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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Concert Review: FIDLAR tests the waters of new album at the Black Cat

A crowd of angsty, drunk 20-somethings filled the Black Cat for a captivating and fun FIDLAR concert on Sept. 28.

FIDLAR (Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk), a Los Angeles skate and garage punk band active since 2009, has been touring since the September release of its second studio album, “Too.”

Before FIDLAR electrified the audience, Australian garage-rock band, Dune Rats took the stage. Dubbed by one of the audience members as a “happy Nirvana,” the surfy three-piece band’s performance was characterized by tongued guitar solos and a carefree approach to punk rock.

Dune Rats drew in the audience with its rendition of the Violent Femmes classic “Blister in the Sun,” rousing the crowd to an overexcited mosh pit. FIDLAR arrived 20 minutes later to the hysteria of an impatient audience.

Lead guitarist and vocalist Zac Carper appeared in a shirt crudely displaying “wake up, jerk off, repeat,” in senseless punk rock fashion. FIDLAR fostered its authentic skate punk origins with its brash, careless vocals that focused on drugs and the accompanying lifestyle. FIDLAR played band favorites such as “Max Can’t Surf,” “No Waves” and “Cheap Beer” to which they were met with beer generously spewed at them from the audience.

FIDLAR’s style shifted lyrically and instrumentally when the band began playing songs off of “Too,” which featured more controlled tempos and riffs and provided a more lax pop punk vibe.

Many of the new songs in the album such as “40 Oz. on Repeat,” “West Coast” and “Leave Me Alone” point to consequences of the druggy lifestyle proposed in the band’s self-titled release. Such jaded lyrics as “...and I don’t care at all, I’ll drink some alcohol / It’ll make me who I really want to be” are a stark contrast to the band’s risk-taking, carefree attitude. Zac Carper, band frontman and former drug addict, played to this apathy with zombie-esque stares throughout the show.

Despite FIDLAR’s slight departure from the band’s usual unabashed recklessness, the group still engaged the rowdy crowd, at one point initiating a mosh between east and west coasters.

After Carper announced that the band would only play a few more songs, FIDLAR performed an electrifying rendition of “Why Generation,” amongst an almost entirely millennial audience. Drawn to a fever pitch, many attendees began crowd surfing to the band’s satisfaction (only to be promptly escorted offstage by security.)

FIDLAR rounded off the show with a performance of “Cocaine,” instructing the audience to sit down and jump up at a cue. The band coerced the anxious audience into a frenzied mosh pit for a final time as visitors jumped to the jarring first chord.

While millennials craving the energy, nihilism and glory of the band’s bold style make up FIDLAR’s primary audience, the band seems to be moving in a new direction with it’s latest show. FIDLAR’s early albums are marked by repetitive senselessness, but also a hysteria and energy that captivated its fanbase.

However, the band now appears to gravitate toward a refined sound rather than its usual brash style. The question remains whether FIDLAR will continue to hold on to its fan base during its transformation.

In this grand finale, hosts Sydney Hsu and Sara Winick say their goodbyes and give updated lists of their current favorite shows. Listen along and compare the new lists to those from the very first episode! 

To all the loyal listeners, it has been a great run, but all good things must come to an end. However, just like some of your favorite TV shows, a second season is never truly out of the question.

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