Show Review: SWMRS Dive Strongly into Waves of Punk-Rock

By Mena Fouda, Photos By Mena Fouda and Dani Mariam

I wasn’t expecting to be part of four mosh pits on the evening of Saturday, December 2nd, but life can be wild. Sometimes, the universe just really wants you come out of a concert unable to walk, with your voice lost, and brain still sort of dazed and fuzzy, wired on a collective energy.

The night at The Opera House started out with Toronto rock and roll band Goodbye Honolulu. They’re the type of band that doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, but has a colourful bandcamp. Having just released No Honey in September,  their confident stage 

GoodbyeHonolulu (2).jpg

Goodbye Honolulu

presence was a pleasant surprise, resulting in an enthusiastic crowd. It felt good to be witnessing the rise of a band influenced by both The Growlers and Ty Segall—their music a healthy combination of garage rock and chilled back surf music.

Female-fronted LA punk band The Regrettes were on next. Their songs were more like revolutionary anthems; powerful and filled with raging emotions. “Hey I’ve got news, I’m not a little girl,” was one of the lines that lead singer Lydia Night crooned out, and it was obvious that she was indeed not a little girl, but a hypnotic source of punk authority.


The Regrettes

When co-headliner band, The Interrupters, took the stage, the party really got insane. As a person measuring in at no more than 5’1, it was a little difficult to maintain my footing. Fans were so passionate that as soon as lead singer Amy Interrupter and her suit-dressed bandmates set foot on stage, screams drowned out all of my inner thoughts. An older demographic, sporting mohawks and 


The Interrupters

leather jackets and colourful hairstyles emerged, screaming out every single lyric as if their lives depended on it. It was during this set that I was reminded of the reason I shouldn’t wear heeled boots to rock concerts anymore. It was painful. What was fascinating about this band was their incorporation of ska instruments, resulting in a perfect fusion between punk and Caribbean vibes. 




At last, the highly-energetic California band, SWMRS, came on stage. This was the precise moment when I thought, okay, this is too much energy for my vocal chords, I should stop now. But when punk rock calls out for you, you need to ignore those vocal chords and scream-sing those rebellious teen tunes. SWMRS’ set was a blend of songs off their debut album, Drive North, and some human rights awareness speeches. Lead singer Cole Becker stopped the show a couple of times to advocate for trans rights, minority rights, and the importance of recognizing (and stopping) sexual assault at gigs. To paraphrase his words: “If somebody gropes you, punch them in the face. If you don’t want to punch them, call out to us. We will stop the show, and punch them for you.” What more could you want from a band that makes you dance and makes you feel safe at the same time? It was also really refreshing to be at a show where nobody was on their phones for extended periods of time. Normally, if I’m in the center of a 



crowd, I’d have to come to terms with the fact that I’d be watching the concert mostly through the screens of the people in front of me. This wasn’t the case on a sold-out Saturday night at The Opera House, as Torontonians bumped into each other, jumped up and down in unison, and stepped on each others’ feet in a highly-spirited mess of punk rock mania.


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