By Nicholas Stalford
In the Spring of 2013, Boston held its first bi-annual music festival, Boston Calling. Since then, Boston Calling has continued to grow in popularity due to its trendy lineup, which spans multiple genres, including rock, pop, punk, folk, and electronic. This year was no exception, with a variety of over 20 hot acts, such as Walk the Moon, alt-J, Alabama Shakes, Father John Misty, and Hozier, as well as a good dose of punk from FIDLAR.
On the third day of the festival, FIDLAR took to the stage, breathing new life into weary festivalgoers. FIDLAR is a punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, heavily influenced by Black Lips. Since the release of their self-titled first album in 2013, FIDLAR has pushed the punk genre back into the mainstream, along with other modern punk rockers such as Ty Segall, The Orwells, and Wavves.
Sticking to their DIY punk roots, FIDLAR went onstage to perform their own instrument and microphone checks as Bully neared the end of their set. Singer and guitarist Zac Carper grabbed his guitar and played along with Bully as he tuned it, finishing with a shout out to the band. Once Bully completed their set, FIDLAR walked back on stage and opened with material from their new album, Too, released in September.
Throughout their performance, FIDLAR proved themselves worthy of the Boston Calling stage, playing it like they would any other dive venue by working the crowd into a frenzy of moshing and crowd surfing. Carper took the time to banter a bit with the fans, recalling the year he was kicked out of Berklee College of Music—“Fuck you Berklee!” Bass player Brandon Schwartzel amused the crowd with hat tricks, tossing his tattered bucket hat around the stage, kicking it up and catching it, and shoving it into his mouth. He also gave one of the two giant mannequins on stage a shot at stardom by slinging his bass around its waist and playing from behind it. The Kuehn brothers, lead guitarist Elvis and drummer Max, were fairly reserved, which helped even out the rabid and raving performances of Carper and Schwartzel.
Toward the end of the set, Carper gave the mosh his approval and asked if they wanted to try something even crazier. He instructed everyone in the crowd to sit down before the next song began, feeling confident they would know when to stand. And he was right. As they burst into the chorus of “Cocaine,” the crowd leaped up in unison.
Overall, their show was highly entertaining, a definite must-see.
FIDLAR is currently continuing their tour of Too, heading southwest and eventually back home to Los Angeles for Halloween before flying to Europe.