JOHNNYSWIM Let it Matter in Indianapolis: Review + Photos
Photos: madison l boyer
The dynamic husband and wife duo of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano have been writing music together for over a decade, but only recently have they begun to take off. Ramirez and Sudano unleashed their sophomore full-length, Georgica Pond, near the end of last year, and are currently on the road in support of that studio effort. Their Let It Matter Tour rolled through Old National Centre in Indianapolis last week for a night jam-packed with folk, pop, and lots of soul.
Opening for JOHNNYSWIM that night was Kentucky singer-songwriter Will Solomon, who got things off on the right track with his Americana-tinged folk rock. Solomon took a more minimalistic approach with his guitar and two folks up on stage performing with him. Among these individuals was his wife Carley, who provided stellar backing vocals throughout his set, even if those vocals couldn’t be heard very well in the mix until about halfway through. Despite this minor setback, Solomon consistently provided a more chill, stripped down feel to his sound, and lyrically speaking, you could tell that the songs he performed were written from the heart. I’m honestly having a difficult time coming up with an artist more fitting to open the show than Solomon, as he definitely matched the flow of the night.
Of course, most if not everyone had decided to come out on this cool Wednesday evening to see JOHNNYSWIM, and their killer set made everyone glad they had. Ramirez and Sudano were backed up by a phenomenal rhythm section, whose tight groove only added to the duo’s undeniable chemistry onstage and held steady the entire time the full band was performing.
As for the set itself, the duo performed for nearly two hours, making for a significantly longer show than what many are used to seeing at Deluxe – I myself frequent this particular room quite often, so I’m speaking partly from personal experience here. This extensive set gave the Los Angeles via Nashville soul rockers an opportunity to play most of the songs they’ve released and do so in a variety of different settings. The full band is simply one instance of this; Ramirez and Sudano also played several of their songs without a backing band – just the two of them on stage. At the very end of their set they even traveled into the audience to sing a couple of tunes “campfire style.”
The packed-in crowd fed right into JOHNNYSWIM’s contagious energy, who themselves fed off the audience’s eager enjoyment. The result was a seemingly never-ending cycle of fun and a win-win situation for everyone in the room.