Lauren Ruth Ward with SWIMM at the Echoplex in Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA for Night Two of Love You Down Fest. 2/8/2019. (Photo: Derrick K. Lee, Esq. | Blurred Culture)
SWIMM headlined their own performance on night two, opening right before Warpaint. Their set was extremely colorful and upbeat, complete with a fog machine and string of neon lights lighting up the stage. “Beverly Hells” felt like a moody California surf hit, featuring a driving guitar and bass line and lead singer Chris Hess’s vocals. Other songs such as “Man’s Man” is more electronic and upbeat in nature. Hess’s incredibly stage presence had him selflessly crooning into his mic in heavy whispers and mouthful of phrases, swaying across the stage.
The band invited local rising star Lauren Ruth Ward to the stage to sing a special live performance of “Speak Politely”, which was an incredibly special and powerful moment. Hess took to the mic for the first verse and let Ward in on the second, who captivated with her unique, folk-style vocals. The duet showcased their vocal power and range and was completely enveloped by the song. Both Hess and Ward laid it all out, with an epic breakdown where Hess solo-ed on his guitar and Ward singing and screaming out into the audience. SWIMM then went on to close their set like a huge party with their indie pop hit “Uh Huh,” featuring heavy guitar lines, thundering drumbeats, and the band members of Sego joining on to jam and Jennylee on the tambourine. (…)