No one is doing virtual live shows quite as well as Johnnyswim are doing virtual live shows.
Stream: “Live from the Backyard (Ep. 3)” – Jonnyswim
COVID-19 took over our lives in March of 2020. Tours were cancelled and the unity that live shows create was put into serious jeopardy. With three kids of their own and constantly being on the move, Abner and Amanda, the duo who make Johnnyswim, are used to making lemonade out of lemons. They took the curveball of Covid-19 and created perhaps the most connective, personal and unified concept: Songs with Strangers. Six times over quarantine Johnnyswim chose a person at random on their Instagram live and wrote a song with them right then and there. They wrote, recorded, produced and released each of these songs in one day.
Songs with Strangers was released as an EP and it led them to an endeavor, they probably never thought they would have to make; a live show from their backyard. Not just a simple video of them singing these songs, but a thought-out and well produced show, which then led to a series dubbed “Live from the Backyard.” Fueled by a dedicated team that seem more like family than employees and merch to help pay for them to put on these free real-time events, something humanity is so desperate for after binging every show on Netflix, Johnnyswim took a big swing in the dark. It has definitely paid off. With Tobe Nwigwe as the special guest in Episode One they debut a piercingly poetic remixed version of “Long Gone.” They fought through a few kinks, but all in all created something incredible special. They include bits, special guests and inside referendums only their longest of fans will appreciate, while creating a desire for the newer fans to get in on it.
On to Episode Two. How to promote? They decide to share the process of home-making their own tie-dyed merch with their “Quaranteam” in place. The difference between Johnnyswim and others? The things that they have done in this short amount of time others wouldn’t dare to do. “Oh, we should hand-make merch for our fans to fund these incredibly complicated free live-streams.” I mean how does one even go about doing that? When Johnnyswim has a vision, they go for it and they figure the rest out along the way. This is what has led them to their third live from the backyard, which aired this past Sunday October 25th.
The third live from the backyard was the closest thing to a real-life concert anyone will experience. From the lighting, to the fog machine to the pristine sound quality; you are truly transported. This duo and their team have been relentlessly working through covid-19, trying different things, bringing us music and providing joy and laughter at a time where it is so sparse – this relentless hard work has culminated in this third show (hopefully not the last) which was absolute perfection.
If you are reading this it means you love music, and you probably miss live shows so much it hurts; watch the third “Live from the Backyard” and it will take the pain away. Johnnyswim, please don’t stop. Also, thank you for the introduction to Katelyn Tarver. “Fall Apart Too” is on repeat.
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