Worship Metal was in Glasgow to see Korn, Limp Bizkit & Madball bring NYHC brutality and nu-metal grooves to the Scottish faithful….
It’s a rainy Wednesday night in Glasgow and though the SECC will later swell to around three quarters capacity, when Madball take the stage the place is still cavernously empty and so getting a vantage point right in front of the stage is dead easy. Tight and stripped back as they always have been, Madball are keen to assert their New York hardcore credentials and frontman Freddy Cricien rages back and forth along the stage, occasionally pointing out guys in the pit who looks suitably inline with he aesthetic credentials of the genre. Their set is short but effective, spiking with the titular track from their seminal album, Set it Off. While they are just as bouncy and uplifting as all hell, they are perhaps a little stripped back and one dimensional to appeal to the younger members of this audience. 6/10
While Limp Bizkit seem to have entered popular culture as a band who pretty much stunk out the nineties, within the metal community (and to the generous of spirit), they mean more than that. If Korn sired the nu-metal boom that changed the face (and the trousers) of metal, then it was Limp Bizkit who truly shoved their penises in the hip-hop pie and swirled them around until climax. Talking of penises – there’s Fred Durst. When he takes the stage tonight he’s wearing a pair of white gloves and yes, he is just as petulant and high pitched as ever. But whatever you may think of the man, he does know how to work a crowd; something that tonight, comes with a vibe of affectionate familiarity. It’s almost as though the Scottish audience and the Bizkit are old acquaintances, meeting up drunk underneath the lights. We’ve had our differences, our ups and downs but really, when it all comes down to it, we love each other. Their set is, as you’d expect, a greatest hits affair with a few notable exceptions (“Counterfeit”, “Stuck”), peppered with floor-filling beats and the usual delay-effected breakouts from Wes Borland, dressed entirely in white right down to the face paint and hair colour. Loud, raucous and obnoxious, Bizkit produce an unexpectedly damn fine set and as they wrap things up with versions of “Take a Look Around”, “Faith” and “Break Stuff”, that seem to consume almost the entire floor, we wonder if Korn might actually struggle to follow them! 8/10
Indeed, Korn’s set begins in a little more stately fashion and some early song choices from their lacklustre current album, don’t appear to be crowd pleasers. It’s not until a churning “Here to Stay” and “Ball Tongue” that the room starts to get it’s groove on proper. Once they hit their stride, it’s hard not to be bowled over by the utter class of Korn. They have a way of sculpting those hulking, cathartic grooves in such a way that everything in the world disappears until it’s just you and them – jerking spasmodically. They play “Shoots and Ladders”, complete with a snippet of Metallica’s “One”, “Make Me Bad”, “Y’all Want a Single?”, plus “Twist” and “Good God” from Life is Peachy, which is currently celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. There is a feeling of emotion in the air tonight as many of the crowd have been with Korn through their various highs and lows and tonight feels like a time of reflection and celebration. It’s almost as if the lads could return to Bakersfield, call it a day and this would have been a fitting point at which to bow out. They end with “Falling Away From Me” and, of course, “Freak on a Leash” by which time the floor is alive with an orgy of intertwining pits….any worries about Durst blowing the men away who triggered a renaissance in Heavy Metal, suddenly seeming ridiculous. The last notes die away but the band remain onstage, chucking picks and drum heads into the crowd. Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s the overriding feeling of worldwide uncertainty, maybe just the emotions that come from a big night out in Glasgow, but this felt like something. It felt real and it felt important. Maybe you just had to be there. 8/10