bizkit always have a way of getting a crowd going. The energy in the Arena was amazing and something Fred noted during the set. It also helped that Limp Bizkit had many songs that could get the crowd really involved. Songs like 'Rollin’' and 'Break Stuff' will always please the crowd. 'Break Stuff' provides a chance for fans to get some controlled anger out of your system. Watching this set made feel like it was a trip back to 2000/2001. I admit I’m not as big of a Limp Bizkit fan now but I still think back to the good times of being younger when they were one of my favourite bands and nights like this make you feel good. I also thought the little snippet nods to Metallica and Pantera were awesome. This is the third time I have seen them and probably the best time, it was certainly the best crowd which I think always enhances the experience.
Korn. Now this is a band that in all eight times I have seen them never disappoint. You can really feel the pain and passion seeping out of Jonathan whenever he performs live. A band that kept going no matter what was thrown at them on a personal or industry level. In between Limp Bizkit finishing and Korn starting I said to my friend 'When Korn start it is going to be like a stun gun shot in to your chest!'.
This is a band that bring it. Every time I have seen Korn, regardless of if the gig is in an arena, festival main stage, festival tent or academy venue the whole crowd go wild from the very first chord. Starting off with 'Right Now' to get the crowd jumping, then my favourite song, the modern(ish) metal anthem 'Here To Stay'. All the songs that they played were excellent choices throwing in a cover (Word Up!) plus a mixture from most of their albums. The latest songs from The Serenity of Suffering (Rotting In Vain & Insane) were well received! Like Limp Bizkit earlier in the night Korn did a couple of nods themselves to Queen and Metallica.
Korn also mentioned the fact that their album 'Life Is Peachy' is now 20 years old when they played 'Twist' and 'Good God'. For the encore 'Divine', 'Falling Away From Me' and 'Freak On A Leash' to end a really good evening of highly energetic (from bands and crowd) evening. It was also good to watch Korn in the dry as when they played the Friday at Download it rained heavily.