Saturday, June 27, 2009

Switchfoot rocks hometown at the Del Mar Fair (exclusive perspective...?)

WOW. What a day. I'm sitting here at the foot of my bed, writing my thoughts on the Switchfoot show I just returned from. I would have to say, in the four Switchfoot shows I have been to, this is probably the one that stirred the most emotion, the one that brought about the most transcendence of the absolute joy to be found in playing music for a band of five dudes from Southern California.

Personally, this was probably the closest I've ever been to the stage; literally 10 feet or so away, and the energy emanating from the stage was definitely contagious. Switchfoot, sensing the difference in atmosphere that comes with a hometown show, put on a great, albeit stunted hour and-a-half performance.

From the time Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" started to play over the loudspeakers to the last epic chorus of "Dare You to Move," the band held the audience's complete and undivided attention. There were a few times during the set when the band themselves became the spectators, drinking in the whole scene: hundreds of people, singing along to their tunes, at the fair they went to growing up. In no one was this more evident than in the frontman Jon Foreman himself, who oftentimes closed his eyes during an interlude of a song; breathing in the moment, trying to grasp it and hang on to it for a little while. There was more truth in the words "Let's slow the evening down... slow it down... slow it down..." tonight than usual.

"I'm just taking it all in," he gushes. "Over there are the roller coasters, and the sun setting." His traditional jaunt out into the crowd is heartfelt, clasping hands with a quiet joy, probably spotting an old friend or two in the crowd amongst the sea of faces. His gaze directly into a fan's eyes seem to be a moment of piercing, a soul-searching glance that speaks a thousand words more than "this is your life, are you who you want to be?" can. That is the kind of connection this band can make with its audience.

There was a moment of my own where the "fan" interaction became more of a "fam" interaction, if you will. Jon spotted me, a lone fan in the crowd singing along word-for-word to the song "Hello Hurricane," a new tune that hadn't been played yet in this town outside of the walls of the band's studio. We met eyes, and he pointed towards me with a big smile while singing the words to a song that I've come to love again. A moment in time, frozen in that space. I guess I won't really forget that...

The show continued on, with great appearances from Sara Watkins (Violin and pretty singing Voice), Keith Tutt (the Cello), and local legend Karl Denson (Saxaphone). It definitely felt like a family band was out there on the stage.

"Mess of Me" and "Hello Hurricane," the two new "babies" of the group continue to get progressively better each time I hear them live. "Awakening" and "Meant to Live" = the best crowd energy the entire evening. Both songs saw the most fist-pumping and jumping, and the ensuing cheers for "one more song" were deafening. And again, a great set was concluded with the timeless classic, encore-staple, "Dare You to Move."

It was a great show with friends, new and old. I came with my roommate from college, and a few other good friends, and ran into a pleasant surprise as well. At the merch table, I finally got to meet, in the flesh, some of you amazing boardie-folk from the Switchfoot world. Katers, Rose, Nicole, and the others I didn't really get to find out who you are, glad to finally see you friends! :)



Meant to Live (intro) / Oh! Gravity.
Gone / Crazy
This Is Your Life
American Dream
This Is Home (feat. Sara Watkins and Keith Tutt)
Only Hope (feat. Sara Watkins, Keith Tutt, and Karl Denson)
Mess of Me
Dirty Second Hands
We Are One Tonight/C'mon C'mon
Hello Hurricane
On Fire
Meant to Live

Dare You to Move (feat. Sara Watkins and Keith Tutt)


Here are some pictures I took that sorta kinda turned out ok... :]:


Twitter posts from Switchfoot about the show:

- Just arrived at the fair, beautiful weather for tonight's show and bro-am tomorrow.

- Tonight's show was special. Thanks San Diego. Also a big thanks to Karl denson, Kieth tutt, and @saraWatkins for joining us. So great!


Bro-Am is tomorrow! Or technically, later today... haha.

HAVE A GREAT TIME, anyone who is going. Be sure to check out live updates here:

I will probably be gone all day tomorrow, so don't expect to much of a recap here. Just sayin'. :)

THANKS for reading that, if you did. Sorry it got a little long... :]


Thomas said...

Nice. Man, I can't wait to see them in august

Nicole said...

Yes, it sure was an awesome show. It was nice meeting you as well!