Last night’s Johnnyswim show at the Musical Instrument Museum Theater showed me two things. 1. Johnnyswim sound a thousand times better live — and they already sound amazing. 2. The MIM is the perfect concert venue.
The show was the most enjoyable concert I’ve ever been to. The duo put on an energetic, touching performance. Amanda and Abner seem to truly enjoy sharing the stage. Graham and I were so impressed by their soulful, controlled voices, which harmonize perfectly. I still hear them in my head right now. I bought the tickets the day they went on sale, a week or so after I initially read they were coming to Phoenix on Instagram. I had commented on one of their posts, saying that they should visit our city, and I got a response! I then spent the next week researching venues to figure out just where they would be playing. I finally saw on Facebook that they would play at the MIM, a venue I had never visited. The effort was worth it to sit in the center of the front row.
|Johnnyswim asked that audience members only take photos for the first three songs.|
Johnnyswim praised the venue, talking about the museum’s impressive selection of instruments. “Music is the language of the soul,” Abner said, admitting that he stole that from the museum.
The concert was lively and fun. The audience got to hear about stories of Abner’s dad and the couple’s proposal in Paris. (The couple took artistic liberties when using their proposal as the inspiration for “Paris in June,” now one of my favorite songs on the album.) We also heard the inspiration behind “Diamonds,” which in addition to being inspirational can be thought of as a “suck it” song,” while “Live While We’re Young” is Amanda’s version of YOLO. Their set list had fun additions, like 45 seconds of a June Carter and Johnny Cash song, Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends” and a Cuban song from Abner’s childhood. The encore started with a passionate rendition of “Over” that I currently have in my head. We had such a good time that it seemed too short of a concert.
Afterward, the duo were available to sign CDs in the lobby. The 20-30 minute wait for them was worth it. They chatted and took photos with fans and seemed genuinely interested to hear what they had to say. We talked about how I have talked to them on social media trying to get them to add a Phoenix date, and they said they truly look at those when booking shows.
I’m excited to return to the MIM to see their instruments from around the world. For now, I have roses and a signed album to remind me of a fabulous Monday.