Review: FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nice Guys @ The Sinclair

Bands: FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nice Guys
Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Venue: The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)

Nice Guys – OMG!!! IT’S NICE GUYS!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!
That’s right kids, it’s Nice Guys! And if you feel my exclamation points are extraneous and exaggerated then you obviously haven’t seen the band at the Sinclair among hundreds of screaming sixteen year olds. As soon as the Allston foursome hit the stage the crowd begins to cheer. Jake quickly quips “thanks for clapping for us even though we haven’t done anything yet.” And with that little jab, they launch into their demonic set on the gigantic Sinclair stage. It’s funny how I’m used to seeing these guys play on small stages or no stages or even better in dusty basements and other DIY spaces, so seeing these gentlemen on the Sinclair stage is a trip. The sound is terrific; the Nice Guys’ sound at the Sinclair is so large it could break down the walls of Jericho, which from what I hear are very hard to break down.

I’ve seen Nice Guys about ten times now and in some ways I know what to expect, but with the exception of a few other people in attendance, most of the crowd are newbies. But, the newbies eat it up, moshing and thrashing about and even high fiving the dudes at the end of their set, much to the pleasant surprise of the band members themselves. This has to be the best crowd response I’ve ever seen for a local, opening band or even most opening bands. I saw Jacuzzi Boys and King Tuff here earlier in October opening for Wavves and the crowd didn’t go this bonkers to those guys as they do to the Nice Guys.

Personally, I get a massive kick out of simply watching the young, all ages crowd react to the Nice Guys’ performance. It’s the little things that make the difference. Like seeing little bracefaced girls giggle when Jake announces that the next song is “Pizza Bong” or their perplexed faces when Alex rampantly swings his guitar around like one of those dudes that’s just been infected by the zombies in zombie flicks, like he’s trying to fight it off even though he knows he’s a goner. Game’s over man. I love that feisty energy! Ha yeah so, then there’s my favorite when Matt unleashes some nasty feedback and distortion from his guitar and the kids’ eyes just light up. Woahhhhh. I remember seeing Thurston Moore scrape and mutilate his guitar in similar fashion and being blown away, I know the feeling kids.

Besides impressing kids with their usual set of shenanigans, the crowd genuinely devours the Nice Guys’ fast, aggressive punk sound. A sound that could be or more importantly SHOULD be the soundtrack to kids getting drunk as fuck and stoned as fuck for the very first time. Nice Guys oughta play some sweet sixteen birthday parties…. when their parents aren’t home.

P.S. Cam rocks. I haven’t mentioned his name until now. How could I forget? It’s like my dad used to say “you would forget your dick if it wasn’t attached to you!” Cam slays on drums and eats souls. Keep soul eating brotha.

Set List:
“Herb Chambers”
“Pizza Bong”
“Drunk As Fuck Stoned As Fuck”
“HD Snobs”
“An Unholy Sacrifice”
“Cop Walk”
“Box Fort”
“Medical Envy”
“Finale Dead”

The Orwells – Our Chicago boys The Orwells, so happy to see these fellas again for the third time in twenty thirteen! This show, however, tops them all. Last time at Brighton Music Hall, the crowd was sparse and still filling up for the headliner Palma Violets. The headliner tonight is FIDLAR, and they bring forth a little bit extra junk in the trunk, so pairing The Orwells with a harder edged bunch of ruffians like FIDLAR pays off. The crowd of youngsters don’t spare a second of The Orwells’ set with moshing and stage diving galore. All of that pent up aggression fresh off  your first Nice Guys show, I feel ya kids.

The Orwells feed off the crowd’s energy and they emerge as a true rock ‘n’ roll outfit of epic proportions. In particular, Mario is a beast. He knows how to work a crowd. All he has to do is give one of the girls his signature zoned out, wide eyed, evil glare and they are instantly blushing.

In terms of the set-list, damn, it’s all the songs you would want to hear the band play and then some. “Who Needs You?” “Other Voices,” “Halloween All Year,” “In My Bed,” (which can be seen below), “Mallrats (La La La),” and my favorite “Blood Bubbles” – I really miss the singing black ladies though. See the song’s music video, if you don’t follow. Covers of classic tunes in the rock canon such as “Build Me Up Buttercup” (The Foundations) and “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (The Stooges) round out one of the best performances I’ve seen all year.

FIDLAR – I just started listening to FIDLAR recently, so I am not overly familiar with the band’s material. BUT, upon hearing the band for the very first time I felt an instant wavelength with these Californians. Enter the first track off of their self – titled LP and this set’s opener, “Cheap Beer.” “Twenty – three years I’ve been drinking cheap beer,” while I didn’t crack open a PBR as I rolled out of my mom’s womb, I can identify with being a 23 year old cheap beer drinker and being proud of it. And as soon as FIDLAR rolls out “Cheap Beer,” I proudly gulp what is left of my PBR and scream along to the anthemic chorus “I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU! I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU! I DRINK CHEAP BEER, SO WHAT? FUCK YOU!”

Like I said, I don’t know most of their songs, but they are all pretty much easy to get in to. The only other song I recognize is a solid cover of Descendents’ “Suburban Home.”

FIDLAR has a fun, teenage crowd that goes even wilder during their set than The Orwells. Every other second, there’s a new set of legs crashing into my head after leaping from the stage. I love the excitement, because stiff crowds suck, but it can also be obnoxious at times too. For example, stage diving during slow songs or even in between songs, which is actually pretty funny to see because the crowd isn’t ready to catch the person; hopefully they don’t get too fucked up though.

Additionally, some of the audience members are simply too knuckleheaded at times. Like one dude keeps yelling at the band to play “Cocaine,”(which they do). Lead singer/guitarist, Zac Carper informs the young man “Dude, cocaine is bad for you. I mean it’s good… but it’s bad for you.” Ahh well, these are minor flaws and it’s okay, I can be a knucklehead too, and hey it’s better to see a rowdy crowd than a well behaved crowd. Plus, FIDLAR’s music tends to be of the shameless, beer guzzlin’ variety anyway. Cheers.

Video by Juan Daniel Torres

Video by Dalton Patton

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