?Photo by DYLAN LONG
I walked into The Fire on 4th & Girard through the narrow all-ages entrance, and upon stepping into the room I found myself immediately at the front of the stage, squeezed between a wall and two girls, legs pressed up against the roughly thigh-high stage. I looked around at the sizeable crowd that filled the room up, and accepted the spot I was standing in as my fate for the evening. A tight squeeze, but a sweet up-and-close view of the bands nevertheless. The Frights took the stage soon after the wrapping up of Lancaster locals, Spill. It was The Frights’ first ever time playing in the City of Brotherly Love, and for the sake of being candid, they kicked ass. From tunes off their new record You Are Going To Hate This, to covers of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica & “Sweater Song” by Weezer, the mostly-teenage crowd was undoubtedly eating it up (myself including.)
After The Frights spent ten or so minutes breaking down their shit and sharing some friendly exchanges with the crowd, SWMRS frontman Cole Becker slinked onto the stage from the very small backstage area to be greeted enthusiastically by various different teenage girls in the audience. Looking like an exact friggin’ carbon copy of Kurt Cobain, Cole’s green mop dangled in front of his face as he happily struck up conversation with the crowd.
The rest of SWMRS soon joined him onstage, and after a few more minutes of setup, Cole stepped up to the mic and uttered, “Alright, we’re gonna start,” with a timid smile. Although that was a fairly soft intro for a band who sports such an edgy aura, they kicked off with “Harry Dean” and stopped about 20 seconds in to tell the crowd to hype the fuck up. “Look, we didn’t travel here from California for the money, we’re getting paid $100 for this show. We came to see you guys have a good time. I want everyone jumping when this kicks in.” The crowd followed suit without a single hitch. The rest of the night consisted of that very tone SWMRS set for the night 30 seconds into their set, with kids screaming lyrics to anthems such as “Miley” and “D’You Have A Car?,” jumping up and down to every word. SWMRS showed that they truly here to make the best of every moment, which makes them pretty damn cool in my book. Although some of the songs may be a bit cheesy, these guys are most definitely doing it right, and will likely be returning to Philly in a few months at a much larger venue, with a lot more screaming teenage girls. — DYLAN LONG