Concert Review: FIDLAR fans left ‘Stoked & Broke’

Karla Rendon
Editor in Chief

Fans were in for a rough time as the mosh pits became overwhelmingly intense for FIDLAR’s show Saturday at the Observatory in Santa Ana.

The California skate punk band held a two-day residency at the Observatory with punk band SWMRS, garage-surf group the Frights and punk band No Parents, giving aggressive showgoers the perfect opportunity to release stress by housing a safe area for music fanatics to form mosh pits.

Filled to nearly maximum capacity, fans were packed together tighter than a can of sardines. However, this did not interrupt the energy from the eager audience as a fierce mosh pit was formed in the center of the venue.

Attendants took advantage of the Observatory’s multi-levelled space as some made their way to the pit by jumping off a short balcony and crowd surfing their way to the pit rather than pushing their way through as one usually would.

Although the band introduced themselves to the music scene as free-spirited, fun-loving partygoers who enjoy being under the influence with their self-titled debut album,

FIDLAR mainly performed songs off their most recent album, 2015’s “Too.”

Despite “Too” exploring heavy topics such as front man Zac Carper confronting his alcohol and substance abuse, the ongoing fear of not succeeding and the strange road to sobriety, the daunting issues are masked by upbeat guitar riffs and Carper’s charisma in his vocals, making for a fun performance live.

Even while performing their 2015 song “Sober,” which had concerning lyrics such as, “I figured out as I got older that life just sucks when you get sober,” Carper’s charismatic stage presence overshadowed the sensitive topic of sobriety as fans sang each lyric, seemingly blind to the heavy association the song has to Carper’s personal life.

As the band moved on to their more light-hearted song, “West Coast,” the audience’s spirit rose as drummer Max Kuehn pounded his hi-hat, guitarist Elvis Kuehn shredded each chord and bassist Brandon Schwartzel enveloped the venue with his overpowering bass.

In between the stage diving and jumping to the bass that was loud enough to fill your chest, fans harmonized and sang the “ahhh’s” in between the verses, which supported the song’s cheerful tone.

“You guys wanna get weird?” Carper asked the audience as a familiar, slow guitar riff excited the crowd.

While playing the loved introduction to their 2013 song “Cocaine,” Carper commanded everyone to sit down, to which fans obliged.

A dramatic difference to the high energy that was instilled just moments before, fans sat and waited for their queue to stand again. Their queue came as soon as Carper screamed the first lyric, “You take Sally and I’ll take Sue,” and fans immediately resumed with their high-energy moshing and crowd surfing.

FIDLAR concluded their set with their 2015 tune “Punks.” Quick to exit the stage, the band left fans wanting more. The effort fans put into pleading for an encore was answered with Elvis Kuehn returning to the stage soon after, followed by the rest of the group.

Thankful for the support given to them as a band for several years, Carper expressed his gratitude to FIDLAR’s fans and encouraged them to start a band if they wished to do so, saying success was achievable and doable.

“I really want to thank everyone that was a part of this, who let us crash on their floor and let us eat all their food,” Carper said. “And this is something you guys can all do. so you guys, go home and do this.”

“Stoked and Broke” was their encore song of choice. As the night came to a conclusion, FIDLAR decided to end the show by inviting SWMRS, The Frights, No Parents and the rest of “the FIDLAR family” on stage to perform their final song of the night, “Wake, Bake, Skate.”

With FIDLAR ending the concert with an appropriately upbeat song, fans showed their gratitude to the band by moshing, stagediving and crowd-surfing more than the entire performance.

Karla Rendon can be reached at

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