Rival Cult Review Edition:
Limp Bizkit at Lollapalooza 2021
Six Reasons Limp Bizkit Is a Jam Band Now
Like the rest of America, I watched the Limp Bizkit performance at Lollapalooza 2021 prepared for a Monster Energy Drink-fueled cringefest. There’s no way anyone could think otherwise after watching the Woodstock ‘99 promoters attempt to assassinate Fred Durst in the new documentary. Right off the bat, those hoping to watch Limp Bizkit crash and burn were proven about as wrong as a human being could be.
What the people wanted was a dated band swinging and missing as they trudge through almost-forgotten songs. What they got was the most self-aware hour of music of the summer.
By now, everyone knows Fred Durst came out dressed as some version of a stylish dad, cutting off the next day’s ageist critics at the pass. As the show went on, people went from waiting to have a good laugh at the band’s expense to genuinely enjoying the show. As time went on, I also started to realize something.
Limp Bizkit is a jam band now. Here are six reasons why.
- 80s Covers – An 80s cover is the cornerstone of any jam band festival set. Limp Bizkit OPENED with one as Wes Borland entered the stage playing the riff from “Thieves” by Ministry. Of course, they also teased (making it even more of a jam band tactic) their version of “Faith” by George Michael towards the end of the show.
- Gimmicks – As a person who named a band after a famous sweater, I appreciate a good gimmick. Fred Durst dressing like a cool dad turned out to be a masterful marketing ploy. Turns out the band’s next single is called “Dad Vibes”. One of my favorite parts of the show was the end when they blasted the new song on the PA while tossing free merch into the crowd. It was an incredibly Gen Z move from the Gen X Nu Metal icons.
- Environmentalism – At one point, Durst picks up a can of water, remarks that it’s not made of plastic, and yells “Death to Plastic”. I can’t think of one other artist I watched from the entire Lollapalooza weekend that made any such remark. Limp Bizkit has gone from inciting white men in their early-20s to riot and start fires to being on the front lines of fighting climate change. Durst also told everyone to get vaccinated at one point.
- Segues – The music never stops at a Limp Bizkit set. Wes Borland did a great job of filling space with spacious guitar drones and riffs while Durst held the crowd in the palm of his hands with each word he spoke. The entire Lollapalooza set was a roadmap filled with peaks and valleys, similar to a Disco Biscuits performance. The fact that the band features a guitar wizard may be enough on its own to make them a jam band.
- Self Awareness – Fred Durst can’t sing in tune and that’s just fine. If the band featured a world-class rock vocalist like Chris Cornell, it would be worse. Staying on-brand with the rest of the performance, Fred Durst is cognisant of his singing abilities. At one point, he sang a decent-sounding vocal lick and remarked to himself, “I kinda like my voice!” on the microphone.
- Speeches About Love and Music – Just after asking about competing circle pits near the front of the stage, Durst said “What’s great is we can all get along no matter what. Music brings us together. If you love, love, love music, let me see some love, love, love.” If I told you a member of String Cheese Incident said those exact words at Red Rocks before their encore, you wouldn’t doubt me for a second. Durst saying this is a far cry from crowd surfing on plywood while PA towers burned around him in 1999.
It’s safe to say Limp Bizkit’s approval rating increased more than any musical act in 2021 after their Lollapalooza set (which was the best set of the weekend without question). Their trajectory over the weekend took the exact opposite path as DaBaby’s. We are in the middle of a Bizkit renaissance.
Of course, there are still plenty of reasons Limp Bizkit isn’t a jam band like the rapping, Jackson guitars, lack of a keyboardist, and Durst’s genius lyrics. They’re still a jam band now, ok? Because I fucking said so. They’re a jam band now. Limp Bizkit is a fucking jam band now…get over it.