Live: SWMRS in Washington DC

The Drive North tour is finally winding down after months of touring all over the country, but that doesn’t stop SWMRS from putting on an absolutely unbelievably energy-filled show. The Black Cat, located in Washington, D.C., was packed, if not completely sold out. The show was one of the last on SWMRS tour, with only seven dates left before the end of the year. The audience was a mixed bag – there were plenty of teenage girls with their friends, and even parents, but there were also a handful of college students and older men, dressed in leather with beers in hand. Cole Becker, the band’s leadman, opened the show with one of their more impassioned songs, Palm Trees. Becker was decked up in red eye-makeup and an all-black jumpsuit reminiscent of something an inmate would wear in jail. Giving off the all-too-familiar vibe of rock stars before him: drugged out and a tiny bit out of his mind, the show was off to a dynamic start. The band powered through their setlist, one banger after another. With an eclectic mix of songs – ranging from grunge, to garage rock, to indie rock – each song gave off a different vibe from the last. Though the songs obviously have different influences, there is truly only one word to describe SWMRS leadman – angry. He’s angry at America, at Trump, at capitalism and overall just mad at the world. It simply oozes out of him while he performs. During “Uncool,” a song about going against the mainstream, Becker stopped the music for a moment to preach to the audience about how important our generation can be. He speaks of government brainwash, being a free-thinking individual and making the world a better place, stating that is all starts today, at the Black Cat. From there, the band rips into the sound, power chords galore as Becker sings “I don’t wanna be your fool, I just wanna be uncool.” At the end of the show, during “Drive North,” he got on a pipe on the ceiling and dangled from it as he screamed “DRIVE NORTH, DRIVE NORTH, DROVE NORTH” to the audience. As the crowd rushed to where Becker was dangling, they chanted those same words back to him, with the same level of angsty passion. It was reminiscent of the punk-era, where musicians would tear up the venues they played, wrapped up in the energy and emotion of the concert. Truly, it was one of the rowdiest crowds I have ever been in – and I’ve been to my fair share of rock concerts. SWMRS never disappoints to get the crowd going, encouraging everyone to push each other around in a pent-up aggression and start mosh pits during every song. Without a doubt, it was a good, old-fashioned rock n’ roll show. -Alyssa Rotunno \"\"