Limp Bizkit // Tom Morello // Nova Twins // Live Review // Belsonic 2024

So when Limp Bizkit was announced to play my hometown of Belfast this little girl was very happy indeed. The Bizkit was the soundtrack to my 20’s along with Incubus, Rage Against The Machine, Pantera and so many many bands that dragged me through my youth into this beautiful specimen of a man I am today!

Nu-metal coming off the back of the hair metal days of the 80’s, thrash and extreme metal of the 90’s Metallica’s Black Album, Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power and the arrival of Grunge, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Eleven, Alice In Chains it was time for a rebirth and Jesus H Christ sis we get it in Nu-Metal!

The ever-expanding genre of metal that shift-shapes in the blink of an eye is so expansive now you have genres within genres. It is indeed a beautiful thing, one of those bands that kicked it all off of course was Limp Bizkit. The enigmatic figure of Fred Durst, The glorious drama of Wes Borland and Co. delivered one of the most brutal sounds that metal had heard to date.

They had paved the way with iconic albums such as Significant Other before they landed that sucker punch with Chocolate Starfish and as we say in this business we call show … the rest is history! That album decimated the airwaves, spawning hit after hit for one of the most brutal styles of metal to greet the public in years, people and misguided youth were exposed to songs that they just didn’t ever expect their kids to hear, the stage was set for a new generation to come forward, step up and carry the flag for Nu-Metal and beyond! And they have done just that, the metal scene in 2024 is as big as it ever has been, maybe slightly more underground and even more accessible due to the internet, but with nearly 20k fans rammed into a field in Belfast it tells you it’s going from strength to strength.

Tonight for support we have the majestic Tom Morello, a man who needs no introduction, an absolute legend of the industry and one of the most innovative guitarists over the last few decades, Ex Rage Against The Machine, Ex Audioslave, I cannot wait to catch him live tonight.

Up first though Nova Twins, I have heard so much about these cats and right from the off you know they’re something pretty special, a fusion of alt-rock-metal and electronica they’re like a female version of Bob Vylan but definitely doing their own thing. A lethal trio fronted by Amy Love and Georgia South.

You cannot take your eyes off them for one second. A sonic assault on the senses with the most glorious barrage of distortion raining down on you from that huge stage!

You would never think it was just 3 people up on stage making all that noise, the drums pummelling through your bones, the thrashing guitar but that bass! That bass!!!! Absolutely fucking mental! One seriously talented and creative bassist in Georgia South she weaves these monstrous sounds courtesy of a pedal board that just nails you to the wall. The set was over in the blink of an eye, but they nailed it, Belfast was rocking and everyone was talking about Nova Twins.



A great start to the evening, we have a short time to catch our breath before Tom takes to the stage. #totesemotes So as Tom takes the stage with a pair of mirrored shades on you know that shizzle is going to get real pretty fast, the crowd goes wild and Toms’s band lays down a thick fat sound with Toms’s signature sound on guitar. The majority of the set is from Toms’s solo career apart from tasters of the RATM days dappled around his set. Every time you hear one of the glorious tunes the crowd goes crazy! But then mid-set he goes there – full frontal assault and we get a huge homage of Rage and Audioslave – it was just beautiful and of course, a shout-out to Chris Cornell followed by ‘Like A Stone’. What a voice, an iconic artist he was, such a loss.

Before we know it we’re ramping towards the end of Toms’s set and he plays an old Irish ballad … Killing In The Name Of! The place goes ape shit! Singing every word along with the song, then that solo lands! Tom is bouncing on his iconic Digitech whammy! It’s just glorious to hear live!

One of those you had-to-be-there moments, for so many catching Tom live in the flesh is such a treat, he was here 30+ years ago with RATM and I stupidly missed that now iconic show at The Ulster Hall, but tonight with 20,000 like-minded metalheads we all got to share in this magical moment together, and Belfast approved this message, they rocked the fuck out!



9:30 comes around and we’re escorted into the pit to capture the one, the only Limp Bizkit! I honestly never thought id see them live, I thought I had missed the boat but here we are in 2024 in a field with 20.000 other crazy metal heads all reliving our youth and sharing it with the next generation of metal heads. All the hits are there, the big bangers, one after another laying waste to Belsonic 2024, Ormeau Park is one big ass party tonight, I’ve never seen a response to a band, a gig like this in my life, front to back this place is bouncing! It’s a beautiful thing to witness! There is just the most amazing feel-good factor to tonight’s show, there’s always an intensity to any metal show but there’s a joyous vibe here tonight like someone’s been handing out the happy pills! People all around me are absolutely caught up in the moment, present like you rarely see these days. Everyone around me is busting their balls busting a move ! Quite the sight. The soundtrack is epic, the vibe is epic, and Belfast is set alight with the persona of Fred Durst and the gnarly riffs of Wes Borland whilst the band absolutely slams it live!

I take the time to walk around the arena while the Bizkit do their thing on stage and honestly, I’ve never seen a crowd so engrossed in a gig in my life, Belfast has waited a very long time for this band to arrive on their shores and it ha been greatly appreciated, the beautiful thing about this is the eclectic audience we have in front of us, really young kids with ear defenders on, teenagers who you would never expect them to know the music of Limp Bizkit or Tom Morello, maybe the Nova Twins pulled in a youthful audience and now they have been exposed by the barrage of Nu-Metal and Anti-Establishment rock of Morello, bring it on I say.

Limp Bizkit play all the bangers, the crowd is lapping it up track after track but alas all good things come to an end, and the only noteable rock/metal event at this years Belsonic is over, the 20,000 people stream out onto the Ormeau Embankment and onto the Belfast streets on a chilly June night and all is good, Belfast was rocked to it’s core and we want more!!!

For many, myself included this was a bucket list gig, one that I never really expected to happen so I am over the moon to have seen these guys live, grateful for what they brought to my youth and the escapism and passion they pushed through my veins as a young dude in Belfast in some crazy times, the passion they kept lit in me all these years and how it still drives me today when I hear a great riff 30 + years later. Lets not leave it so long next time kids.

Review + Photography: Mark McGrogan

@flashartmark #flashartmark