Phoenix’s oddest conglomerate of fans entered The Van Buren on Sunday with a mission. FIDLAR hasn’t been through Arizona in quite some time and the excitement for their set- along with tourmates The Frights- had the audience ready to throw down on a school night.
The Frights meandered onstage with an announcement of exhaustion and illness but you’d never know it from the energy they brought to their set. The California surf punk group had fans hanging over the barricade, screaming all the words to “Afraid of the Dark” and “Kicking Cans”. Midway through the set, a local band caught the attention of The Frights and were brought onstage to perform- to the pleasant surprise of the band and the delight of the crowd at the unexpected moment. A medley of unhinged covers wrapped things up nicely as The Frights exited to massive cheers from a rowdy room.
With FIDLAR in the building, it’s already a known fact that things are going to get as weird as possible. The band did not disappoint, calling for a massive circle pit before one note of “Cheap Beer” had even been played. By the time the band hit “On Drugs” (which they are not, apparently), fans had started throwing an assortment of objects onstage with the sole purpose of making them laugh. The addition of an actual potato and even one fan’s wallet had the guys cackling through their songs.
FIDLAR’s skate punk vibes pushed the set along at a frenetic pace- one that was matched by the fans keeping the mosh pit alive. Crowd surfers launched themselves at the barricade during “I Just Wanna Die” and “Move On”, ensuring that security had their hands full all night.
Even fans on the fringes of the fray stayed involved, headbanging and singing along throughout the set. FIDLAR always brings the best energy to their live performances and by the time the band hit “Wake Bake Skate” for the encore, everyone in that room was already raring to go for the next time they visit Arizona.
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Story and photos by Olivia Khiel