Fidlar and Superhumanoids

SXSW Black & White Iris Showcase

March 13, 2012

Better than: Playing bridge with your grandma.

Once everyone got over the homeless guys being used as hot spots and the half mile line for tacos made with Doritos shells, folks settled in for the music portion of SXSW. Weekly favorites Fidlar were on the scene, scheduled to play about a hundred and fifty shows by Sunday.

For this reason frontman Zac Carper was staying hydrated near the bar at the Parkside, before their performance at the Black & White Iris showcase. Bassist Brandon Schwartzel walked by, showing off his Fidlar tattoo on his shoulder; turns out Carper gave it to him, by hand, in the bathroom at the Echo, the day they got their record deal. True story.

Credit: Ben Westhoff

Credit: Ben Westhoff

Earlier on the bill were another much-liked L.A. group, Superhumanoids (above), who have been bubbling for a minute and may be on the verge of something; their manager Alex Black imparted that they've enlisted the services of producer Ariel Rechstaid, who's done many great projects, our favorite of which is Active Child's debut.

Their set last night was nice and easy, with a strong driving rhythm. They're not re-inventing the wheel, but groups who feature melody at the front of their mix are always appreciated.

Guards came on next, winning extra points for bringing their own smoke machine. And for going nuts onstage, though Fidlar, who followed, went even nutser. Within seconds of their opening chords the line between band and audience was breached. A drunk guy pulled himself up to the microphone, literally centimeters from Carper's face, and began ruffling his hair and then, after putting his hat on Carper's head, began calling him a “Harry Potter Ass Nigga” — directly into the mic.

Credit: Ben Westhoff

Credit: Ben Westhoff

Carper began jumping on top of the drum kit, and then smashed his way into the crowd, guitar and all, before recoiling into a crouch to play his instrument.

It seemed like the mayhem might die down for a moment…

Credit: Ben Westhoff

Credit: Ben Westhoff

…until it didn't. Glass was smashed, shaken beer bottles began spraying about, and the guy yelling into the mic was pushed violently into the mosh pit and almost started throwing punches. The wood floor was shaking fairly precariously. Then there was the guy who suddenly started crowdsurfing, a weird thing in a room with low ceilings. (He nearly smashed into a ceiling fan.)

“This is a song we wrote a long time ago,” Carper announced, before they covered CCR's “Lodi.” Their last song was their signature tune “Wake Bake Skate,” and everyone went predictably nuts. It's amazing how Fidlar can unleash such chaos, considering they're playing three shows a day. To their credit last night they were largely focused on making sure their performance didn't turn into a shit show (despite the flying bodies), and they succeeded.

The Crowd: “You guys are fucking old,” Carper said.

Critical Bias: Beer makes me less afraid of getting injured.

Random Notebook Dump: Schwartzel not only looks like Yelawolf but dresses just like him.

See also:

*Fidlar Are Drunk, Reckless and Proud of It

*Fidlar on Hangovers, House Parties, and How They Came Up With Their Name

LA Weekly