Teddy Swims – The Waikiki Shell, Honolulu, Hawaii
Georgia native Teddy Swims recently returned to Honolulu, Hawaii. Eleven months earlier, Swims had played two sold out shows at The Republic. Now, he was opening up two sold out concerts for local reggae band, The Green, at the 8,000 seat Waikiki Shell. The genre busting soul, blues, and R&B singer arrived in Honolulu after playing dates in the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
For those unfamiliar with Swims’s journey you need to look no further than YouTube. In 2019 he began posting covers of songs from all types of artists from Marvin Gaye to Chris Stapleton, Amy Winehouse to Harry Styles, but most notably his first video was a cover of Michae Jackson’s “Rock With You.” His voice was as smooth as butter. In the past four years the heavily tattooed Swims, with a larger-than-life personality, has proven he can hold his own as a singer/songwriter. He has released three EPs, collected an international fanbase, and is scheduled to release his first full length album I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy on September 15th.
A little before dusk Swims took center stage and slipped off his sliders. Wearing a vintage style, Japanese print, aloha shirt, paired with beige shorts, and Koala bear print blue socks, Swims debuted his most recent single, the love song, “Lose Control.” From the moment he burst on to the stage he commanded the audience’s attention. It was obvious from the crowd’s reaction that they were familiar with the vocalist’s material. It wouldn’t be a Teddy Swims concert without a couple covers, including Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” By no means am I a fan of this song, or Journey, but this rock anthem allowed Swims to display the extraordinary range of his high powered voice. Next, Swims gave a heartwarming speech about the love mothers have towards their children and dedicated Shania Twain’s “You’re Still The One” to his mother and all the mothers in the audience.
Moving on, Swims grabbed a barstool and with guitarist Jesse Hampton on acoustic guitar, serenaded the crowd with “Simple Things,” an emotional tale about striving for the stars but never forgetting the simple things you grew up with. The duo also performed the soulful “Some Things I’ll Never Know” which will also be released on his full length debut. I’m guessing this ballad will be his next single. Swims’s band Freak Freely, consisting of Addy Maxwell and Jesse Hampton on guitar, Christian Griswald on bass, DeAndre Hemby on drums, and Jarius Hardge on keys returned to the stage for the remainder of the evening. Highlights included the smooth groove of “How Do You Sit There,” “Someone To Hold On To,” another new song “Goodbyes Been Good To You,” and finally the closer “Bed On Fire.” Once again Teddy Swims put on a remarkable concert. His performance offered something for everyone. He played a great mixture of fan favorites and introduced the sold out crowd to numerous cuts from his upcoming release.
Teddy Swims’ new album will be released on Friday, September 15th. Swims and his band Freak Freely will kick off the I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy tour in Minneapolis on September 22nd. .Shows will take place across the United States including two shows at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The tour will conclude with two hometown shows at The Tabernacle, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Enjoy our previous coverage here: Show Review: Teddy Swims in Honolulu