After a night of drinking heavily while listening to songs about drinking heavily, two intrepid City Pages staffers woke up, assessed their physical state, and canceled their brunch plans, then got online to recap the gig instead.
This hungover, La Croix-fueled conversation is the result.
Emily Cassel: Okay, Hannah. In the cold, sober-ish light of morning, I’d like to open by discussing what we agreed last night is among the best lyrics of all time—better than anything the Beatles or Bob Dylan ever wrote—“Got drunk and barfed on my shadow.” Let’s talk about a few times we got drunk and barfed on our shadows.
Kidding! My actual question for you is this: As someone who doesn’t go to a ton of punk shows, what are some of your preliminary thoughts about gettin’ in that FIDLAR pit?
Hannah Sayle: Correct, I am not a frequenter of “pits." But I’ve made a lot of adult decisions in the last few weeks and I just wanted to go yell and splash beer all over everything, you know? I got that reckless euphoria of being in the middle of a crush of bodies. I spilled a lot of beer on the hair of the woman in front of me (sorry, friend!) and there was a guy behind me who knew—and screamed—every single word to every single song. That sort of thing could have been annoying, but it actually enhanced the show for me. Like we were all so fully invested in this experience, and that was cool. I also got punched in the eye socket and didn’t care!
As a veteran of punk shows, what were your impressions?
EC: I love being described as a punk vet. Makes me feel like Henry Rollins. It’s fun, right? Also, I have to say: One of the most polite pits I’ve ever been a part of. I think everyone was just there to have a good time and bounce around. I mean, our pal David dropped his phone and picked it up unscathed. It felt like everyone wanted to have a blast and get sweaty and holler along! No grossness, no groping.
Maybe that’s just the Midwest for ya, or FIDLAR’s L.A. slacker-punk-ness. A Bane gig this isn’t. But I wonder if it’s because they tried to make it a comfortable room for women, which not all punk bands bother to do. There was that gals-only pit during “5 to 9”… “Get the dick off the dance floor,” I believe was Zac’s request.
HS: Yes! I mean, having NOBRO (all women) and Dilly Dally (woman-fronted) as opening acts also helped set the tone. It's refreshing because it snatches back that sort of recklessness that is so often the province of young dudes and says, "Yes, women also want to get drunk and thrash around and not be groped because they had the audacity to let their guard down and fall into this music they love." In the words of our friend, other Emily, "There were zero gropes!"
Though there was that incident in the bathroom… It wasn't groping, but two women asked me to look outside the door to see if this guy was still there because he "wouldn't leave them alone."
EC: Yeah, that was really unfortunate. Because it just sums up something you touched on that’s really important, that idea of like, it can be hard for women to feel safe getting super fucked up! Which sucks, because getting belligerent can be really fun! But being a little dangerous actually is a little dangerous, because someone might hurt us.
Though, to quote the acronym of a certain headliner: Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk. Sometimes ya just gotta get PBR wasted on a Friday, and if there’s any band that warrants it…
HS: It's our dear friends FIDLAR.
EC: It’s what they would want. We took this to a very serious place! I blame the hangover. But I had no problem whatsoever acting like an absolute goof last night—that band is pure joy. It's like a bunch of beer cans came to life and picked up instruments. They could write 15 more songs about drinking and making questionable choices and I'd love them all.
HS: 100 percent agree. As someone in their 30s it's ridiculous how much I love screaming along to "Skip school, I'm already failing / Told mom and dad that I'm bailing." Like, I've only just now worked up the courage to skip school and say, "Fuck you, mom!!" (Just kidding, I love you, mom.)
Moms are great! Moms also deserve to mosh if they want to.
EC: And you know what I just learned? Zac, their frontman, is also in his 30s. So I’m into this idea of “We can be a party band, you don’t have to age out of having fun.” FIDLAR would support your late-in-life teen-angst phase, I think. This is a group that just put out a song where the entire chorus is basically: “Alcohol!!!”
HS: Brilliant. Also, as far as I know, Zac has given up hard drugs, so if he can be (sort of) on the wagon while fronting a party band, then I can scream about how boring growing up is and how "I'd rather die" than get a 9 to 5 while still, you know, paying my mortgage.
EC: If there’s one thing we can all take away from last night it’s this: Fuck up a little, but not, like, too much. Fuck up responsibly. And go see FIDLAR whenever you can.
Also: Two outta three bands in last night's lineup stylize their name in all-caps, which is absolutely the way I'm opting to live life from here on out. Prepare to see bylines by EMILY CASSEL.
HS: And HANNAH SAYLE. This has been EMILY CASSEL and HANNAH SAYLE.
EC: Signing off!
Setlist (we’re 87 percent sure this is accurate)
White on White
Stoked and Broke
40oz. on Repeat
Leave Me Alone
5 to 9
Are You High?
Can’t You See
Wait For the Man
Random notebook dump: SEVEN DOLLARS for PBR? Really, First Ave? That was almost enough to ruin bellowing along to “Cheap Beer.”