Dallas can be a bit hit or miss when it comes to live music and genre tastes. This is the town that produced the likes of pop star Selena Gomez, yet also ranges to the R&B soul of Erykah Badu and the quirky indie electronic of St. Vincent. Yet while the music from here is diverse, Dallas audiences are really just known as disinterested rich kids who splurge on amphitheater ticket prices just to take a selfie while talking through a set.
Local support or attendance at smaller shows typically see better engagement in nearby Fort Worth. So you can imagine what a testament it is to California punk rockers SWMRS that they managed to rally a crowd of enthused fans who eagerly moshed and sang along to every song during their Dallas set. Because that’s exactly what they did in Dallas and it really was an impressive sight to see the young crowd thrashing in unison and shouting their favorite lyrics.
SWMRS is a young band that’s been on the scene for quite some time, earning the support of some big names in the punk scene including Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong and Fidlar’s Zac Carper. With their energetic live show on the festival and Warped Tour circuits, they’ve picked up a supportive and enthusiastic fan base that appreciate the band’s reverb-soaked surf punk rock as well as their sense of humor (I mean, this is a band that wrote an ode to Miley Cyrus. They know how to laugh at themselves).
Though they headlined at Dallas’ Three Links, the band stuck to a short, but mighty 40-min set focused heavily on songs from their most recent release, Drive North. When they played the titular track, they even worked in a nice little Dallas shout out that made the crowd go all the more nuts.
Brothers Cole and Max traded vocals back and forth on songs, going from a Ramones-esque punch to a fuzzier surf rock song in the vein of Wavves. When they doubled the vocals in a song rather than just trading off on the duties, they even picked up a bit of a Taking Back Sunday sound.
There was no encore, but the band didn’t need one — they had already given their all and fans left happy and energized, already counting down to the next return of SWMRS.