Johnnyswim Brings The Love To New York City’s Irving Plaza REVIEW+PHOTOS: JOHNNYSWIM @ IRVING PLAZA 11/7/17
New York, NY- It’s always somewhat of a struggle to put a show into words, especially when the performance resonates with you on an emotional and spiritual level. Johnnyswim, consisting of singer-songwriters Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, at Irving Plaza on November 8, 2017 had that exact effect on me, and on everybody else in the audience.
This would be my first time seeing the band perform live, but I quickly learned that I was in for a treat. Standing in line- in the pouring rain no less- waiting to get in, I struck up a conversation with two extremely eager fans who guaranteed that I wouldn’t be disappointed. They even assured me that after the show, I would become a lifelong fan. Mind you, these girls had seen Johnnyswim the night before, and had the group’s name tattooed on their bodies … so you can understand why I felt they might be a little biased. That being said, I took their word for it, found my place in the press pit, and waited to see how their first impression would resonate with me.
Immediately, before the opener even took the stage – I noticed a subtle energy in the venue. Everyone was eager with anticipation and ready for the show to begin, but there was a truly palpable sense of relaxation and coziness akin to the feeling of a homecoming when relatives come together after time apart.
Opening the show, were Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis, a duo known as Striking Matches, that share Johnnyswim’s hometown of Nashville. Their high-energy, guitar driven music was backed by tight vocal harmonies that truly set the tone for the rest of the evening. That energy persisted throughout their performance.
As soon as the lights dimmed for Johnnyswim, the attendees filled the venue with their rapturous roars of approval welcoming Amanda and Abner on stage – many for the second night in a row. The simplest way I can describe my first impression of the two was pure and genuine love. Regardless of what they sang or played, the way that the duo delivered their music had a certain chemistry that was magnetic. In an age when more and more artists promote their music with over-the-top imagery of attraction and sex-appeal, Johnnyswim simply relies on the true feelings that Amanda and Abner share in their love for each other, which they, in turn, share with the audience for their performance.
In between crushing popular hits such as “Live While We’re Young” and “You and I” off their new album “Touching Heaven”, it wasn’t uncommon for them to stop and just dialogue with the sea of New Yorkers packed in Irving Plaza. “First of all, you’re not our fans – you’re family,” proclaimed Abner. I immediately understood that Johnnyswim shows were exactly that. A genuinely true family affair, and the audience was the extended family.
When the performance concluded I couldn’t help but feel like this wouldn’t be the last time I see these two perform live. On my way out of the show, I had to find the two ladies I met in line before the show – just to let them know that they were right. First impressions are important, and needless to say, Johnnyswim’s first impression on me was a lasting one.
— Alexandra (@alexinaugust) November 8, 2017