SWMRS make a splash in St. Louis

Originally Posted on The University News via UWIRE

On Tuesday, April 24, indie rock band SWMRS played a show at St. Louis concert venue The Ready Room.

The band of childhood friends from Oakland, CA, delighted fans with a show that sped along at breakneck speed. Almost the band’s entire catalogue was on the setlist, and the quintet rocked through the songs one by one, barely taking a breath in between. This seemed to be completely fine with the fans in attendance, who responded to each song with just as much enthusiasm as the next.

The Ready Room is a small, intimate space, requiring bands to really connect with the patrons in the audience. SWMRS, of course, is no stranger to St. Louis’s small clubs. In fact, the band mentioned that the Ready Room was a size upgrade from the last show they played in St. Louis, when the group played at rock club Fubar. The group were experts at engaging the crowd. The band has two lead singers, brothers Max and Cole Becker. Cole was obviously the energy of the band, often jumping down from stage into the crowd and encouraging them to sing along. His energy was contagious as he danced across the stage, almost in a trance, seemingly propelled involuntarily by his band’s music.

The group includes the Becker brothers, drummer Joey Armstrong and bassist Seb Mueller, along with Armstrong’s brother Jakob, who joins as a touring musician. All fives’ skilled musicianship was on full display during the set, and the songs were played fast and tight, without a single note out of place. The five were in musical harmony, creating a wall of sound that perfectly filled the space at the ready room. The band’s music, which is a unique mix of punk and indie rock with pop sensibilities, played even better during their live show than on their recorded albums. SWMRS’s music is clearly meant to be played live, and their catalogue creates the perfect balance between quick punk-rock musical interludes designed for moshing and dancing (check out “Lose, Lose, Lose,” “Berkley’s On Fire,” or “Hellboy” for some examples) and sweet sing-along moments that had couples in the crowd wrapping their arms around one another and singing at the top of their lungs. Mid-tempo fan favorite tune “Lose It,” with its heartbreak theme and delightfully romantic lyrics “Tell me why’d you have to have such a damn good taste in music? Yeah if all my favorite songs make me think of you I’m gonna lose it,” drew the loudest crowd participation of the night.

Having only casually listened to SWMRS’s music before this show, I knew I would enjoy the show, but I was not prepared for just how impressed I would be by not only the incredible live show they put on, but by the band themselves. The group very rarely stopped the show to talk, but when they did, they made sure to profusely thank the crowd for coming, to mention that they wanted everyone to feel welcome and to use their platform to express positive support for members of the LGBTQIA+, African-American and Immigrant communities. Cole Becker told the crowd that we were all working together to make sure we made the world better and that by coming to a SWMRS show, we had all joined a community and that everyone belonged. The show had a beautiful tone of positivity, love and support.

SWMRS played a rock show with no gimmicks. The music and the message were the prevalent focus of the night. It was evident that the band members were enjoying themselves, and their infectious music made it impossible not to get involved and dance along. The genius of SWMRS, which became evident throughout the night, was that their music appeals to a multitude of generations and fans of all music genres. The group has obvious punk influences, and it is easy to hear the echoes of bands like the Ramones or Green Day in their music. But it is also just as clear that SWMRS uses pop/dance mechanisms and song-writing and that the music is uplifting and engaging. Overall, SWMRS is a must see, and maybe next year, they will play an even bigger show, continuing their upward climb through the music clubs of St. Louis.

Read more here: https://unewsonline.com/2019/05/02/swmrs-make-a-splash-in-st-louis/
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