By: Philip Moreno
When: April 4th
Where Magic Stick Detroit
Walking up the stairs at the Magic Stick last Thursday I was expecting the crowd to be young and ready to rage. They were, and the Magic Stick had opened up the big room for this show which adds large metal posts to the moshing and stage divers to avoid. After going up to the bar to grab our PBR’s (why not it is a punk show) we made our way into the crowd and waited for Cheatahs to take the stage.
Cheatahs, a new alt-punk band from London, did its best Nirvana impression. They were well polished and the sound was dialed in. Songs like “Corked” and “The Swan” show this bands potential to jump into the indy rock scene and take their place besides bands like Cloud Nothings and the headliners of the night Wavves. The crowd warmed up to the guys in Cheatahs and by the end of their half hour set were totally on the bands side.
Fuck It Dog, Lifes a Risk. Thats what the boys and the name of the Califorina punk group FIDLAR stand for. Opening up with the breakneck “Cheap Beer” and “Stoked and Broke” the stage diving started and never slowed down. Lead Singer/Guitar player Zac Carper is an infectious stage presence. He drew the crowd in with his singing, which was pretty damn good for a punk show, and had them eating out of the palm of his hand. Before the great song “No Waves” he called the song the anti-rehab song, and besides the handing out of shoes left on the stage by the swarms of stage divers this was the only banter. The boys of FIDLAR are going to be around for a while so you might as well get used to them. They will be back in the Detroit area again in June for the Orion Festival so if your going I would do everything to check out the men of FIDLAR, because their were one of the best new bands I have seen in a while.
Wavves are the kind of band that can define a genre. “Surfer Punk” is a term that gets thrown out a lot to bands that have a low-fi sound and a smidgen of punk sensibilities. Any band pigeon holed into the category is not usually not taken very seriously. Yet, with the release oh their new album “Afraid of Heights” you have to pay attention. Live, the band is powerful and focused. Songs like set opener “Idiot” and “Linus Spacehead” show the range of the guys. The highlight to me was their new single “Demon to Lean On”. It is Wavves at their most powerful, its slow and driving pulse lawls you into a bouncy happy space while the lyrics about demons, guns, and asking for Angles show how far the “surf punks” have come. Then with the set winding down but the energy level remaining sky high, we got one of the best covers I have heard in a long time. Sonic Youths “100%”, the guys in Wavves made me question on whether or not it was a cover because they took it and truly made it their own.
All and all this was a great show and a nice lead into the spring/summer concert season. All three bands showed what the hype was about and at the same time let us know they weren’t going anywhere for a very very long time.
Cheatahs-6.75 out of 10
FIDLAR-9 out of 10
Wavves-9 out of 10