“If you see any sexual harassment, I want you to know that you have the backing of FIDLAR to punch them in the fucking face,” FIDLAR’s Zac Carper tells his cheering New York City fans. And for a crowd that consisted of a good chunk of women, it was nice to know that FIDLAR had our backs. But the entire night was a display of unity — from the female-dominated openers all the way to the last song of the night. Made up of vocalist Zac Carper, bassist Brandon Schwartzel, guitarist Elvis Kuehn and drummer Max Kuehn, Los Angeles’s FIDLAR delivered a powerful set to a rowdy, packed house at Terminal 5 on Sept. 15. With support from Dilly Dally and NOBRO, FIDLAR gave their fans a reason to smile for weeks to come.
Montréal’s fierce punk band NOBRO started the night off strong with their mosh-inducing sound. It was breath of fresh air to see an all-female band tear up the stage instead of the same pattern of all-male groups and tours. And with the audience warmed up from NOBRO’s set, Toronto’s Dilly Dally mesmerized the crowd with their heavy, almost mysterious riffs. Looming over us all, the band’s songs commanded our attentions — maybe even our souls.
This one-two punch of NOBRO and Dilly Dally presented the best line-up of openers that I’ve seen in a while. Waiting for FIDLAR seemed less like a tedious chore and more like a treat. But the real treat was finally getting to see FIDLAR perform live after years of missing out.
And they didn’t disappoint.
Kicking their set off with one of their new singles, LA’s finest stormed through “Alcohol” and quickly followed with fan-favorite “No Waves” to the crowd’s delight. From that point on, there wasn’t a still body in the place.
With the party in full swing, FIDLAR hit us with “White on White,” “Stoked and Broke” and “40oz. On Repeat” to ignite us into a fit of singing, jumping and pushing — all out of pure love for the band, of course. FIDLAR has an uncanny ability to engage with the crowd without really having to say much. And everyone could feel like they were a part of something during the show — something bigger than just a random concert.
About halfway through the set, Carper took a few minutes for a little PSA to the crowd about sexual harassment. He and the band would have absolutely none of that at their show, he emphatically told the audience. Whether his words of support comforted any of the fans in the crowd, Carper speaking out about it was what every band — every person — should do.
But he didn’t just brush past that speech and charge right through to another song. Carper declared that there would be an “all girl mosh-pit” for the next song. Naturally, we all happily jumped into a pit free of tall, sweaty men. And FIDLAR gave us arguably the best song for moshing — “5 to 9.” The fast-paced, electric gem of a song made for a wild minute and eight seconds of music bliss.
In anticipation of their new album (release date unknown), FIDLAR teased us with a few new ones like “Are You High?” and politically-charged “Too Real.” And based on these and the other new songs they played, their new album should be a great one.
FIDLAR’s excellence in the studio honestly doesn’t compare to their excellence live. They seem to give their songs an extra punch of energy and power that makes for songs that sound even more incredible live. Songs like “Why Generation” gain a second life while performed in front of a crowd, as FIDLAR speeds up its repeated chorus.
To end the first set, FIDLAR finished with “Cheap Beer,” an ultimate fan-favorite, to send the crowd once again into a frenzy. Everyone knew that the band had at least one more song in them, so chants for another one immediately erupted in the pit.
FIDLAR definitely didn’t take their encore lightly. To the crowd’s excitement, Carper instructed us all to crouch down, as he joined us on the floor. Parting his sea of fans, Carper thanked us all for the night and led us into a massive, synchronized explosion of jumping and singing for the classic “Cocaine” off their self-titled album FIDLAR. Carper partied with us in the crowd for majority of the song, generating a sense of togetherness that is sometimes missing at shows.
And it was the perfect way to end such a great celebration of music. With performances like the one they delivered at Terminal 5 and with a new album on the way, FIDLAR just seems to keep getting better and better.