Limp Bizkit @ O2 Academy, Glasgow

Nostalgia is a beautiful and powerful thing.  The way that one song can take you back to a particular time and place, awakening a treasure chest of related memories which might otherwise have been locked away forever.  Multiply that by a setlist of 16 songs and that’s what Limp Bizkit’s set at the Kerrang! Tour 2014 did last night.

For 80 minutes the O2 Academy was transformed into my childhood bedroom and I was 18-years-old again listening to this red-capped dude with the screechy voice bringing nu-metal into the new millennium.

The set was packed with songs from that era, with only one – Gold Cobra – even breaching this decade.  The opening combination of a cover of Guns N’ Roses’ Welcome To Jungle merging into Rollin’ midway through was explosive, and from that moment on any lingering frustration over Fred Durst’s late cancellation of a gig here last summer was blown away.

There was an intense energy in the venue which had given it sauna like qualities by the time a monstrous Break Stuff ended the night.  There was no let up, either on stage or off, as Limp Bizkit powered through a barrage of early noughties hits:  My Generation, My Way and Take a Look Around all featured in a set which was also comprised of almost a third of covers.  George Michael’s Faith provided the most raucous of sing-alongs, whilst a Nirvana medley of Heart-Shaped Box and Smells Like Teen Spirit gave us an insight into Durst’s influences.  Killing in the Name – the Rage Against The Machine smash – was another powerful cover.

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Fred Durst possibly has one of the worst voices I’ve heard live, and he dresses like the worst dressed 15-year-old boy.  However, that gig last night was easily one of my favourite gigs ever.  It was unforgettable; largely down to a heavy sense of nostalgia and an almost perfect set list to fuel it.

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls @ Corn Exchange, Edinburgh

This was Frank Turner’s largest Scottish show to date, and despite underlying back pain from a slipped disc suffered last year he displayed all of the qualities which brought him here, via the opening ceremony of the London Olympics and a successfull appearence on Celebrity Mastermind.

There are a few things one can expect at a Frank Turner gig:  several sing-alongs; smatterings of punk rock; boundless enthusiasm (both on and off stage) and camaraderie rank amongst them, and they were all there in abundance at the Corn Exchange last night.

From opening number Photosynthesis (the line “so I’ll play and you’ll sing” was never more fitting than last night) to the frenetic finish of Four Simple Words, this was a relentless charge through Frank’s burgeoning career – a career which seemingly appeals to all generations:  there were daughters here with fathers, while one elderly couple attempted to relive the experience of an earlier Dylan concert.

There was a fine balance between old and new in the set, with Turner himself noting that he’s careful not to alienate any one person or level of fan base.  This was a show for everybody, and so we got Plain Sailing Weather, The Way I Tend To Be, Losing Days and Recovery from the recent Tape Deck Heart – the latter forming the basis of Frank’s scientific experiment to find the loudest city on the UK tour – while older fans appreciated Father’s Day and To Take You Home, which was accompanied by a touching story about Frank’s doomed relationship with a French girl.

But it’s the sing-along element of a Frank Turner gig which really sets it apart from just about any live experience going.  Songs like Wessex Boy, If I Ever Stray and I Still Believe almost demand audience participation.  At that time, at that place, during those moments, everyone is equal.  And that was never more evident than in the first song of the encore when Frank strode onto stage with his acoustic guitar and announced that he wouldn’t be singing the next song – The Ballad of Me and My Friends – the audience would be.  And we did.  And it was triumphant.

Frank Turner live is an experience every fan of music should enjoy.