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SWMRS, The Frights, Spill and Skyline The City @ The Fire.

March 9, 2016

SWMRS-3Text by Donte Kirby. Images by Magdalena Papaioannou.

It was California bands SWMRS and The Frights first time in Philadelphia, along with locals Spill and Skyline The City, that made sure it was a night everyone in attendance last Friday at The Fire will remember.

Skyline The City opened the night with their brand of romantic, angst-filled pop punk. The four piece played songs such as “Awkward Silence” from their EP Misery vs. Your Apathy and newer material like “Fingers Crossed.” Songs melded lovelorn lyrics like “You can’t save me, it’s so frustrating” with upbeat melodies. Contrasting elements were a signature of their sound as guttural backing vocals set against the lead singer’s nasally vocals.

Spill took the stage next and immediately built a rapport with the crowd calling them sweethearts and exuding a laid back, cheery vibe. The band was so comfortable with the crowd that brief asides about favorite holidays or how the bassist was playing at the wrong tempo last song was met with laughter and engagement from the crowd. All the bands of the night leaned heavily towards the punk spectrum, save Spill, that boasted a more indie sound. The screaming vocals and guitar breakdowns were reminiscent of Modest Mouse, possibly a new direction the band is going as they were testing out songs to record next week.

The Frights got on stage and went straight into their set. Despite the no-nonsense start, the four-piece was relaxed and jovial on stage. Often the San Diego natives would intro their songs from You’re Going to Hate This with banter with the crowd or amongst themselves. Their sound had a laid back surfer vibe that would tsunami into punk chaos. Add snarky lyrics like “Do you think I’m cute, well it’s too late to check” to the pot and the crowd was charmed before the end of their first verse.

As charmed as the crowd was with The Frights, SWMRS excited the crowd to the point that something black and laced was thrown on stage. The Oakland four-piece told the crowd they were only getting $100 so they weren’t there for the money, they were there to see them dance, and the front two rows filled with girls was happy to oblige.

The crowd sung along with every word and lit lighters for “Miley,” SWMRS ode to Miley Cyrus. When the night was through SWMRS left the crowd with two seemingly universal truths: “You’re all beautiful. The Liberty Bell is beautiful.”


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