Ambient Music

Teddy Swims, Auckland New Zealand, 2022


Teddy Swims performing live at the Powerstation in Auckland, New Zealand 2022. Photo by Doug Peters.

Teddy Swims

20th September 2022
Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.

Review by Lauren Sanderson. Photography by Doug Peters.

American singer Teddy Swims – aka Jaten Dimsdale has taken the world by storm with his soulful renditions of famous songs. He shot to fame in 2019 when he posted covers of hit classics on YouTube and soon became a viral sensation.

He later went on to release his own tracks, which are just as impressive as his covers. With over 400 million views on YouTube and over 450 million streams globally, we think it’s fair to say that this guy is a pretty big deal.

Off the back of a 33-date American Tour, the 29-year-old singer and his band, Freak Freely, landed on NZ soil last night to play their first ever New Zealand show at Auckland’s Powerstation – and delivered what can only be described as a night of pure magic.

Kicking off the night was Sydney singer-songwriter, Cap Carter; another artist who has gained a mass online following with his powerful R&B tracks. His rendition of Sinéad O’Connors ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ hit us right in the feels and his track ‘Sequel’ – influenced by a letter he wrote to himself whilst in rehab last year, gave us a glimpse into his life and influences. He played belter after belter, proving that he was the perfect accompaniment to the main event.

We waited in anticipation for what felt like forever between sets but as soon as Swims and his five piece band entered the stage and launched into his debut hit ‘Till I Change Your Mind’, all was forgiven. Keeping the energy up, funky country track ‘Broke’ followed highlighting Swims ability to drift between genres with ease.

After commanding the stage with his slick dance moves, Swims takes a breather and serenades the crowd with his infectious Motown single ‘Dose’. Showing a softer side to his vast vocal range, this song is full of nostalgia and transported us to a time when 60’s pop was rife.

Swims is quite the performer, as he reaches into the crowd he takes a fans phone and records himself singing the line “Love how you kiss every tattoo on my face”, showcasing his cheeky side. The crowd interactions kept on coming as Swims pulls a Teddy Bear from the crowd and prances around the stage with it during ‘My Bad’, later leaving it propped up as a wee mascot.

That’s not the only gift Swims receives last night – during his track ‘2 Moods’ a female fan flung her bra to him, in which he placed on the mic stand and jokingly said that it wasn’t his size. Swims then proclaimed his love and admiration for women – “Women are the most beautiful people in the world” he said as he transitioned into his next track ‘Amazing’.

Swims possesses an incredible tone to his voice, but he was also blessed with a great sense of humour as the banter was flowing all night long. For someone of such fame, the great thing about Swims is that he remains humble and thanks the crowd many times for supporting him and his music. You could tell how grateful he was to be on that stage as he paused for a moment to say “This is bucket list stuff for us. Thank you for changing my life.”

His cover of Shania Twain’s ‘You’re Still the One’ (which now has over 100 million views on YouTube), had the crowd chanting every word, whilst his stripped back version of ‘All That Really Matters’ rang true for a lot of us and taught us to focus on the present. His rendition of Six60’s ‘Rivers’ followed and Swims had the crowd hook, line and sinker, joking about a possible future collaboration with the much-loved Kiwi band. (Cue screams)

‘911’ was up next – The crowd sang every word and held the fort while Swims took a well-earned sip of water. The last song of the night ‘Bed On Fire ‘was the perfect closing song as the crowd continued to sing as Swims and his band left the stage, thanking us once more. This track was the perfect reminder as to why we fell in love with him in the first place.

Right from the get go it was evident that Swims is not only a musical genius but also a talented showman who can tackle anything that his thrown his way. Last night certainly proved that he’s more than a collection of cover videos and in fact, he really does belong on that stage.

I’m glad that his first show in New Zealand was in such an intimate setting because the next time we’ll be seeing Teddy Swims and his talented band will be in sold out arena’s. And who knows, maybe next time he’ll have Six60 in support.

Were you there at Powerstation to witness this magnificent singer-songwriter absolutely tear the house down!? Or have you seen Teddy Swims perform live somewhere else? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

Set List:
  1. Intro
  2. Till I Change Your Mind
  3. Broke
  4. Dose
  5. For The Rest Of Your Life
  6. My Bad
  7. 2 Moods
  8. Devil In A Dress
  9. Amazing (Acoustic)
  10. You’re Still The One (Acoustic) [Shania Twain cover]
  11. Simple Things (Acoustic)
  12. All That Really Matters (Acoustic)
  13. Rivers [Six60 cover]
  14. The Plan
  15. 911
  16. Love For A Minute
  17. Bed On Fire

Note: Ambient Light was provided passes to review and photograph this concert. As always, this has not influenced the review in any way and the opinions expressed are those of Ambient Light’s only.

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