JOHNNYSWIM is a folk, soul, blues music duo consisting of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez. I first came across JOHNNYSWIM when listenting to a Bon Iver station on Pandora Radio. Ever since then I have fallen in love with their music and their performance at SPACE Evanston on August 5th just furthered my admiration for them.
They opened their 16 song set with their song “Falling for Me”. During their set, they played much of their own songs but treated the crowd to a couple of covers and one of their new songs that will be on their next album, which is due out next year. If you want to take a look at their full set, check out setlist.fm. Amanda and Abner’s chemistry on stage is one of the main reasons they are such a great duo. If you didn’t know, the two are married and they are incredibly, nauseatingly (in a good way) cute together. Their rendition of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en rose”, the song they danced to at their wedding, was heart warming. Ugh, they’re the epitome of the hash tag epidemic #RelationshipGoals.
In addition to their chemistry, the two of them are so genuine and personable that it made the performance feel more intimate. SPACE Evanston is a venue that holds between 150-200 people, so the venue itself already felt very intimate. But with the stories and jokes they told, and their interaction with the crowd, the performance felt almost one-on-one. For their closing song, “Home”, they even went off stage, into the crowd, and encouraged everyone to sing along with them. I’ve never seen a performer do that before and it was very cool to see it.
Their performance was really great. Amanda and Abner are two performers that I would say sound even better live than on the track, which I feel is a rare occurrence these days. Their vocals are absolutely amazing and blew me away. If you haven’t heard of JOHNNYSWIM I encourage you to look them up. And If you have heard of them, but haven’t seen them live, get yourself to one of their concerts. It will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.