By DJ Honeybear
Okay so I’ll be honest, I did not catch Cheetahs set because the season premiere of America’s Next Top Model (College Edition) happened to come on my television at 9:00. But when I eventually got off my couch and walked down my block to Johnny Brenda’s, I entered just as LA’s FIDLAR (FUCK IT DOG LIFE’S A RISK) was setting up. The first thing I noticed was the crowd, which was a polar opposite of the scene I saw at Burgermania II at Hotel Vegas when I saw FIDLAR last month. The room was filled with a noticeably 21+ audience that seemed like they were crashing from a long day of 9-5ing. FIDLAR seemed to notice too, and taunted everyone upstairs to “get downstairs and fucking mosh”. And then all of the sudden they start and I find myself staring at a middle age women rolling around in a pile of beer. Cool. That’s the thing about FIDLAR- even if you try hard to channel your inner Daria and roll your eyes at their overtly party attitude, suddenly you are dancing around like some sort of Quinn wannabe. Despite the fact that their stage banter is corny, rehearsed and excessive, one listen to their track “AWWWKWAARRRDDD” and you will be rooting for these guys all Wheatus “Teenage Dirtbag” style.
Next up, Wavves appears, glowing in the daze of JB’s signature psychedelic lighting setup. Nathan Williams looked happy to be playing in a city inhabited with enough dirt bags to appreciate his distinct brand of drug-induced moodiness. Playing lots of tracks from their recent release, “Afraid of Heights”, Wavves managed to keep the room heavily thrashing even on the first really hot day Philadelphia has seen in months. In fact, looking around at all the tie dye and nearly-naked stage divers, I almost felt like I had teleported to a Venice beach for a quick second. The night ended with the front men of both FIDLAR and Wavves stage diving backwards from the second floor balcony into a now soaking audience. And with the two groups covering The Descendents and Sonic Youth (respectively), I left JB’s feeling like I had lived out some 80s teenage skate punk’s fantasy. Touche 9-5 people of America, you can go a lot harder than I had previously anticipated.