FIDLAR brought their sold out “Almost Free” Record Release show to The Echo this past Friday (1/25) with psychedelic cumbia act Tropa Magica. It was a special moment for the band as their debut record release was also at The Echo in 2012. It was full circle for a band whose sound and fan base has grown since.
Tropa Magica took the stage with an outstanding performance. Their punk attitude combined with the cumbia influence was a unique mix that I have never heard before. The deep bass lines and rhythmic drum patterns remind you of those countless Latino gatherings that people have grown up with. The rhythm guitar is quickly paced. Meanwhile, the lead guitar is wailing and at times get into a jam-like setting that is super pleasant to the ear. I am glad Tropa Magica were given a stage to perform at to a crowd that might have never heard cumbia before.
FIDLAR would then kick off the stage with “Alcohol”. A fantastic single off the new record and a great opener for them. Fan-favorites like “No Waves” and “West Coast” got the audience on a rage. The numerous stage dives only show how passionate and meaningful these songs are to people. Then there are songs like “Can’t You See” and “Punks” that have a jam feel with an improvisational structure that is just fascinating to watch live.
There were a few occurrences that showed that FIDLAR aren’t just great musicians but have an admirable ethos. The female only mosh pit during “5 to 9” is one that comes to mind. Also, half way through the set I look behind and I see someone climbing a wall to jump onto the crowd. The security is ready to kick him out. Right before getting kicked out, Elvis stops the song and tells security that he didn’t do anything wrong and that he should stay for the rest of the show. It is subtle moments like these that make a FIDLAR show memorable.
FIDLAR would end their performance with “Cheap Beer”. A song that works perfectly as either a starter or a finisher to a set list. This band continues to amaze me with each release by exploring new territory. I can only wonder what great ventures their album “Almost Free” will take them to.