FIDLAR walk on stage at 9:30, and are straight away keen to rile the audience. Front man Zac Carper tells “everyone under the age of 30 to come up to the front.” Hordes of people swarm to the stage almost ending in a stage invasion before they even start playing… a good start.
Exploding into opener “Cheap beer”, Carpers Lux Interior meets Henry Rollins snarl-cum-bark, fills the venue, the chorus getting a boost from the audience shouting along with every word. As the set progresses bodies begin flying thick and fast and credit has to be given to the four L.A. natives because they barely miss a note, even with kids practically jumping on top of them trying to find their own place on the stage - only to be swatted back down by security.
However a mild nervous tension seems to hover over the band, when they ask the audience to “to turn it down a notch”… I don’t think that’s gonna happen any time soon, not so long as they continue to shred through the set at absolute break neck speed. Even the security now seems to be enjoying them, with FIDLAR’s infectious slacker-punk attitude infecting everyone in the room.
A brief respite is offered in the opening bars of “Whore” lead by guitarist Elvis Keuhn, but just when you think you can relax and catch your breath, the pounding rhythm section join in and the frenzy begins anew.
The highlight of the set for me though has to be closer, “Wake Bake Skate”, when everything comes full circle, and the sweat that was once dripping off the audience, is now dripping from the ceiling, Carper offers closing words of wisdom: “If we can do it, so can you. Drop out of school, start a band!”
As the audience clears the venue, a few slightly more dedicated stay hoping for an unlikely encore, and their dedication is rewarded. FIDLAR return to the stage for a 3 song encore, ending with a cover of Blink-182’s “Dammit”. Whoo, *cough* punk rock *cough*…
This time, they finish for real and the triumphant FIDLAR, head to the Barfly for the afterparty where they will be DJing, followed I imagine by the same people who were dedicated enough to wait for an encore. Alas I’ve had my fill for the evening and decide to head home instead, but I have to thank FIDLAR, because all the way home there was only one thing on my mind… God I wanna listen to Black Lips.
Words: Jack Snelling, London, UK