When FIDLAR walked onto the stage at Fox Theater on Friday, the audience erupted in cheers, chanting the band’s name vivaciously.
The four band members in their casual streetwear — bassist Brandon Schwartzel donning a white bucket hat and overalls — and the ornate theater, decked out with red curtains and elaborate, golden decor, formed an odd contrast at first. The stage looked more suited for a production of “Macbeth” than for a punk-rock concert, especially one put on by a group of skaters and surfers from Los Angeles
But when it comes to FIDLAR, don’t be fooled by its laid-back appearance. The band took command of the stage, with all its pomp and grandeur, from the moment it began to play.
Building off the energy of the openers, The Side Eyes and Dilly Dally, FIDLAR kicked off its show with a hard-hitting, raucous song called “Alcohol.” As lead singer Zac Carper asked, “Won’t somebody please just give me some alcohol?” the audience lit up, screaming along with the song’s chorus.
“It’s good to be back in California,” Carper announced at the end of the song, and judging by the audience’s cheers, California was certainly glad to have the group back. FIDLAR is well-known for its energetic concerts and wild crowds, and this show was no exception. Within almost 10 minutes of the set beginning, audience members were past the point of moshing and had begun crowd-surfing, tossing up shoes and jackets and throwing items onto the stage.
And as for Schwartzel’s bucket hat? Despite the bassist’s best efforts, it hardly lasted a minute before falling off because of his energetic movements.
FIDLAR went on to play other popular songs, such as “40oz. On Repeat,” “No Waves” and “Why Generation,” all featured in either the band’s premiere album, FIDLAR, or its second album, Too. In addition to these, Carper mentioned during the show that the group plans to release its third album in January.
Despite FIDLAR’s musical intensity, the band members were lighthearted and friendly when interacting with the crowd. A particularly spiteful song called “Leave Me Alone” — featuring lyrics such as “Too late to die young / And too young to burn out,” and “All right, I’m lazy / And f—— crazy” — ended with Schwartzel leaning into his mic and saying, “Thank you!” in a chirpy falsetto.
The band maintained this familiar relationship with the audience throughout the show. At one point, Carper interjected with a comment about how the drummer, Max Kuehn, was too far away, and had the audience start up a chant of “Max” in a show of support. In another entertaining moment, Carper asked the people closest to the stage to open up a space in the middle for a “girls-only mosh pit.” “It’s your moment,” Carper said to the women at the show.
The audience members responded in kind, throwing back as much energy as they were getting from the band. During the performance of the ever-popular “West Coast,” a light and catchy anthem for California punks, a few crowd-surfing audience members were thrown on the stage for a moment before eagerly jumping back into the chaos.
FIDLAR ended the show with as much liveliness as it began, rounding off its set with “Cocaine.” The loud and wild ode to doing the drug kept the audience dancing and singing until the very last note.
Ultimately, this Fox Theater performance proved that FIDLAR knows how to put on a good show — one that’s not only fun to listen to, but fun to participate in. Whether you’re jumping around in a mosh pit or watching Schwartzel try to keep track of his bucket hat, you’re always having a good time.