Home Gigs Gig Review : Rollin’ into Belsonic with Limp Bizkit

Gig Review : Rollin’ into Belsonic with Limp Bizkit

16 min read

Review by Ivor Whitten for MPM

On an irregularly lovely sunny evening, masses of people streamed into Ormeau Park for a night of one of Belsonic Music Festival’s most energetic nights. Tonight was going to be moshers heaven with a lineup that will not be giving anyone an opportunity to go to work the next day , or at least if they do they will be crawling in, every part of their body hurting yet with a massive grin on their faces.

Tonight’s headlines are non other than ?? Limp Bizkit with support from UK Nova Twins and the iconic Tom Morello and that ensured it was well attended.

The crowds were already filling Ormeau Park when Nova Twins strolled onto stage. Primarily a two piece consisting of vocalist/guitarist Amy Love and bassist Georgia South with drum support. Their debut album, “Who Are the Girls?”, released in February 2020 and their latest album, “Supernova”, just released in June 2022, they had a good stock of songs to call on.

With a bit of over-arching epic sound build up they cracked straight into “Fire & Ice” proving off the bat that they had synergy, energy, and incredible presence. Shouting to the crowd Amy called out “We are Nova Twins and its good to be here. Now let me see your hands in the air” The crowd di not need to be told twice.

Blasting into “Cleopatra” a blend of heavy bass fuzz with a bit of electronica and punk attitude infused hip hop thrown in. The crowd were only two songs in and the moshing had begun. On they went with “Taxi”, “Sleep Paralysis”, “Antagonist” and “Puzzles”. Each one hitting home with a stag performance many bands double their size would have been jealous off.

With a quick quip of “Belsonic, How are we feeling? And the cacophonous roar of approval. Feeding off the crowd’s energy the girls did not let up, using every space on stage to give a performance that would make you exhausted just watching them.

The end of their set was nigh and with a “Its been great being here. You ready to give us your energy?” they finished off with “Choose Your Fighter”. The roar of the crowd said it all and Nova Twins had definitely found themselves some new fans in Belfast.

Then came the iconic Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello with his band. The sense of awe was palpable, especially for a large number of attendees of a certain age where Rage Against the Machine had a very special place in their hearts.

On they came to the theme of “The World at War” Tom and his band mates started with “Soldier in the Army of Love” as everyone just started to move with the music as it continued with “Vigilante Nocturno” before Tom took a moment with the audience to say “It’s been 30 years since I last played in your city.

I’ve waited a very, very long time for this moment.” And with that they launched into an incredible medley of Rage Against the Machine tunes of “Testify”, “Take the Power Back”, and “Freedom”.

On came the tunes with Tom Morello’s own material of “Union Song”, “Let’s Get the Party Started”, and “One Man Revolution” with a cover of Bring Me the Horizon” thrown in for good measure.

Another absolute banging medley of Rafge Against the Machine and Audioslave songs including “Bombtrack”, “Know Your Enemy”, “Bulls on Parade”, “Guerilla Radio”, “Sleep Now in the Fire”, “Bullet in the Head” and “Cochise”.

It was at this point Tom took a moment to raise a cheer for Chris Cornell as a photo of the late great singer as they started up the Audioslve song “Like a Stone” in tribute. And then as if in a head nod to the recent presence of Bruce Springsteen they belted out “The Ghost of Tom Joad”.

Then as if it seemed like they were getting ready to leave the stage, and a momentary realisation of the crowd the set may be over and there was no sign of ‘That Song’, Tom stopped as if thinking for a moment and said to the crowd “Well maybe one more song”, the cheers went up like an earthquake rumble “you should know the words so you can sing it” and with that first iconic sounding strum everyone lost all semblance of any normalcy by rocking their body in time and effortlessly, in perfect synchronicity and with full force of their vocal chords the whole of Belsonic with an amazing cacophonous joy unleashed “Killing in the Name”.

It was one of those hairs on the back of your neck raising moments. And as a joyous thank you tom finished the set with a cover of the John Lennon song “Power to the People.”

Then came the main headliners of the night – Limp Bizkit

To the sweet refrains of “Sweet Home Alabama” Fred Durst, dressed as if he just got of his shift on the Belfast City Council bin lorries, swaggered onto stage saying “This ain’t Alabama my friends. Limp Bizkit are in the house”.

Fred, Wes, DJ Lethal, John and Sam blasted into “Break Stuff” as the entirety of Belsonic seemed to just explode in energetics spasms of unfettered joyous moshing, arms undulating, smiles everywhere and just absolute in the moment fun. Along the way Fred yelled “Party like its 1999” as if to hype up the frenzy already overtaking Ormeau Park.

With that Fred Durst recognised he was not going to have to work anyone in the audience to get into the music. He already had thousands of acolytes all ready to let loose in the name of Limp Bizkit. “I knew this was going off tonight” was his acknowledgment.

Then came “Hot Dog” and “My Generation” which seemed to be like dynamo songs as the energy of the crowd was unwavering. Between each song the band seemed to let the charge reignite to just the right levels as Fred chatted amiably to the crowd. At one point saying “How many of you have to work tomorrow? Send me a DM on Instagram and I’ll get you out of it.”

And with that came the iconic “Rollin’”, the destroyer of vocal chords as everyone swayed their arms in time as they screamed out the chorus. The atmosphere was the pure unadulterated joy of controlled violence, letting people unleash pent up frustration and anxiety from that day, week, month or year. Everyone was as one, from a distance the crowd looked like the motion of an undulating rough sea all in time with the rhythms set by the remarkable presence of Limp Bizkit using the stage to conduct tonight’s proceedings.

As ever where there were any opportunities between songs where the squalls calmed DJ Lethal was there keeping things ticking over with the likes of House of Pain’s “Jump around”, and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary”, which everyone duly sang along with too.

Then the crowd got into it even more with “My Way” and The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” before Fred took a moment to explain that “They say I’m only in it for the Nookie. That’s a Lie” aptly signifying a totally charged rendition of aforementioned “Nookie”. Then came “Full Nelson” which also had the aid of a fan pulled onto stage from the audience, and appropriately dressed as a human Hot Dog. Fred quipped he had never been so close to such a large hot dog before.

And it has to be said Ryan, the aforementioned Hot Dog man, gave a fantastic performance with Fred much top the full enjoyment of the crowd. “Gold Cobra” and “Boiler” were tightly performed before the stunner of the evening with a Limp Bizkit version of George Michael’s “Faith“ and “Careless Whisper”.

Fred took a moment into the microphone “Tom Cruise can’t do this” before the iconic refrains of “Take a Look Around” drop and the whole park once again bounces in time.

Fred took a short warmly emotional moment to let everyone know “I’m so very happy that you came tonight, we are honoured and thankful to you all. It’s been an honour. Thanks for coming”.

The set was finished as they started with a second rendition of “Break Stuff”. Huge cheers erupted and with that they exited to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”.

Overall, the evening’s music was top notch from the first note to the last, well worth every penny. Everyone there had a personal experience that will last them for a very long time. Perfectly balanced with good music, unique banter and so much moshing that most of the city’s gyms could lock up for the rest of the year.

It felt like the best excuse for the thousands of attendees to engage in the purest form of an aggressive therapeutic outlet.

Limp Bizkit are performing at a number of festivals throughout the summer before their “Loserville” tour throughout the US. Check out at https://limpbizkit.com/

Photography by Darren McVeigh for MPM

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