Fidlar played an incredible, high-energy set at the Observatory North Park.

Opening the night was The Side Eyes, who more specifically opened their set with a blood-curdling scream that set the tone for the rest of the night. The vocalist’s scream-singing was set perfectly against driving bass and blaring riffs. A quick scan of the crowd confirmed that, while many seemed unfamiliar with the band, they were highly impressed and dancing to their hearts’ content, or appreciating the dancers around them. Fun, wild, loud, and just a little bit chaotic: frontwoman Astrid McDonald is a natural performer, and the whole band is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Up next was another stellar female-fronted rock band, Dilly Dally, though vocals skewed soft and witchy over the loud and wild sounds of McDonald. Front woman Katie Monks‘ vocals were at times whispering and haunting before swelling along to the psych rock rhythms.

There’s something very special about FIDLAR shows, and it partially has to do with the overwhelming energy of their fans, ranging from young teens to those well into the upper end of the millennial generation. While nearly the entire lower floor of the Observatory was turned into a giant pit, crowd surfers were simultaneously staying up for whole songs at a time. As surfers were gently guided to the front, they were sent back just before being in reach of the security team at the front. Security lifted and pulled fan after fan nearly the whole night.

The energy only grew as the night went on, with full beers being poured out or launched over the crowd, along with shoes and hats. As they played through beloved hits such as “40oz. On Repeat” and “West Coast”, multiple pits broke out, eventually forming into a giant ring in the center.

For fans who’ve been around for a bit, the band has taken a special vendetta against sexual harassment, which, while better in recent years, has still permeated much of the music scene, especially in male-heavy environments such as surf-punk. At one point, frontman Zac Carper delivered a familiar rallying speech, giving female audience members “full permission to punch [harassers] in the fucking face,” along with demanding an all-girl mosh pit for the next song.

FIDLAR also played through much older beloved tracks such as “Cheap Beer” and “Awkward.” To finish, they ended with their iconic “Cocaine” tradition, demanding the audience get down on the floor until the first major drop of the song. Knowledgeable fans along the center and back dropped at the opening chord before Carper called on the rest of the audience to follow along.

Photos by: Nicholas Regalado
Review by: Christine Heyne

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