“We’re DEFINITELY coming back to this motherfucking spot,” said Fred Durst at the end of Limp Bizkit’s set at The Piece Hall in Halifax. It seemed they had developed a new love of Yorkshire (now they know what the crowd was chanting at them) and this Grade 1 listed venue in particular.
The vibe and energy of the crowd were on a completely different level from anything seen here before. With a town that has a massive rock and metal community yet has been starved of shows like this so close to home, it was always going to be something special, with fans usually having had to travel to either Leeds or Manchester to witness anything similar.
Opening proceedings were the enjoyable Joey Valance and Brae, who got the party started with their Beastie Boyish hip-hop, putting a smile on everyone’s faces with their cheeky back-and-forth rapping. The more raucously chaotic rumble of Kenny Hoopla was next and took things up a level with an effortless cool. Kind of high-energy slacker rock, pulling from many influences to deliver a great set. The stage was set for Limp Bizkit, and the crowd was fully primed.
Hopefully, this will be the first of many heavier gigs for Halifax because the crowd partied like it was the late ’90s all over again with anthems like “My Generation,” “Rollin’,” and “My Way” ringing out; they definitely made this the rowdiest show this venue has ever seen. The whole crowd from front to back was bouncing all night, and the Georgian courtyard looked like a sea of red caps, limbs and flying beer.
The beauty of this kind of audience, though, is that they look after each other – if someone went down in the moshpit, they were helped straight back up – absolutely no danger of anything remotely Woodstock 99’ish here. Something the band has copped some retrospective flak for with the recent documentary release, but that was all down to poor organization rather than the band.
Props must go to the legendary resident British Sign Language interpreter at the side of the stage who gave it everything throughout the night. With the crowd donating a red cap to her before the show, she looked the part, and Fred even came over to compare caps and share a fist bump with her.
With a couple of needless Nirvana covers slipping into the set, where truthfully, they could and should have played “Faith” or another older track, the hour-and-a-half set was a breathless memory of turn-of-the-century nu-metal.
“Play one Tom Cruise would like,” says Fred as Wes peeled out the intro to Mission Impossible theme “Take a Look Around.” Sparking absolute chaos in the crowd. One-time MTV staple “Nookie” absolutely crushed. Sparking absolute chaos in the crowd. And the beautifully bass-driven “Boiler” sounded incredible… sparking absolute chaos in the crowd. You get the idea. It was clear that every single person at the show was up for a great night.
A fan was picked from the crowd to sing “Full Nelson” with Fred, and she did a reasonable job after initially forgetting the lyrics when it actually came to it, which was followed by a touching singalong with the whole crowd for The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” before all hell broke loose when every single person here, including some of the food stall holders and beer tent staff, collectively lost their shit for a show-stopping “Break Stuff.” No better way to finish – if only the town’s legendary Zoo Bar was still open to carry on with the celebrations.
This was a truly great experience that will hopefully usher in more of the same kind of gig in the future. It’s still official… Halifax rocks! Check out LB online here: http://www.limpbizkit.com.