Photos and Review by Jennie Book
Teddy Swims came to the Fox in Oakland on October 22, 2023 with a full backing band (Freak Freely) and got right to it, belting out hits in his beautiful voice, wearing his leather trench coat, and leaning into the crowd to shake hands with the barricade fans to let them know they’re special to him.
Teddy’s debut album I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part One) was released in September to big acclaim, and now he’s touring not just as a social media star but as a bonafide singer/artist. His mid-set take on Shania Twain’s “You’re Still The One,” which helped his rise to fame, was still a big hit with the crowd, and the second song of the night was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which got everyone singing at the top of their lungs, but people were up and ready for his new and original material just as much as they were for the tried and true covers.
The packed venue was diverse – and when Teddy Swims (real name Jaten Dinsmore) announced early on from the stage that if “anybody hates anybody else because of the color of their skin they can get the f*** out of here,” the crowd cheered, and then shoulder-to-shoulder everyone went back to singing along. Teddy was also chatty with the crowd, and talked about openly about love and trauma, and loving yourself through trauma, and how no one should ever let anybody else make them feel bad about themselves. He said he’s still working on himself, and thankfully he’s doing it by singing songs and sharing the result of his process with us.
The evening’s 22-song set included the beautiful ballads “Amazing” and “Evergreen,” and then dancier hits like “Bed on Fire” and “Lose Control” shook the house. Teddy has a great voice, a rabid and ever-growing fan base, and an ambitiously date-packed tour that continues in the US through the end of November. For the latest news check out www.teddyswims.com and @teddyswims.
Singer-songwriter Zinadelphia commanded the stage and made a lot of new fans as the opening act in Oakland. The Philadelphia native played alongside her talented guitarist bandmate and captivated the crowd with her old soul/neo-soul setlist, including new single “Mirrorball.” For information on upcoming live dates check out @zinadelphia.