Photos by Sally Townsend
This was a night for the punk lovers.
You can picture the crowd at a FIDLAR show even before stepping foot into the venue – overwhelmingly male with a skater and/or punk aesthetic, a fondness for beer and a passion for getting rowdy.
While it might be easy to cast a critical eye, particularly when you sit outside those margins, there is a real sense of community once you make your way into the crowd. People can be seen pulling up t-shirts to show off FIDLAR tattoos, and for the most part, everyone extends a respect towards their fellow gig-goers that should ideally be the norm in any human interaction.
So what is it about FIDLAR that is so appealing? The band possess a raggedy charm and are armed with a catalogue of ready-made anthems that seem to incite an almost carnal reaction within their fans. Tonight we’re all united by a love of songs that chronicle despair, destruction and drug abuse.
FIDLAR shows are an intense time if you’re in the thick of the crowd. So raucous are the band’s shows that singer Zac Carper announces a team of videographers are filming as part of a Netflix program on mosh pits. “I think it’ll be funny if you guys don’t do anything,” he jokes before the audience form a huge circle pit for ‘Drone’.
The biggest moment of the night comes when seemingly everyone in the room sings along to the chorus of ‘4oz. On Repeat’. Everyone has a favourite FIDLAR song they want to hear, but it’s clear Carper isn’t impressed by people yelling out requests, taking a moment to be straight with the crowd when he says, “We’re not Spotify you can’t just yell out songs”.
While the band are prepared to put their crowd in line, it’s clear that they also have a deep appreciation for our country, along with supporting band Pist Idiots. “Australia is the best,” remarks Carper. “I don’t know how the fuck you guys do it, I think it’s the amount of alcohol you drink.” It’s hardly surprising when everyone then erupts in a roar as the band launch into old favourite ‘Cheap Beer’.
Coming to the country off the back of their third album Almost Free it’s evident the album has come to be loved just as much as their first two records. Particular standouts in the set include newer tracks ‘Alcohol’ and ‘By Myself’, with the live rendition of the latter an energetic reimagining.
The band are all for the crowd to get as wild as possible, encouraging a wall of death and the crowd to get down on the floor and jump up for ‘Cocaine’. By the end of the set though, the crowd seems spent, with the reaction to one of their more well-loved tracks ‘Wake Bake Skate’ subdued in comparison to the start of the evening.
Beyond just a band that sing songs about getting high, FIDLAR are born entertainers who clearly mean a lot to their fans. The experience they provide may not be intended to be more than a rock show, but what they do represent is the opportunity to leave your problems at the door and sing ridiculous songs at the top of your lungs. It might not sound like much, but in a room full of people, it’s a special thing.
Highlight: Screaming “Oh my god I’m becoming my dad” during ‘Bad Habits’.
Lowlight: The combination of beer and BO permeating the air.
Crowd favourite: ‘4oz. On Repeat’.