Photography: SWMRS, Beach Goons, Destroy Boys
Posted: by The Editor
SWMRS have been making waves in recent months with their extraordinary new album Berkeley’s on Fire (named after the protests that occurred when Milo Yiannopoulos was set to make an appearance on campus) and there’s no question why. This album hits the ground running with sounds that derive from Cake and Muse while pulling in energy from youth bodies to make an engaging experience for the listener and even more engaging experience in concert. SWMRS is currently touring around the U.S. to promote the new album and selling out almost every date with help from Beach Goons and Destroy Boys and if you don’t have tickets yet, you’re truly missing out on an experience that will reignite your love with going to shows.
After waiting outside the venue for an hour, my hands were frozen and stiff. I made my way to the front of the crowd not sure what to expect from the opening bands because I had never heard of them before but I knew the moment Destroy Boys came on stage, I was going to have a fun time. They immediately got everyone in the crowd warmed up (figuratively and literally) and ready for the night. Halfway through the set, the band asked that all men leave the pit and let the women have it to themselves for one song (which I can imagine must have been wonderful not having to worry about 6ft tall intoxicated men barging into you for even just one song. Even though their set was only 30 minutes, they managed to leave an impression that would last the entire night on the crowd.
After Destroy Boys, I was fired up and ready for the rest of the night and completely forgot about my icicle hands less than an hour ago. The only issue is, I didn’t know Beach Goons’ music either and was about to get my first impression of them, which they managed to completely entice me in their own unique way.
While they weren’t giving everyone the same vibe to mosh like Destroy Boys did, they managed to get everyone in the crowd singing along and crowd surfing (which I wish I still had the care free mindset for). They made it easy for first time listeners to be a part of the show by making a joke about how easy their song is to learn before telling the crowd what to sing back at them. To end their joke and jam filled set, they played La Bamba (which I truthfully thought was one last joke they had up their sleeve for us until they played it to completion and walked off stage) to get the entire crowd singing along together and excited for SWMRS set.
Right as the lights dimmed and SWMRS started their opening theme (Steve Got Robbed) started playing, we all took our remaining energy and put it into giving SWMRS the true Boston experience.
Within the first minute, there was crowd surfer after crowd surfer making their way to the barricade as they sang along to the songs from Berkeley’s on Fire (and while I shielded my camera from feet flinging toward my lens) and letting all their worries go for a few hours of pop rock rebellion.
Just before starting the title track of their new album, Cole paused to bring up the important matter of assault and unwanted touching that a lot of people face at shows but feel helpless to speak out against while it happens by saying “if any of you are being made uncomfortable by someone in the crowd, wave your hands back and forth and we’ll stop immediately and kick that f*cker out”. We all know that we should be aware of those around us and take action against anyone who violates someone else’s boundaries but I feel like a band making statement about it during their set helps someone feel more comfortable speaking up and getting them out of such an unfortunate situation.
Immediately after finishing his statement about speaking up against assault, Cole brought the crowds tempo back by shouting “alright let’s get this show going, we usually call this song “Berkeley’s on Fire” but tonight we’re calling it “Boston’s on Fire” and in a split second, the crowd brought it’s energy right back. The night continued on with other songs from their new album as well as pulling a few out from their old albums and the energy was consistent no matter what song they treated us with. Whether you’re a new fan, old fan, or just a casual listener of SWMRS, you should pick up a ticket to their show on this tour and immerse yourself in one of the best live shows you might ever see.
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