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JOHNNYSWIM Sells Out Bowery Ballroom [Live Review]

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

At a sold-out Bowery Ballroom, the husband/wife duo tore down the house with an uplifting show.

JOHNNYSWIM Sells Out Bowery Ballroom [Live Review]

In this article…

Photo Credit: Jeremy Cowart

JOHNNYSWIM, the husband/wife duo of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, played a sold-out show at NYC's famed Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday, August 19th. There are several reasons that this group can sell out a venue like this, and all of those were made quite clear within the very first moments of the show.

For starters, both Sudano (the daughter of Donna Summer) and Ramirez are amazing musicians. They can do so much with their voices, be it inspire and captivate huge, booming sing-alongs, or compel silence and awe. Literally every kind of positive reaction was received, from one fan continuously and defiantly shouting "SING IT" at Ramirez to the sharp howls whenever Sudano hit a sensational high note. And when the pair combine forces, the result is just magical. The pair's voices were made to sing together.

It's not as if this kind of talent needs selling, but these two know how to really sell it on stage. They can elicit so much emotion from the crowd, and right from the very beginning they had everyone wrapped around their fingers. From the wide grins to the powerful notes the two hit (and the sultry Spanish verses that Ramirez sang, sending the ladies into hysteria), these two possess some unreal skills.

Finally, the pair are just natural entertainers. They spoke to the crowd in lengthy intervals between almost every song, sharing some personal anecdotes or swapping cute husband/wife banter. Near the end of the show, Ramirez carved out a large chunk of time to tell the story of how the pair got engaged. It was a long, sweeping story that took the pair to Paris and all over the city, and also involved a working brothel and a dog taking a large poop right in front of the Eiffel Tower. That, surprisingly, was not the first mention of poop during the show. The duo were able to somehow organically work in the topic of "poop" to their banter while sounding completely natural and endearing. 

But that's part of what makes the pair work. While it's a bit schtick-y at times, it's coming from an authentic and good place. There's real love there: love for what they do and love for each other. They are authentic without being obnoxiously cute in that way some couples can be. They make it all look so easy, and it all makes sense when you see them live.

JOHNNYSWIM ran through a great deal of material off their excellent album Diamonds, including my personal favorites "A Million Years" and "Live While We're Young" (where the first poop mention came prior to the performance). They also threw back to some of their influences, Johnny Cash and June Carter, and performed a little version of "Jackson" without the use of microphones. Then they broke into an oddly soulful version of Britney Spears' "Dance Until The World Ends" at the end of the night before wrapping things up. Bowery Ballroom is an intimate setting to begin with, but JOHNNYSWIM can make it feel even more intimate, and everyone left that night feeling like they got a personal performance from a bright young band with so much potential.

Check out some great photos from the show by our friends at Pancakes and Whiskey.

Want great tickets but hate paying fees? Check CHARGED.fm to find tickets for less and NO FEES!

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