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Concert Reviews, Music

Concert Review: FIDLAR, The Orwells @ Hard Luck Bar

By: Duncan Boyd

Last night, Los Angeles punks FIDLAR played to a sold out, all ages crowd at Toronto’s Hard Luck Bar.

Upon entering the venue, the age demographics were easily identifiable. Moving from the front of the stage to the back of the venue, the audience members seemed to grow progressively older. Usually, minors probably don’t get the chance to see a band that sings about drugs and alcohol in three quarters of their songs, so the atmosphere near the stage was a particularly excited one. Many of the more aged members of the crowd seemed content to allow the younger ones to have their moment.

FIDLAR’s tour-mates, The Orwells warmed up the crowd with an energetic performance. They closed their set with an appropriately raucous cover of The Stooges’ classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog” that had everybody singing along. The band reiterated several times that Canada was way cooler than the United States, except for the fact that we don’t have a black queen. In any case, they were happy to be in Toronto.

An apparently impromptu introduction from one of the crowd members, who successfully brought the band out after calling them “cunts”, began the show just as FIDLAR opened with “Cheap Beer” and of course, shoving and chaos ensued immediately, which is pretty much the usual at their shows.

Apparently FIDLAR had had a pretty bad day after their tour manager got denied at the border. Before closing the set, they thanked the Toronto crowd for “making our shitty day a lot better.”

The energy rarely dropped as they moved through favorites from their self-titled debut album, which Dine Alone Records released in Canada back in January, including “No Waves”, “Blackout Stout”, and “Whore”. There was also a security guard on stage who seemed to be having just as much fun as the audience. Apparently his main duties were to guard the band and their gear, make sure crowd surfers didn’t hang from the pipes in the ceiling (which they did numeroustimes) and, if anyone fell down, he would happily let the audience know that they were alright with the universal sign for “it’s all good” – two thumbs up. That security guard rightfully got his own applause at the end of the show.

As for FIDLAR’s performance, everything went exactly as it should. They invited The Orwells back on stage to end the set with a very sloppy version of “Wake Bake Skate”, although it was probably an improvement on their last performance in Toronto when they invited the crowd up on stage for the set closer and everything just got unplugged within fifteen seconds. The set was certainly not the tightest, but that obviously didn’t matter to the band or to anyone else. A band who’s name is an acronym for “fuck it dog, life’s a risk” certainly aren’t terribly concerned with perfectionism and, fittingly, neither did the fans. Everyone was there to have a good time, and a good time was undeniably had.

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