Monday, March 7, 2016

show review: SWMRS at the middle east

yesterday was interesting. first of all, i can't recall ever going to an afternoon show that wasn't a music festival. second, i'm a little older the target demographic of oakland punk band SWMRS (who i wrote about a couple weeks ago), so i was amused but not surprised when i looked around at one point and realized i was the only one with a beer in hand. sigh. however, i immediately loved the band's recent release drive north -- produced by zac carper of FIDLAR, one of my favorite garage bands -- so i braved the tween scene to experience their live show.

locals burglary years opened, seeming slightly out-of-place with their moody temper trap-esque indie rock jams. the frenetic lead singer was wearing a smiths shirt with a picture of elvis, and i could totally hear the morrissey influence. it was a solid start to the afternoon, which i appreciated as bros and brats began to fill the room.

next up was gymshorts out of providence, RI. i was familiar with the name, as they're on one of my favorite labels, burger records, but had never listened to any of their stuff. as soon as lead singer sarah strolled out, sporting unkempt hair, a nose ring, and an oversized ren & stimpy t-shirt, i knew it was going to be good. not gonna lie, i developed a little bit of a girlcrush. their aggressive, bratty brand of rock 'n roll included chuckle-worthy lyrics like "ding-dong ditch, your mom's a bitch" and lots of songs about generally badass behavior (this was my favorite). before they left the stage, i noticed a sticker on the drums that said "kill your local alpha male." i love these kids!

then, san diego's the frights were on deck. they had great stage presence, and by all accounts, i should have loved their jangly vibes. "cold" had me grooving for sure, but i think the sudden mosh pit that formed around me towards the beginning of the set kind of took me out of the music a lil' bit. get off my lawn!

finally, SWMRS took the stage and launched right into a high-energy performance of their whole album ... that is, after lead singer cole gave an extended, adorable smirk to the crowd (he's 20, guys, it's fine).

cougar feelings aside -- between bassist seb mueller's insanely awesome leopard-print coat and cole's stage-diving antics, they were as fun to watch as they were to listen to.

joey armstrong, son of billie joe from green day, kept it all together with some insane drum skills, and i went as nuts as a 15 year-old schoolgirl when guitarist/vocalist max began singing my favorite tune, "Brb."

but the best moment? well, that was obviously their hilarious, delightful, singalong ode to miley cyrus (entitled "miley," obvs) in which miss cyrus is lauded as a punk rock queen. look it up, you'll love it. i captured some of it here, but unfortunately not the part where cole went, "and look at that, the clock just struck 4:20" in the middle of the song. on-brand, SWMRS, on-brand.

go check these kids out if they're in your 'hood, because i have a feeling they're going to be getting real big real soon. no, i refuse to go for the obvious pun about making a splash. ugh, couldn't help it, sorry. just listen to SWMRS, aiight?

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