BY AVA AHMANN, CONTRIBUTOR
I’ve never sweat so much in my entire life. Crammed into the Black Cat with 350 or so other people, I was pushed this way and that with the mosh as everyone yelled along, losing their minds and forgetting their problems.The occasion? California’s finest, FIDLAR, was in town.
FIDLAR is a surf punk band hailing from Los Angeles, California. FIDLAR stands for “F**k It Dog, Life’s a Risk,” a name they picked up from the lead singer’s skater friends. Their songs are fast-paced and catchy, and their lyrics are about their lives and exploits. Their shows are loud and raucous, and as undeniably fun as their songs.
I arrived at the Black Cat towards the end of FIDLAR’s opening act, an Australian band called Dune Rats, and eagerly made my way with my friend towards the front. I had seen FIDLAR last May at the 9:30 Club, and I was looking forward to seeing them play a smaller venue. The audience was mostly teens, judging from the black X’s on almost everyone’s hands, indicating you’re underage and can’t buy alcohol. Seemingly everyone was excited for the show– people kept anxiously glancing at the stage and their phones. After a few chants of “FIDLAR! FIDLAR!,” the band came out to R Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” and they sang along briefly before launching into a blistering hour-and-a-half set. The crowd was into it immediately, thrashing and jumping and screaming their heads off. The atmosphere in the club was electric.
They opened with songs from their 2013 album such as “No Waves,” which they introduced as a song about “Rehab, and how much it sucks,” as well as “Cheap Beer,” as well as a single called “Awkward.” They even did a cover of Weezer’s “Sweater Song.” At this point I was the definition of a hot mess: My hair was everywhere, I smelled like the sweat and beer I was drenched in thanks to my fellow-concert goers, I had lost my earplugs (who needs those anyway?), and I almost fell when I tried to put my shoe back on, which had almost come off, thanks to someone repeatedly stomping on my heel as they jumped up and down to the music. But I was grinning and moshing like everyone else. Halfway through, they started to play more songs from their recently released second album, TOO, such as pop punk thrash-alongs “West Coast,” and “40oz. On Repeat,” both songs that they had played live before the album’s release.
Despite these songs being slightly more pop than some of FIDLAR’s earlier stuff, the entire club seemed to be singing along. Towards the end, lead singer Zac Carper asked the audience to sit down, and everyone sat down almost immediately, a power of persuasion most high school teachers wish they had. The audience clapped along to the opening guitar riffs of “Cocaine”, a song from FIDLAR’s first album, before jumping up to the lyrics of, “You take Sally and I’ll take Sue there ain’t no difference between the two.”
All in all, FIDLAR was a pretty sick way to spend a Monday night. The band was even better in a small venue than I had expected, and their setlist was full of crowd pleasers that would guarantee anyone a good time. Emerging from the Black Cat as if I had taken a shower, I was pumped and super content. It had been a great show. FIDLAR is one of those bands that I would recommend to anyone who likes a good time and good music. It was an experience, a wild one, but hey, “F**k It Dog, Life’s a Risk”.
PHOTO BY AVA AHMANN