The other day I was wasting time/my life on the internet, and I saw an article on a music website that encouraged easily distracted idiots like me to watch YouTube videos from a recent Limp Bizkit concert. I didn’t take the bait, but I noticed a screen grab from one of the videos, of LB frontman Fred Durst. He had his patented backwards hat on, but the rest of his look was relatively new. Sunglasses that looked like they came standard with Transitions® lenses, a gray Fu Manchu mustache, and shoulder length hair to match. There was sadness in that screen grab, and for the first time in my life, I felt a connection to Fred Durst.
Let me be clear, I am not a Limp Bizkit fan. Sure, I bought their album Significant Other in the summer of 1999, but they had a smattering of credibility. Method Man guested on a track that was produced by Gangstarr’s DJ Premier. Matt Pinfield, who was considered the “real” rock music expert at MTV, did the outro on the album, extolling its virtues as a salve to pop music bullshit. But really? I was with a girl that liked the song “Nookie.” A song about one of Fred Durst’s ex-girlfriends that cheated on him. A few years later, I would marry the girl that liked “Nookie.” A couple of months after that, she bailed.
In July of 2021, Limp Bizkit played the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. That was the first appearance of Fred Durst’s new look. After their set, a new song called “Dad Vibes” played over the PA, and like a loving father that gets to see his kids on the weekend, Durst handed out t-shirts to the crowd. Fast forward to October of that year, and their new album was released. The title? Still Sucks.
I didn’t realize the album existed until I saw that screen grab a few days ago, but probably two or three months after it was released my wife and I started having problems. More accurately, our problems could no longer be kept below the surface. Long since moved on from the girl that liked “Nookie,” my wife and I are creeping up on two decades together. Our dog died in December 2021, and we were briefly strengthened by that common loss, but even the presence of our kids could not stop us from arguing about the dumbest things. You know the things I’m talking about, right? The things so dumb you can’t remember what they were an hour after the fight. The things that exist as thinly veiled covers of real issues. Issues that leave you both wondering if love is still a part of the equation.
When I saw that picture of Fred Durst, I thought there was an inherent sadness in him. I thought, wow, doesn’t Fred look beat down by life? He’s probably not sad, though. He has adult children. Like he always says, he doesn’t give a fuck, and I’ll bet that’s what defines his dad vibes. He can be as authentic as he wants to be. Meanwhile, I’m hoping not to be relegated to weekends with my kids, giving them gifts before the music stops and they have to go home. I’ve got the sad-dad vibes. Maybe I am a fan