It was the day of the first snow – gray concrete blanketed in white fluff, drips of ice hung off of forgotten air conditioners and the city was overtaken by puking Santas roaming the streets of Manhattan. I made a mad dash to Irving Plaza trying to avoid the tourists shopping at the holiday market in Union Square and pushing my way through groups of absurdly festive 20-somethings standing in my path. As I entered the venue, I calmed myself, because I was in my happy place and about to lose myself in waves of rock and roll.
That night, Irving Plaza was lucky enough to host the co-headlining tour of SWMRS and The Interrupters supported by The Regrettes and Mt. Eddy – California was in the house.
Jakob Armstrong’s newly renamed band, Mt. Eddy (formerly Jakob Danger), opened the show that night warming up the crowd. It seemed like Jakob wasn’t ready for the East Coast winter seeing that he came out on stage in a hoodie covering half of his face and a giant cozy beanie resting atop his head – though for some reason he was only wearing one shoe, maybe it’s a good luck thing. The quartet’s youthful pop-punk sound brought me back in time to when I was their age and jumping around to bands like them in tiny local venues.
When The Regrettes took the stage next, I was in instant amazement. Frontwoman Lydia Night looks like Eloise at the Plaza if she turned into a punk princess. As I watched Lydia and the rest of the Regrettes perform, it seemed to me that this group of teens, 10 years my junior, knew more about how to kick life in it’s ass than I did. They were fearless performers and worked the stage like old vets. They played the jams from their debut full length Feel Your Feelings Fool! and ended on a Regrettes version of Mariah Carey’s Christmas hit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Ska-punk band, The Interrupters burst on to the stage that night in suits, suspenders, and one pretty sweet fedora. The band is mainly a family affair with Kevin Bivona on guitar, Justin Bivona on bass and Jesse Bivona on drums as frontwoman Aimee Interrupter takes charge centerstage. It seemed like the people in the room who took the younger fans to the show were the ones that enjoyed the Interrupters the most but the band did manage to get everyone jumping.
“Our shoulders fit so well across this thing before and now I just feel them compacting smaller and smaller,” a girl pressed against the barricade said to her friend as they eagerly awaited SWMRS – circle pits, sweaty crowd surfers and a sold out show causes the crowd to get very friendly with each other. SWMRS came out with a bang with “Palm Trees” as Cole Becker shredded his guitar and destroyed the mic, Max Becker and Seb Mueller flanking him at the sides bringing equal amounts of powerful energy and Joey Armstrong (Jakob’s older brother) was smashing the drums.
When it comes to putting on a great performance, it’s in SWMRS’ blood. Cole frequently joined the crowd in crowd surfing Max and Seb were non-stop jumping and Joey emerged from his drums at one point to spray some water on the already moist crowd. Cole made it a point to address the all too common topic of sexual harassment at shows advising people who are being violated or who see someone else being violated that they should punch the violator in the face. “If you’re a pacifist, scream loud so that we’ll stop the show and kick that motherfucker out of here!” Cole shouted, his speech met with screams of agreement.
SWMRS played almost all the tracks off their debut album Drive North throwing in a surprising but fitting cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.” They ended their night on scream-worthy “Drive North” as Cole made his way up to the platform below the balcony and serenaded the crowd from above before taking a leap into the sea of fans, arms outstretched waiting to catch their grunge mom.
Article: Merissa Blitz