On Monday night Louden Swain, Briana Buckmaster and Jason Manns fans at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia were treated to a special and unique show, affectionately dubbed by fans as Swainlanta 2.0. When Louden Swain lead singer Rob Benedict had to cancel his appearance due to landing a role on NCIS: New Orleans, we knew it was going to be a unique experience! Louden Swain (Michael Borja, Billy Moran, and Stephen Norton) along with Jason Manns and Briana Buckmaster made it a night to remember.
I had the privilege of attending both shows and I was absolutely blown away. The vibe in the room was incredible, from both those on stage and those in the crowd. Norton had everyone cheering with his performance of Louden Swain’s ‘Overachiever’. The duets of Borja and Buckmaster in the first show and then Moran and Buckmaster in the second had the crowd captivated. It is always a treat to hear Moran sing and whether it was the beginning of ‘Poptart Heart’ or the end of ‘Hallelujah’, he had the crowd screaming in appreciation. Manns, whether performing solo, with Louden Swain, Station Breaks or Buckmaster, did not fail to amaze. Of course, it goes without saying that Buckmaster is a total rockstar and her vocals were unbelievable, as usual.
The arguable star of the night, however, was Borja. While he took the lead on Louden Swain songs like ‘Cool if I Come Over’, it was his on-stage antics that showed why fans love him so much. At one point during the second show, Borja had the performers and crowd laughing so hard that the show was briefly paused so that everyone could calm down.
It was so heartening to watch the crowd cheer and laugh all night. The audience participation was on the level of any other Louden Swain show, and everyone was having an amazing time.
There were quite a few touching moments throughout the show, such as leaving a space in the middle of the stage with an empty mic for Rob Benedict. It was something that definitely had a lot of fans tearing up. Another one of the most special moments that night was Louden Swain doing a rendition of ‘Amazing’ with the audience taking the lead vocals – complete with the entire room lit up with glow sticks and lights. Jason even came on stage later joking, “we should have saved that for the end.” The audience also had another chills-inducing moment with the kazoos during a Buckmaster led rendition of ‘Medicated’.
It goes without saying that the absence of Benedict was felt by everyone, but the work that Borja, Moran, Norton, Manns, and Buckmaster put into these shows was truly appreciated by all in attendance. We’re so proud of them, and we hope they felt all the love back at them.