Pioneers of nu-metal Korn and Limp Bizkit offer far more than simple nostalgia on their co-headline tour.
Long time friends, having collaborated on All In The Family back in 1998, Korn and Limp Bizkit both carry notable nu-metal credentials. The former dropped their self-titled debut in 1994, long-since heralded as the birth of the genre. Limp Bizkit were then instrumental in the alternative sound’s rise to the mainstream, with their 1999 release Significant Other introducing wider audiences to the likes of Nookie and Break Stuff.
Although the bands have aged, as have the songs and their encompassing genre, tonight falls outside of the realms of pure nostalgia, particularly for Korn who close the evening in impressive style. But first Limp Bizkit whip Wembley Arena into a veritable frenzy, led by the charismatic Fred Durst who bounds around the vast stage with a newfound enthusiasm. The response is equally as boisterous, with the refrains from the likes of My Way and My Generation reverberating around the arena through both the band’s heart-shockingly heavy bass and the thousands of voices.
It’s far from novelty, even as Durst laughs following an interlude of Lil Jon’s Turn Down For What, a more than fitting break in the Bizkit repertoire. By the time the band close with Take A Look Around, the audience are immeasurably fired up, be it the dread-donning diehard or the shirtless mosh lover. Limp Bizkit remain the party bringers for the rejects.
Korn present a different side of the same coin; not necessarily destined to inject the same jubilant spirit but instead demonstrating a continued live prowess they’ve not brought to tonight’s venue since 2002. The relatively short set (due to their co-headline status) sees the band blast out a cross-section of their back-catalogue, including this year’s The Serenity Of Suffering. There’s even fan-pleasing appearances of Shoots & Ladders and Twist, met with deafening approval.
Yet not to be upstaged by the likes of Limp Bizkit, Korn pull out their relative party bangers too. A cover of Word Up, appearing on their first Greatest Hits compendium, brings Wembley to its dancing feet, as does the rap inspired Ya’ll Want A Single. These sit comfortably among their heavier tracks, be it the visceral Here To Stay or the haunting Falling Away From Me.
All the while there’s a clever balance between nostalgia, their contemporary tracks and their sheer brilliance in a live setting. The production is minimal, moving away from anything that could be classed as gimmicky. Instead both Korn and Limp Bizkit offer a choice to the audience; celebrate a time gone by, or enjoy a rejuvenated and continued era of alternative music. Tongiht, neither choice is wrong.