I’m on an airplane back home, 35,000 feet high and hurtling back towards Tennessee with my buzz fading away like the vapor trails but I have a vivid memory that remains... the beer-soaked, sore throat memory of FIDLAR. The skate punk quartet played at the Metro, a small venue in Wrigleyville close to the ballpark and even more conveniently, my apartment. The show was kind of early – doors at 7:30? I know I’m on the wrong side of 25 but surely that’s not the time you start going to concerts at 8? Come on, we’re not dead yet. Live a little. [Sidenote: I have an oddly deep-seeded hatred of early shows. There is no explanation or justification, it is just a simple fact.]
We mosey over around 8:00 or so, walk in, and get a spot near the back. The Metro isn’t huge by any stretch of the imagination so we were in a good spot to be in arms reach of a drink and have the bass sit in the pit of our chest. The second band (whose name escapes me, at the moment, and forever I guess since I won’t remember before I post this….thanks, gin!) was wrapping up, so we hit the bar, grabbed some beers, and settled in for FIDLAR. Full disclaimer: we were well and truly hammered for this concert. In my mind, it’s the only way to be for a punk show. Fuck standing around nodding along like some hipster, douchebag idiot to “I DRINK CHEAP BEER SO WHAT FUCK YOU” being screamed in your face. If you stand stone still at a show then fuck yourself. Get in the shit, get down and dirty or get out the way of the people enjoying themselves. Sorry not sorry if I knocked you over throwing my drunk, ragdoll body around.
FIDLAR comes out shortly, and they are great. I love this band. This was the third time I’ve seen them, but the first time in a closed venue, where the sound can really back you up against the wall. I saw them at RiotFest and Lolla, and those were good shows, but this environment is so much better. It was fucking ROWDY. And the crowd makes it. 100%. That’s why I love these shows. It doesn’t matter who you are, punk shows are just fun. That’s it. There were different kinds of people from every profession and walk of life there that you can imagine, and everyone was just fucking into it. That’s the absolute best, at least for me; an entire crowd singing and jamming along, able to recite every verse in spite of that BAC limiter on their memory and motor skills. FIDLAR thrives on this type of atmosphere. These dudes were destined for this.
They played almost (if not all) of both of their albums, the self-titled FIDLAR and 40oz on Repeat. I mean, the songs aren’t long, so…why not? They also played their cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”, which is fantastic. That song gets people hyped 10/10 times. So much energy. Try and tell me I’m wrong. The set continued, everyone raging harder and harder along with the band and getting more PBR showers. At the break between the set and the encore I dug in and got myself up into the real shit. Elbows out, head down, shame aside you count to three and push. Now, when the band came back out they asked the crowd to sit on the ground, as they played the build to the next song. Everyone promptly sat – I was propped up against someone, who, as we all got up, decided to move (rather abruptly) leaving my fat ass tumbling back to the floor, amongst the rampaging crowd. Fun stuff. Luckily, my friend grabbed me by my collar and hauled me up. Like Jon Snow in the crush at Winterfell I pushed up out of the crowd. In my eyes the blurry stage lights shined, I inhaled the humid air of recycled breath and smoke, I smiled, I screamed and I moshed some more. Punk will never die, especially with shot-in-the-arm acts like FIDLAR. So, if you get the chance go and see them. Do it. Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk. What’s the worst that could happen?
Do I have to mosh? It is not required but is encouraged.
Am I gonna want to smoke cigarettes and drink cheap beer all night afterwards? Abso-fucking-lutely.
Will I become a So-Cal skate rat? Probably not, but you’ll get why people do.
What’s the best way to have a 40oz? On repeat.