While many Florida music lovers are used to the heartbreak of seeing a band announce a “North America” tour docket only to stop at Atlanta or veer west to Texas, California skate punk quartet FIDLAR decided to tour the entire Sunshine state from Tallahassee to Miami. With their recent musical releases such as the laid back “unplug” seeing the band re-releasing some of their biggest hits as slower jams. Newly independent from their label, the band definitely intends to return to the 305.
Bed Bug Guru
Opening the show are Gainesville based, UF alum Bed Bug Guru. A relatively new trio formed in early 2022, guitarist Jake Knoechel and bassist/vocalist Shane Malone recruited Cleburne Wilson on drums and since inception have been steadily releasing singles such as “Hazy” and “Tightrope.” It would be glib to describe the group as shoegaze with the walls of guitar and stoic vocals, as the group definitely features some post-rock influences like Cloud Nothings or Pity Sex. As a wash of technicolor color bars and Nam June Paik-esque VHS distortion projections played over the band, provided by Glitch Pit, the band definitely brought an aesthetically fresh show to the Gramps stage.
With a set adorned with cheap lawn flamingos, palm trees, EL wire and a floaty gator with the FIDLAR logo hung with care the band went as “floriduh” as possible on their Floridian run. Launching off their set with the raucous “Cheap Beer” from their debut self-titled LP, the energy in the audience was an absolute powder keg. Bevies of crowd surfers took to the waves especially on the higher energy tracks like “Sober” and “Cocaine” in between a raucous mosh pit directed at Zac Carper.
As someone on their way out of their twenties, I cannot underestimate how integral FIDLAR was to my late teens/early twenties. Songs like “40oz On Repeat” and “West Coast” have that snotty, rebellious energy for a generation raised on a diet of “American Idiot” and “Enema of the State” that still sound so fresh almost a decade later. Yes, the songs are immature and paint a picture of slacking off and spending a day getting stoned playing GTA V but like, what more do you need in a skate punk song?
Clearly ecstatic to be performing for the receptive Miami crowd, singer/guitarist Zac Carper recounted the events of the tour, calling out “ugh Gainesville!” on the mic, a dig at the hometown of Bed Bug Guru whose merch the FIDLAR folks were decked out in. The crowd at Gramps was eager and willing to give the quartet back the same verve. At one point, Carper asked for an audience request, opting to play their early track “Chinese Weed” instead of “Taste the Money.” Closing the show with “Cocaine,” Carper called for an all-woman mosh pit, directing the gals witnessing any men in the pit to “fuck ‘em up” as they launched into the track. FIDLAR were received so warmly by the Miami crowd on a rainy Wednesday night, I don’t think it will be long until the band returns to South Florida.
Stoked and Broke
Max Can’t Surf
Sand on the Beach
40oz. On Repeat
I Just Wanna Die
5 to 9
Wake Bake Skate