Limp Bizkit +Zheani – Fortitude Music Hall Brisbane [Live Review]

Review: Dan Maynard
Photography: JD Garrahy

After an incredibly successful sold out Good Things festival on Sunday at Brisbane RNA Showgrounds, we reach our final sideshow of the Good Things run. Jacksonvilles very own Limp Bizkit have sold out one of Brisbanes most prestigious and sizable venues, Fortitude Music Hall. The line of people waiting for doors descends down the Valley and bends around heading further down the street, fans repping the red caps and old school shirts.

A screen sits tall at the centre of the back of the stage, projecting a hypnotising spiral turning like a cog as Central Queensland rapper Zheani slowly makes her way to the stage, mysterious and moody, the lights dimming to a dark red and setting the mood for what’s to come. As her first song hits, a new side is shown as she suddenly begins to bounce and throw herself aggressively showing the emotion behind her words.

Lashings of energy hit from wall to wall with Zheanis unique mix of Aussie rap, dance and pugnacious rave. The screen behind her runs between almost demonic and chaotic images, depicting the vocalist in artistic movements that become almost entrancing. As the set comes to a close, Zheani leaves the stage just as mysterious and unknowingly as she entered.

As the black sheets are pulled away, not only is drummer John Ottos epic drum kit revealed, but taking up the entire back of the stage is a tower draped in black with massive lighting rigs surrounding it and perched right up the top, DJ Lethals setup. That’s right, we’re looking at the throne of DJ royalty, a well deserved throne. Shortly after, the lights more or less come to complete blackness, the room bordering on pitch black.

The oh so familiar tune of ‘Pure Imagination’ figuratively lights up the mood of the room, sending the crowd into a trance as they all sing along to the song made famous in the 1971 classic film Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory…..the good one. As the song begins its descent to its close, the band make their way to the stage, bassist Sam Rivers with his arms raised high, metal horns at the go, the crowd retaliate with loud applause. But nothing quite comes close to the uproar and screams of excitement the crowd show when legendary frontman Fred Durst struts onstage with his fluro orange jumper.

Lethal spins the opening sample to ‘Dirty Rotten Bizkit’, followed quickly by guitarist Wes Borlands epic guitar riff and we’re off to the races. After smashing through the track from 2022s album ‘Still Sucks’, we’re taken back 24 years to the bands second album ‘Significant Other’. ‘Show Me What You Got’ followed directly by ‘Nineteen Ninety Nine’. Tonight’s setlist cuts heavily into their ‘Significant Other’ and ‘Chocolate Starfish’ era, arguably their two biggest and most successful albums to date.

Where ‘Significant Other’ shone the light on the band internationally, it was ‘Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water’ that threw the band into the full blown international sensation they came to be, creating a new era of sound that would become an inspiration to the next generations of musicians to come.

Wes Borland, known for his unique and one of a kind looks and outfits, stands in his latest white suit, covered in the art only recognisable as Borlands very own and a helmet donned with an array of what can only be described as oversized teeth. Honestly, I’m well aware of how little that description helps the mind paint a picture, JDs gallery will have to do the talking I guess. As Durst introduces our godly guitarist “Ladies and gentlemen, Wes Borland” Wes plays that iconic whammy bar heavy intro to ‘Hotdog’, the opening track to Chocolate Starfish. The song well known for it’s immense inclusion of the word ‘fuck’. 48 to be exact.

Any old school fan is losing their minds now as the band kick into one of their heaviest songs in their catalogue, ‘Pollution’ from their first album ‘Three Dollar Bill Y’all’. A track that rarely makes its way into an LB set. Followed up by the billboard number one hit ‘Rollin’, the crowd is bouncing. As I watch from the balcony, overlooking the crowd, I’m reminded of the old school Big Day Out style crowds, where the crowds bounced in unison to the music rather than thrashing about hurting one another.

More ‘Chocolate Starfish’ hits follow, ‘My Way’ and ‘My Generation’. It’s a back and forth between the two albums from here, throwing songs such as ‘Nookie’, ‘Take a Look Around’, ‘Rearranged’ and ‘Faith’ and even a stellar cover of Rage Against the Machines hit single ‘Killing in the Name’ of into the set. Fred brings a fan onstage to sing ‘Full Nelson’ and props to the dude, he did an incredible job. If you’re reading this good sir, great work!

After Faith, Durst makes it clear that we’ve reached the end of the night with one song to go and really, there’s only one song left that could possibly close out the set. Borland plays those two notes that the world knows so well, ‘Break Stuff’ blasts in as Durst sings that line that has taken over our daily lives “It’s just one of those days!”. The crowd reaches full potential, giving every ounce of energy they have left as the band reciprocates accordingly. A giant circle pit surrounded by the bounces of a couple a thousand patrons, I can literally feel the floor shaking upstairs.

As the last notes hit and the band closes their set, the crowd descend out the doors, sweaty, sore and in nostalgia heaven. After a massive 26 year spanning career, it doesn’t look like these five gentlemen are even close to throwing the brakes on. Durst, even after announcing he had come down with a cold the day after Good Things, still manages to sound as on top of his game as ever.

Not one of the guys in that band have lost their game, Wes’s outfits getting more and more extravagant, Otto is hitting those drums harder than ever, we will no doubt see the Bizkit back here soon enough. That was my fifth time seeing them and I will not be missing any tours to come and I highly suggest if you’ve yet to see them, you don’t miss them again. They are easily one of the best live bands on the circuit.

 – Gallery –