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CBGB Festival: Fidlar Revives the Punk Spirit at Studio at Webster Hall [7/5/12]
Supporting act The Pinz were an Alt-Punk trio with a well calibrated blend of punk elements, from Greenday-esque power chord riffs to Blink-182 inspired vocal harmonies. Guitarist/vocalist Walter Clough, when he wasn’t attempting to climb something, has just enough self-aware rock guitarist bravado to shake things up beyond his groups tightly constructed arrangements, taking swaggering solos and prodding the crowd to move. The band acknowledged the late CBGB, and despite bearing more similarities to late 1990s alt-pop than classic OMFUG punk, displayed some major influences from Hilly Kristal’s legendary club. The Pinz payed homage to the spirit of CBGB by playing a rousing “Blitzkrieg Bop” as well as The Who’s “My Generation,” which they may or may not have heard through Green Day in the first.
Hitting the stage with whiskey shots in hand, Fidlar (which is an acronym for Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk) moshed around until the audience started doing it as well. Lead singer/guitarist Zac Carper’s growls echoed through the room as he sang with tenacity and fervor, the crowd matching his energy with furious moshing. The band played tracks off their Don’t Try and DIYDUI EPs, including “No Waves,” which Carper dedicated to Justin Bieber, whose phone number he claimed was written on his guitar amp. Carper gave a shout out to Brooklyn (specifically the Crown Heights enclave, which he thanked profusely for its especially luscious greens) and introduced a song called “Bushwick Kids.” They thundered through “Wake Bake Skate” and wound down a whirlwind set by covering Blink 182’s seminal 1990s pop-punk anthem “Dammit.”
Fidlar’s lo-fi surf vibes perfectly meshed with the CBGB image that this weekend’s events are trying to cultivate: the “we don’t care” DIY-or-die attitude that’s made them a rising favorite as a party band. As future plans for the revival of the punk mainstay develop, expect to see more bands like Fidlar (and other music for uplifting gormandizers) dominating whatever will become of the soon to be revitalized East Village music hall.