I am riding this Concert High all the way into my next show (Gavin James – November 21) and the smile on my face will now be a permanent fixture.
I got to attend the Johnnyswim show at The Fonda Theatre on October 19th and the joy in my heart was very real. The last time I saw them live was about 3 years ago when they opened for Emeli Sande. This time around, they were the main attraction and I was ready for it.
So there my friend and I stood; in a sold out venue, shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers and full of anticipation for the show. Most of us didn’t know who the opening act were but the girl (Emma) in front of me spoke up and said “You’re going to love them”.
You want to see a sold-out venue go completely silent? Get Penny & Sparrow to open at a concert. I’ve never held my breath as quickly as when Andy’s vocals reached my eardrums and swam through the deepest parts of my soul (honestly, I’ve re-written this sentence 3 times and it sounds creepy each time. Just listen to them singing, you’ll understand what I mean).
Penny & Sparrow consist of members Andy and Kyle; the American singer-songwriter duo took the venue by surprise the moment they began their set. Not only did they gift us with flawless vocals but they added some heart, soul, passion, emotion and stage-charisma in the midst of it all. As soon as they finished their first song I remember turning around to look at my friend and I said “Is this happening?”
Their first song “A woman caught”, captured my attention but their second song “Fantine” is what forced my heart into my throat. Look, I’m no stranger to crying at concerts and this show was no exception; “Fantine” was performed completely acapella and they played with my heartstrings the entire time. I remember the moment the eyes got a bit glossy and it was with the line, “I cannot in good conscience wear white, if I’m honest; my wedding dress needs to be black”.
When their set was over and my heart settled back in its place, I noticed everyone slowly taking out their phones and looking them up. They were the perfect opening act for Johnnyswim and I cannot wait to go to another one of their shows (Hotel Cafe would be a perfect venue for them *hint* *hint*)
Their set list:
1. A woman caught
3.Gold/Dance w somebody
You can find Penny & Sparrow HERE
By the time that Johnnyswim stepped on stage, the energy in the venue was palpable. The people were ready to dance, ready to sing, definitely ready to scream and boy did we scream. They began their set with “Hummingbird” and the song took new life with a full band behind them. Their new album is only about a week old and the audience already new all of the lyrics to the new songs.
To watch Amanda and Abner interact on stage is to watch two people completely in love as they repeatedly show their gratitude to the crowd. At points they even looked surprised at the fact that they had a sold out show at The Fonda Theatre. Maybe it’s their need to repeatedly thank the crowd that causes the energy to keep growing throughout the night. Maybe it’s their combined vocals that bring chills down your spine which cause you to scream at the top of your lungs.
No matter which song they’re singing, Johnnyswim commands your entire attention. Their chemistry on stage is undeniable and they pull you into their love story with every song. Whether they have you dancing to “Don’t Let It Get You Down” or they have you falling in love with “Take the World”; the time of your life will be had at a Johnnyswim show. Their magic might lie in the genuine nature in which they deliver their songs; a glance at each other, a note that’s carried for a second longer, a pause to let the audience sing or a smile in between verses. They have captured their magic and slowly release it into the audience during their concert and we are nothing but grateful for it.
The show was a journey; we danced, we sang, we laughed, we cried (twice – once with “Let It Matter” and the other with “Georgica Pond”) and we loved every minute of it. I don’t care how in love you are with “First Try” while listening to the album, the live version is remarkable. Amanda and Abner are exceptional as individuals but their power lies in their harmonies. They give you hope for life, they make you fall in love, they have you believing in yourself and they bring people together. The crowd was an eclectic mix; from the young to the old, the black to the brown to the white, the hipster to the businessman, the LGBTQ community to the straight married couple, everyone showed up for this show.
The night left me with a smile permanently placed on my face and I don’t ever want to come down from this concert high. I don’t care who you are or what you’re doing with your life but from now on Penny & Sparrow and Johnnyswim must be a permanent part of your life … you’re welcome.
You can find Johnnyswim HERE
So, I didn’t keep track of Johnnyswim’s set list because I was too busy singing and dancing; sorry.
To watch videos of the show follow my Instagram HERE