Minneapolis was greeted with the trifecta of pop-punk – FIDLAR, SWMRS and The Frights, Saturday, November 19 at the Varsity Theater for FIDLAR’s “Too Much” tour.
The night of the show, fellow GMN staff writer Sarah Bel and I store-hopped around Dinkytown chugging hot Starbucks drinks to keep warm before the doors opened. While waiting in line, we witnessed a girl scream “PARKOUR” and kick one of the band’s trailers and dealt with a guy behind us muttering about how he wished the show was 21+.
To avoid the mosh pit (sudden death), Sarah Bel, our managing editor Lizzie and I found a spot near the edge of the raised platforms the Varsity has on the sides of the floor. We ended up standing next to a 10-year-old SWMRS fan who was definitely much cooler than I will ever be.
The Frights, whose sound is equally as California dreamy as it grungy and punk, took the stage first, playing songs from their February release You Are Going to Hate This, like “Tungs”, “All I Need” and “Kids” (whose lyrics seemed to especially resonate with the millennial crowd: “now I hate my mom and dad / you told me you were sad / and we left our homes at last / now I miss my mom and dad”).
The San Diego based band also mixed in some songs from previous releases like “Cold” — during which the entire crowd may have almost caused the floor to cave in from jumping, and “Crust Bucket”. The group made sure to include a sing-along of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” and a short version of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.
Frontman Mikey Carnevale wasn’t shy with some major ex-girlfriend name dropping throughout their set and at one point mid-guitar solo just screamed, “I hope you’re doing well in San Diego with your new f**cking boyfriend, I hope it’s f**cking great.” Very punk. Very angsty.
SWMRS took the stage shortly after, playing songs from their latest Drive North. Some standouts from the set were “D’You Have A Car?” and “Uncool”, when frontman Cole Becker proceeded to check in on the crowd, letting the sold-out room know it was a safe place to be, despite current politics fearing otherwise. “Miley”, dedicated after Miley Cyrus, was a crowd favorite with the simple, perhaps admirably silly hookline “Miley you’re a punk rock queen.”
Both The Frights and SWMRS were fun and as cohesive as ever, maintaining a level of crowd interest that seemed to dispel any idea of hierarchy on the tour. I don’t think anyone was there just to see FIDLAR. It would be easy to list the bill as one giant hang-out instead of a head-bobbing wait for the headliner.
I caught a small part of FIDLAR’s set standing by the merch table until I started to feel sick and had to leave (I know, “FAKE FAN”, whatever).