Thursday, November 29, 2007

UC Irvine Show Pt. 2: Switchfoot brings the Rock!

Pt. 2 (for Pt. 1 of this review, go to this post)

After about half an hour of stage prep work (after all, this was the MAIN attraction of the night), it was time. The lights dimmed as the band took the stage, to veritably thunderous applause. You could just feel the atmosphere shift, from the poppy, feel-good of RK and Ruth to the down-dirty rock show feel of Switchfoot’s set.

The band came out and played the opening riffs of “Meant to Live,” with Jon Foreman already in a climbing mood, rockin’ out on one of the boxes in front of the crowd barrier. See picture below:

With that teaser, they began to play “Oh! Gravity.” to the cheers of many in the crowd. Personally, it seems more of an obligatory song at this point than anything else, as it was a single, and is the theme song of the popular MTV show “Life of Ryan Sheckler.” The guys did play it with all they got though. A few minutes after the final chords of “Gravity.”, the unmistakable riffs of “Stars” could be heard. Great energy, once again.

They played through the rest of their set with equal energy, equal reckless abandon (especially on Jon’s part), and just pure joy. Notables were the new mash-up version of “Gone/Crazy In Love,” which was pretty entertaining, to say the least.

(American Dream Freeze)

After most of this first part of the set, the band began to settle into a more profound energy. Yes, hits like “Stars”, “This Is Your Life”, and “Gone”, as well as “American Dream” were filled with energy and crowd support, but the night began to turn when Switchfoot played “Dirty Second Hands.” I’d already heard this song live, but it was just as amazing watching it again. Dedicating the song to the thrift stores across America, Jon ranted and raved through the song, singing “here’s the face of everything the breaks you down… are you really as tough as you think?” The raw tenacity and emotion put into this song really set the tone for the rest of the song, and the rest of the evening, especially when Jon pulled one of the drummer Chad Butler’s cymbals and pounded it to oblivion during the rockin’ interlude. Guitarist Drew Shirley’s skillful guitar work shone brightly here, just as brightly as the breath-taking strobe lighting that ensued during Jon’s massacre of the cymbal.

But the song did come to an end, sadly. But shifting from the raging wail of “Dirty,” Chad began to play the drum intro to “We Are One Tonight.” Jon introduced the song as a rock-show song; back as a little kid in San Diego, he felt the connection, at least for one night between perfect strangers that can be had at a rock show. “But if this is a song about unity, then it’s a song about a fight… a fight!” he declared. From the anthemic chorus “We are one tonight, and we’re singing it out” to the slow interludal “slow this evening down, slow it down, slow it down…” ineterspersed with words from “Shadow Proves the Sunshine”, the song bred in many of us that night that rock show feel. We truly were one, singing out as one voice!

That feeling continued, when Jon welcomed to the stage “the Rrrrruth’s, and the Rrrrelient K’s, ladies and gentlemen!” to play the tour song, “Rebuild.” Jon talked about how in the wake of the fires in San Diego, and the fires that consumed Relient K’s tour bus earlier this summer, the song took on a new meaning for him. Then the song commenced, with every single band member from all three bands having fun and singing together, “oh way oh, we’re the regeneration…” It was truly fun to see all the guys on stage just having a good time.

“On Fire” introduced, for the first time in the set, a calm, introspective, yet uniting song. The distinctive keys of Jerome Fontamillas’ piano and Jon’s celloist friend Keith Tutt setting the tone, Jon went full-effort into this song, even going out into the crowd, as is his habit. After yeahhaahhaahing the song out there for awhile with “one big family,” Jon called up the band’s latest hit “Awakening” by saying, “you’re gonna help us start this off!”

This was the most fun I think of the whole set. Almost everyone was jumping, singing “Here we are now with the falling sky and the rain… WE’RE AWAKENING!!!” This song has meant a lot to me since I first heard it, and singing it with a thousand other people makes it even more impactful. Fun stuff.

“Meant to Live” began slow, with Jon talking about how “we breathe in, we breathe out… and nothing happens! This can’t be what these gifts were given to us for… every breath is a gift.” Then, before we know it, “We were meant to live…” was echoing off the rafters of Bren in a very U2 fashion, and the teaser we heard at the beginning of the set was completed with the full song.

The funny thing is, at the end of this song, streams of people were leaving, thinking the show was over. After all, the guys were off the stage, the place was dark… but wait! Why is this crazy kid yelling “It’s not over!! It’s NOT OVER!!!” Maybe we should stay…? That crazy kid was yours truly, yelling at the people passing by, pleading with them not to leave. Haha. That was fun. Anyways, Keith the celloist and Jon returned to stage, to play a beautiful rendition of A Walk to Remember hit “Only Hope.” Hearing it live gets me every time. Beautiful. Then, the rest of the band returned as well, and they drummed, strummed, played, and wailed “Dare You to Move,” a powerful ending to a powerful night…

1. Oh! Gravity.
2. Stars
3. This Is Your Life
4. Gone/Crazy In Love mash-up
5. American Dream
6. Dirty Second Hands
7. We Are One Tonight
8. Rebuild
9. On Fire
10. Awakening
11. Meant to Live

12. Only Hope
13. Dare You to Move

Go Here to see hi-quality photos from Jered Scott. Very cool!


Michelle said...

I went to that!! It was sooo AMAZING, you couldn't have done a better job at this review of yours! That show rocked! All three bands were Spectacular, the next day I wished I was back there! :) ha. Anyways, good times. :) Can't wait for the next one or the Bro-Am! :D

Job said...

Hey, thanks Michelle. really appreciate it.

i kinda wish i was there again too. so ur going to bro-am? im thinking of going this year too!

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