From Durst Till Dawn: My Day Spent Waiting for Limp Bizkit to Not Show Up at a Sunoco Gas Station in Dayton, Ohio
Earlier this week, a Dayton, Ohio man named Brian Baker created a Facebook event for a super-secret 4/20 concert that was supposed to be going down on the east side of town. The headliner was Limp Bizkit, and the venue was the Sunoco gas station on Wayne Ave and Keowee St (NOT the Sunoco down the road at Wayne and Wyoming—Fred Durst and co. wouldn’t be caught dead playing a dump like that, bro).
This was, of course, a hoax, but one that I found funny enough to write about on Tuesday after a friend sent me a Facebook invite to the event. Little did I realize that this whole thing was about to explode like a flaming Woodstock ’99 porta potty, and the internet was soon going to be putting out the fire with Sunoco gasoline.
As the internet went mad with excitement and Dayton police warned people not to go, Limp Bizkit took to Twitter to debunk the rumor:
@thenewswheel TOTAL BS
— Limp Bizkit (@limpbizkit) April 19, 2016
The denial came as a shock to no one. The concert was obviously and hilariously fake, despite the convincing claims made by faux promotional videos like this [NSFW language]:
Though there may have been a few true believers, the still-active Facebook event page was nothing more than an inside joke being enjoyed by about 4,000 people (at least on Tuesday—by now, 22,000 people have been invited to the noncert, of whom 9,000 are “going” and 4,000 are “interested”). Everyone was aware that the show was a gag, as evidenced by the hundreds of badly photoshopped pictures and the dankest of memes.
But some people would still show up, right?
That was my thought yesterday, when I reasoned that like some sort of awful rap-rock reimagining of Field of Dreams, if you hype it, they will come. And since the gas station in question was a mere five-minute walk from my apartment, I knew I needed to attend.
Assuming that concertgoers would begin #GoingLocoAtSunoco on 4/20 at 4:20, that was when I made my first pilgrimage to the gas station.
As I filled up my tank, I surveyed the area and found that it was surprisingly un-lit. There was only one woman standing at the edge of the parking lot and eating a bag of chips, and though I initially thought she might be camping out for a front-row seat to the Bizkit, she left after finishing her snack.
When I went inside to pay, I checked the beverage rack and discovered that there were only three cans of Surge soda remaining. Clearly, Sunoco was unprepared for what was about to go down.
I asked the man working the cash register about his expectations for the evening.
“The police will be here,” he said matter-of-factly.
Lame. I asked what time they’d be showing up.
“Whenever I call them,” he answered.
A fake Limp Bizkit concert at the Sunoco on Wayne and Keowee is not the kind of event that one attends sober, so my friend Matt and I decided to pregame at Dayton’s own Toxic Brewery. As we sat on the porch drinking beer, I recognized comedian and frequent Daily Show contributor Lewis Black across the street from us, window-shopping with a female companion.
As it turns out, Black was in town for a local theatre group’s very off-off-Broadway production of his play, One Slight Hitch.
“So you’re not here for the Limp Bizkit concert?” I asked, just to confirm.
“I showed him that!” Black’s female companion said excitedly. “That was so funny!”
“Yeah, I thought it was very funny,” Black agreed.
After taking the requisite selfie, I wished Black luck with his play, said I was a big fan, and then to prove my familiarity with his oeuvre, added that I really enjoyed his performance in that made-for-TV movie ABC did about Bernie Sanders. He looked confused.
“Sorry, I mean that made-for-TV movie ABC did about Bernie Madoff,” I said, quickly correcting my error. “Ha, uh, very different people.”
“Oh yeah, same names,” he said sympathetically.
Oof, an embarrassing slip on my part. Maybe I was already a bit too #Lit4Limp.
Undeterred by my faux pas, we soldiered on to a bar down the street from Toxic called Trolley Stop, which was celebrating this unique day in Dayton by tapping a whole bunch of out-of-state IPAs.
As Matt and I sipped 3 Floyds on Trolley’s patio, we noticed that there was a definite buzz in the air, and that buzz was pure Bizkit. It was the hot topic being gleefully discussed at every table. I even saw a guy wearing one of the bootleg concert t-shirts that someone had been selling on Etsy.
He was totally hype. We were all totally hype, bro.
The original concert poster had listed an 8 pm start time, and we knew we wanted to be there to catch the opening act. First, though, we stopped by our apartment building so that I could grab a pair of sunglasses and a red New Era baseball cap, which I wore backwards in a Durstian fashion. Too hot for JNCOs, I decided to complete my Bizness-casual outfit with a pair of cargo shorts.
I was ready for Freddy.
For this leg of the journey, Wes, another friend from our building, joined Matt and me as we hoofed it to Sunoco. Upon arriving, the three of us were devastated to find a gas station lot filled only with cars.
I went inside the Sunoco to investigate further. As I had feared, they were now completely out of Surge. Instead I grabbed a Mountain Dew Code Red, which seemed like the most appropriate substitute. As I paid for it, I asked the woman working the counter if the police had been by yet.
“Mmmmmm…” she hummed vaguely, her mouth smiling but her lips sealed tightly.
I identified myself as a journalist (no mean feat when wearing a backwards baseball cap and sunglasses at night) and asked if she would be able to answer some questions.
“Mmmmmmmmmmm…” she continued humming, shrugging her shoulders slightly.
So no comment?
“Mmm-hmmm!” she nodded.
I was disappointed. So was the young couple who approached me as I slurped Code Red outside the gas station, my backwards ballcap a beacon of hope for those looking to party. Upset by the lack of Bizkit and looking to console himself, the boyfriend went inside to buy a Slim Jim, but came back empty-handed. The gas station had run out.
“I felt like we should walk down here because maybe Limp Bizkit would be here, but if not, at least I’d get a Slim Jim,” he said, frustrated that Sunoco was unable to meet even his most modest expectations.
Soon another nu metal-loving couple arrived, pulling along their reluctant dog like a freak on a leash. They joined our small gathering in front of the gas station, and as we talked, a few other people looking for Limp began rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ up, as well.
We were quickly beginning to resemble the world’s smallest, saddest, and tamest mosh pit, and I felt it needed to be documented. I handed my phone to Matt, and the gang gamely posed for a picture:
And then the crowd dispersed, everyone feeling a little bit sad that Limp Bizkit was a no-show at Sunoco. Fred Durst had accomplished his stated mission of breaking stuff, and that stuff was our hearts.
Apparently this happened:
Imagine my surprise this morning as I watched this video and spotted so many familiar faces. There’s the bearded bartender who served me at Toxic! And there’s the guy who was wearing the tour shirt at Trolley! And oh my God, HE’S TOTALLY SNAPPING INTO A SLIM JIM!
Did he bring that from home or did they restock the Sunoco?! There are so many questions, chief among them: Where was I when this was all going down?
The answer: Sitting on Wes’ balcony with him and Matt, somehow unable to hear the revelry taking place 0.8 miles away from us as we drowned our sorrows in cheap beer and shots of a distinctively bitter liquor called Carl Jeppson’s Malört. Its taste can best be described as punitive, and because we were three guys dumb enough to go to a gas station for a fake Limp Bizkit show, we indulged in quite a bit of liquid self-flagellation.
Quite a bit.
Why does my head hurt so much?
Why does my heart hurt so much?
The answers, respectively, are that I drank a lot of gross Malort, beer, and Code Red last night, and I did so in anticipation of a Limp Bizkit show that failed to materialize. And then when a party did break out, I missed out on all of the shenanigans.
But in the end, it’s okay. I don’t actually like Limp Bizkit, and I’m pretty indifferent to Sunoco gas stations (although I do like that the one on Wayne sells Utz chips, I never see those anywhere else around here).
I mean, I guess I would be greatly amused if this regional hoax became big enough to convince Fred Durst and his band to actually play a concert in the parking lot of the trashy gas station near my apartment, but I can’t imagine that such a pipe dream will ever come to fruition…
Or at least I couldn’t, until my boy Jair from Xenia (X-Town, REPRESENT!) shared on Facebook this real Twitter conversation he had with Fred Durst:
@JairKessinger then we just might have to figure something out, somehow
— Fred Durst (@freddurst) April 21, 2016
It’s happening, you guys. 4/20/2017, yo. Tell all your friends.
Patrick Grieve was born in Southwestern Ohio and has lived there all of his life, with the exception of a few years spent getting a Creative Writing degree in Southeastern Ohio. He loves to take road trips, sometimes to places as distant as Northeastern or even Northwestern Ohio. Patrick also enjoys old movies, shopping at thrift stores, going to ballgames, writing about those things, and watching Law & Order reruns. He just watches the original series, though, none of the spin-offs. And also only the ones they made before Jerry Orbach died. Season five was really the peak, in his opinion. See more articles by Patrick.