Now in its ninth year, 2014’s edition of the Kerrang! tour saw Nekrogoblikon, Crossfaith and Baby Godzilla team up with Limp Bizkit for an 11 date jaunt across the UK – surely a recipe for chaos, in the best possible sense!
The night began with Baby Godzilla and talking from prior experience, it has to be said that this is a band that is absolutely terrifying in a tiny venue, so seeing them on a large stage for a change was good. At small shows with no stage, they’re constantly in the crowd and chaotically creating their own mosh pit as they perform and it’s not a fun way to enjoy a gig because you’re constantly worried about being hit no matter where you stand. But on a bigger stage, the performance was more controlled and whilst there was a few occasions where the band did venture into the crowd, the performance mainly remained onstage and there was a lot less blind idiocy as they moved about in their own space, which was nice and made for a much more enjoyable set as a result.
Now, I’m going to be honest here. Nekrogoblikon were the main reason I got a ticket and finally getting the opportunity to see this band was nothing short of incredible. The set kicked off with the band’s enigmatic goblin mascot John Goblikon onstage alone, introducing his “favourite band Nekrogoblikon”, and then things got underway with an awesome rendition of Bells & Whistles and it was a great way to get the set going with a good atmospheric introduction before leading into the noisier stuff.
The third song of their set, Powercore, was the first one to get some definite crowd participation, with the band getting the crowd involved by asking everyone to throw their fists in the air for the instrumental sections and the sing-along chorus sounded even better (and more powerful!) in a live environment – one of the highlights of the set, for sure.
It was then time for a little interlude and John Goblikon took centre stage once more to split the crowd into three. The first section was told to yell “Manchester”, the second “let’s get drunk”…and then one guy was singled out to yell back the third phrase, which wound up being a long and elaborate story about said person being a recovering alcoholic, having a relapse and heading to a taxi where a passport and a new overseas life awaited him!
Following this was the highlight of the set, Nothing But Crickets. You could really see that the band were having a lot of fun onstage, with keyboardist Raptor grinning and bouncing as he played, and there was a great moment where guitarist Alex was made to clap by the other guitarist! When a band is having fun onstage, you can’t help but enjoy them too.
They closed with set staple No One Survives and it was the perfect ending to the set with the band really giving it their all for the whole duration of the track and the dance moment in the middle was especially wonderful. An absolutely wonderful set from the band, and although it would have been cool to hear a track or two from their debut album Goblin Island, that’s what a UK headline tour is for…right?
Crossfaith kept the pace going and picked up right where Nekrogoblikon had left off. This band has been billed as one of the best live bands about at the moment and it’s clear why, because it was an engaging and gripping show. When a band is as visually interesting as the band – there was lots of movement and keyboardist Terufumi even climbed up on his rig at one point! But even taking that into consideration, it sounded like they didn’t put a note wrong and the band were incredibly tight and together. With a great cover of Omen by The Prodigy thrown in for good measure, they wound things up by getting the crowd to sing happy birthday to their guitarist Kazuki, who was celebrating his birthday that night and there was a lot of good vibes as the set came to a close.
Headliners Limp Bizkit took to the stage to a roar of cheers, but although the crowd was certainly behind them from start to finish, going absolutely wild to favourites such as Rollin’, My Generation and Hot Dog, the set as a whole could have been a little better. There were a lot of covers squeezed into the set, and whilst it was novel at first to hear renditions of songs in the Limp Bizkit style, it meant that more of the band’s original material was scrapped in favour of these, which was quite disappointing.
Owing to the band coming on almost fifteen minutes late, and wasting time between songs with repeated intervals that merely served a purpose of taking up time where other songs could have been played, it inevitably meant that a song had to be cut at the end due to the strict curfew, and yet more time was wasted as the options of Take A Look Around and Break Stuff were offered out to the crowd – and if there had been less messing about deciding, they could have probably squeezed in both if they’d been quick about it.
As a whole, the night was fairly hit-and-miss, so it’s a little difficult to adequately score the gig without sounding like I’m scoring the good parts too low, or the bad parts too high. On the one hand, Nekrogoblikon and Crossfaith surely deserve a score of 8 or 9, but I’m reluctant to give Limp Bizkit much more than a very generous 6, so I’m going to go right down the middle and hope that’s acceptable.
Keep an eye on the site for our interview with Nekrogoblikon coming soon!