FIDLAR is a very difficult band to pin down; songs like “Bad Habits” and “Cocaine” are, well, frankly about abuse wrapped up in a pop-punk bow, while “Leave Me Alone” and “Why Generation” point to deeper themes of isolation and disenchantment. Yet in performance, these dark themes bubble to the surface with much more heart and spunk than one would gather on paper alone.
FIDLAR crowds are an interesting amalgamation: The pop punks, skate punks, indie rockers and metalheads all seem to unite in their love for the West coast band. If a FIDLAR show is any proof, it seems songs about drug abuse and isolation just might be the threads that hold the alternative scene together.
The band — who only have two albums under their belt currently, with their most recent release Too being from 2015 — have only dropped a few new singles recently, adding some diversity to their set. Walking onto a minimal stage set up with some broken TVs displaying their name in rotating fonts, they pleasantly surprised the crowd by opening with new song “Alcohol” (although, the massive reaction from the crowd certainly was not the least bit shocking).
And these reactions are what make a FIDLAR show so special. The band and their fans share an incredibly tangible love that vibrates through the room. This was especially evident during one of their most popular songs “40oz. On Repeat,” when lead singer Zac Carper left the stage while the crowd kept yelling, “I’m gonna lock myself inside my room / With this 40oz. on repeat!” Oddly enough, there was a pervasive sense of camaraderie while singing about drunken isolation.
What’s also important about FIDLAR is that this camaraderie isn’t male exclusive — an issue that has plagued the punk scene for decades at this point. Before launching into the instantly classic “9 to 5,” Carper made a call for an all-female mosh pit, kindly letting the crowd know, “If you see a dick in the pit, punch him right in the face.” With this warning in mind, the male-identifying individuals of the crowd watched as the women took over the entire center of the floor, before the two mixed together again in harmony after the song ended.
There’s really nothing more a concert attendee can ask for in a performance: a phenomenal band, an energetic crowd with unexpected diversity and passion radiating from both performers and watchers. People truly love FIDLAR, and it’s for good reasons. I used to revel in the band’s deprecating ethos; now I understand depreciation is a mental ailment that can also bring us all together.