On Wednesday night in Austin, Texas, Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano made their way to the Parish on 6th. The husband-and-wife-duo is set to release their second album this spring, and if its entirety is anything like the sneak peak we got that night, it's bound to be phenomenal.
Admittedly, the night started off with a broken down car, followed by a ride in a tow truck, and then a Lyft to get back to the venue. After what was undeniably an extremely adventurous first part of the night, we arrived just in time to hear the last songs of the opener, the Sunbears. Twenty minutes later, the duo made their way to the stage.
First things first, it is probably the coolest thing in the world to watch a duo with so much chemistry on the stage and know it's real. Like they are actually as in love as they seem to be on stage, as evidenced by the wedding ring and the child. (Speaking of which, when little Joaquin came on stage, I about lost it. Cutest. Child. Ever.) From open to close, Johnnyswim delivered.
As a folkie-rock-country mash-up, this band appeals to anyone with an appreciation for talent. Songs like "You and I" and "Live While We're Young" are fiery ballads that, if we're being honest, will never be the same just listening through headphones. In the realm of songs that demand to be heard live, they take the cake. Hearing this couple talk about their engagement (on a spur of the moment trip) makes songs like Paris in June all the more touching. These ballads, coupled with covers like R. Kelly's "Ignition", Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself", and even Drake's "Hotline Bling" kept every person in the room invested in the music.
Speaking of touching, not only are Abner and Amanda stunning performers, they're actually solid human beings. They announced on Wednesday that they would be pairing with an organization for the entirety of their tour. (They've done this in the past during their Christmas music tour, but now its all year round.) For the remainder of this tour, they've paired with Feed the Children. At each show, they have a booth where concert-goers can sponsor a child through Feed the Children.
I overheard a few of the girls around me that night discussing the types of people in attendance at the concert. One of the girls laughed and mentioned how different everyone looked, how many different walks of life were in one room. Her friend laughed, and qualified "yeah, but I don't think you can appreciate their music if you don't have a good heart, like everyone here is probably someone we could have a genuine conversation with." I laughed to myself, but it was so true.
It's amazing the type of connections that can be forged with music. Thank you to Amanda and Abner (and Joaquin) of Johnnyswim for a night of great music, feelings, and laughs.