Delta Spirit and FIDLAR Get Rowdy at the Fillmore, 11/9/12

FIDLAR at the Fillmore last night. Photos by the author.
Delta Spirit and FIDLAR
Friday, November 9, 2012
The Fillmore

Better than:
Anything happening in the cold outside last night.

"Last time we were here we played at Bottom of the Hill," FIDLAR's Zac Carper told a less-than-enthused crowd at The Fillmore last night. "This place fucking sucks!" It was quite an interesting way to introduce the up-and-coming skate-punk band from Los Angeles to a crowd where many people seemed to be pushing 40. If you were wondering, FIDLAR is an acronym for "Fuck It Dog Life's A Risk," and these guys are playing shows across the U.S. opening up for fellow Los Angeles rockers Delta Spirit

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The Fillmore runs a tight ship, and FIDLAR started playing at 9 p.m. on the dot. The band opened up with "Cheap Beer," and neither the crowd nor the venue seemed to be prepared for the onslaught of fast, brash, and raw punk riffs. Opening up a show with a crowd that doesn't know who the hell you are is never easy, but FIDLAR made the best of the situation by playing a ripping set of all its best jams, including "Cocaine," "The Punks Are Finally Taking Acid", and "Max Can't Surf," as well as a few new ones off their upcoming self-titled debut album. 

The nervous crowd finally loosened up a bit during FIDLAR's set, after all the kids who paid to see them attempted to create a drunken mosh pit in the center of the mostly disgruntled crowd. The band could only play a half-hour set, much to the dismay of the very excited kids jumping around and spilling people's drinks. Carper took matters into his own hands during the band's last song, "Wake Bake Skate," and jumped off the stage with the microphone into the eager hands of the crowd to scream the final few lines.

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The members of FIDLAR packed up quickly and drove off to catch their friends' band, S.F. locals Pangea, who were playing last night at the Rickshaw Stop. Some of the rowdier and amped up kids in the crowd couldn't believe their set was over just as quickly and abruptly as it had started.
The crowd soon surged towards the front of the stage, and tripled in size (and average age) in anticipation for the main act, Delta Spirit.

While the members of FIDLAR definitely seemed aware of the fact that they were just an opening act in the minds of most of the crowd -- and they surely made the best of it -- Delta Spirit played like a headliner. The band commanded the attention of the entire venue with its members' strong and confident stage presence. There were more than a few girls up front screaming with outstretched hands, hoping to catch one of the musicians' eyes.

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Opening up with the song "Tear It Up," off its new self-titled album, the band had the entire crowd swaying, dancing, and swinging along right from the start. Unlike FIDLAR, Delta Spirit was in no rush last night, and played an epic 90-minute set of songs from all three of its albums, including older, slower and more folk-influenced numbers as well as newer, louder, and more polished tunes such as "Money Saves" and "Empty House." 

"What the fuck is happening in this room?!" lead singer Matthew Vasquez screamed out to the adoring crowd at point. For a couple slower songs like, "Bushwick Blues" and "St. Francis," Vasquez played guitar and harmonica simultaneously in Dylan-esque fashion.

The band played an excellent encore consisting of some obvious crowd favorites, including "Trashcan" and "California." By this time the older crowd was really feeling it (or maybe it was the copious amounts of beer and wine that seemed to be in endless supply). And there was some very interesting drunken dancing happening in the outer wings of the concert hall.


Critic's Notebook 
Personal Bias: I saw FIDLAR play at Bottom of the Hill, and I like cheap beer ("So what? Fuck You!" - FIDLAR).
Random detail: A guy came up to me inquiring about my camera and note-taking by slurring, "Is that like journalism or something?" He also offered me a sip of beer and I scared the crap out of him afterwards when I leaned over and told him I was only 19. (I quickly told him I was joking when I saw his wide-eyed shocked face).



Location Info



The Fillmore

1805 Geary, San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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