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FIDLAR and Metz @ Union Transfer with Huth & McGuinness.

June 5, 2015

Fidlar-18Text and images by Evan Kaucher.

A tidal wave hit Union Transfer last weekend as the California based band FIDLAR (Fuck It Dog Life’s A Risk), slashed surf riffs into a sea of sweat-drenched fans.

Hitting nineteen cities on their Spring Break Tour, they cruised into Philly on the second to last stop with Metz, a noise rock band from Ontario.

Starting off the night was Philly locals Huth & McGuinness, which is Randy Huth & Sean McGuinness (members of Pissed Jeans) instrumental grunge side project. Combined with face melting guitar and grungy drums you could tell the duo were enjoying themselves as Sean ended the set flexing his muscles and taunting the crowd like a WWF wrestler.

Not knowing which band was next (they switched headliners on certain dates), it immediately became obvious when Zac Carper of FIDLAR came out looking like he just got done ripping lines at Huntington Beach.

Almost immediately they went into “Stoked and Broke,” a song with lyrics about skipping school, smoking weed and taking shitty pills. By the look of the crowd, it felt like everyone did all three.

As everyone got a grip back on reality, they went into the more mellow “Max Can’t Surf,” a song targeted at their drummer Max Kuehn’s horrible balancing skills. After ripping through “White on White,” a song with powerful guitar riffs and foot stomping drum rhythm, Zac took a second to dedicate the next song “No Waves.”

“This song is about rehab, and how much it sucks!” he announced.

The crowd exploded with copious amounts of energy as they belted out the lyrics, “I feel, feel like a cokehead.”

Zac then threw himself on the ground – which he did multiple times that night – and continued tearing through guitar riffs as the rest of the band played around him.

After getting his footing, the band went into “Cheap Beer.” A song about, well, cheap beer. This is one their more poplar songs with a very relatable chorus, “I DRINK CHEAP BEER SO WHAT FUCK YOU.” By the sound of it, everyone there shared the same love for PBR and Genesee.

Going through the set they also played two covers, one being “Undone-Sweater Song” by Weezer and the second being “Lodi” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Blazing through their self-titled album FIDLAR, they began throwing in some new ones off of their LP Too, which is set to release September 4th on the independent record label Mom + Pop.  Out of the five new songs they played, the one that really stuck out was “40oz on Repeat,” which has more of a pop vibe. Since the show, they’ve actually released a music video for the song. The concept was based around making fun of old school music videos from Missy Elliot to Korn (when MTV actually played Music Videos).

Closing the set, Zac told the crowd to sit down and promised them, “You’ll know when to get up.”

It’s like they were hypnotized when they began playing dark guitar riffs mixed with blues finger picking. Any real fan knew shit was about to get weird because it was the opening to the song “Cocaine.”

On edge like runners at the starting block, the crowd bursted into a wave of complete chaos almost instantly when the three frontmen started screaming into the microphone: “You take Sally and I’ll take Sue, there ain’t no difference between the two,” the opening lyrics that actually come from Jackson Browne song “Cocaine,” released in 1977.

With adrenaline flowing (and possibly some recreational drugs), the fans erupted in complete synch when the chorus dropped “Cocaine running round in my, cocaine running round in my, cocaine running round in my brain!”

Fists were flying and crowd surfers were getting pitted, as the swell of the crowd got larger and larger. Eventually as the song/set drew to an end, the crowd dispersed like an inflatable pool being ripped, leaving nothing but random shoes and pieces of sweat drenched Hawaiian shirts.

This song has definitely hit home with not only FIDLAR fans, but also fans of Nick Offerman, the comedian and actor from Parks and Recreation. In the video he basically gets fired, drinks about four 40oz Mickey’s and pisses on pretty much everything.

Ending the night was METZ, whose sound isn’t like FIDLAR but definitely fits well on the lineup. With the addition of more grunge and heavier chords, there was no lack of energy on their end as they tore through riff after riff melting faces left and right.

As the concert transformed into a hardcore scene, the grunge punks emerged from the shadows flaunting shirts that said, “Nuke the Cross.” A few 300 pound bald men wearing jean shorts and combat boots stomped the floor in complete rage.

Spewing heavy bass lines and raunchy guitar chords from their new single “Acetate,” the two frontmen, Alex Edkins (guitar) and Chris Slorach (bass), slashed their instruments as sweat flew from their faces into the crowd.

With the release of their second album METZ II in May, the band has continued to keep the noise rock vibe while producing a sound that’s a lot tighter and cleaner.

The band continued throwing themselves to the back of the stage as the fog thickened and rays of light illuminated Alex tearing through the neck of his guitar. Then slowly as the set drew to an end, the last remaining survivors sluggishly applauded with whatever life they had left.

In retrospect, it felt like a house party with two bands that basically have the message of quit you job and say “fuck off” to the “man.”

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