Kings of Queens take on The Mansion

Charlie Houston joins the band on stage

Image by: Duncan Glancy
Lachlan Pope (left) and Stephen Swim (Right).

When The Journal showed up to The Mansion for Tuesday night’s show featuring Kings of Queens, the bar was packed with only minutes to spare before doors opened for the concert. 

Stephen Swim, ArtSci ’23, Nico Pare, Eng ’25, Lachlan Pope, ArtSci ’23, Coleman Campbell, ArtSci ’23, and Sean Pollen, Eng ’23, make up the five-piece band as, respectively, lead singer/guitarist, bassist, guitarist, keyboardist/back up singer, and drummer. 

“For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Charlie Houston,” the opener announced as she started the show off with her indie house sound. 

The Toronto-based artist’s performance was unfortunately obscured by a loud audience and slew of technical difficulties but, nonetheless, her talent was evident, and this reviewer is excited to see her perform at The Mansion again this Saturday. 

Kings of Queens opened their set with “Snap Out of It” by the Arctic Monkeys. Pollen’s persistence on drums certainly left an impression, as he kept the beat of the set list alive. 

“Swim on Easy” by The Commodores showcased Swim’s vocal chops alongside Pare’s groovy bass, serving as an incredibly well-done rendition of the classic. 

The night mainly consisted of covers, though the band’s first original, “Crystal Ball,” made its debut in the show. Overall, the song choices kept listeners singing, making it clear the band knows how to please their audience. 

Evidently pleasing their audience is an important goal of the band – the performers quickly stripped their t-shirts and tank tops, leaning into their rockstar identity as the PG-13 version of the Naked Brothers Band. Humility doesn’t apply when it comes to boy bands satisfying their groupies.

Pope’s title as “Shredmaster,” given by Swim’s introduction, proved itself truthful as the alternative rock choices gave him the chance to riff to his heart’s desire.

Swim told The Journal his favourite part of performing is seeing his band members enjoy themselves. 

“When we’re looking at each other and something starts to really click […] I’ll look at Nico and he’s smiling, Coleman’s got the stank face going, and Lachlan is playing one hand and really getting into it,” he said.

The five members first came together this past fall at a backyard barbecue that’s now become a customary event at Swim and Campbell’s house. The two and Pope were playing one day and Pare happened to be walking by and offered his services as a bass player.

Pollen joined the four at a Musiiki gig as a trial drummer and once again, talent made it clear he was to become an official member of Kings of Queens.

The five’s varying musical pasts provide unique perspectives on song choices and songwriting as they continue to curate their set lists. From metal to gospel to reggae, and soul to folk, the band can adapt to different genres seamlessly. 

“I find with indie music, there’s not as much complexity or technicality. We all come from genres that have a lot of both, so when we’re writing, it results in some pretty musically complex parts,” Pope told The Journal.

“It’s rare to see indie artists using diminished chords or walking up scales to go into a new section,” Swim added, referring to Crystal Ball, their newly-debuted original.

The band’s second official show altogether was a self-reported success, and interest in their shows seems to be high. The five attribute their friend Jeff Hemlin, ArtSci ’23, for pushing them to form a proper band instead of casually jamming together. 

“He put an energy in place that carried into the creation of the band and he’s always at our shows helping to set up and capture the moments,” Campbell said. 

Kings of Queens is broadening their horizons with more originals and more performances in the works—check them out here.


band, Mansion, Music

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Queen's Journal

© All rights reserved.

Back to Top
Skip to content