Friday, January 7, 2011

FootColumn: Why a live "Hurricane" project needs to happen

Hello friends! Welcome to the first FootColumn of 2011. It's been awhile since my last one, and I kind of miss doing this. Here's to making FootColumns more common in 2011? Yay or nay?


Anyhow, I'd like to take this time now to talk about something that's been on my mind in regards to Switchfoot. That is, the concept of the live album.

This is something that has been missing from the Switchfoot official canon. We've had a few live DVD's, but never a proper live CD. "Live In San Diego," "Live at the Ventura Theatre," and "The Best Yet: Live" are all wonderful commemorations of the Switchfoot live show in DVD form. iTunes also distributes an EP called "Switchfoot: Live," which features cuts from the "Live In San Diego" DVD, but that hardly qualifies. Aside from a few technical problems that have plagued every one of these releases, from poor mixing to editing glitches, there's nothing to gripe about with these concert films.

But where are the live albums? Now, Switchfoot fans are no strangers to recordings of the band's live performances. For the entire "Oh! Gravity." tour, the band released bootleg recordings from each night's shows. The first few songs of each show were recorded directly from the soundboard and committed to CD's, which were then sold after the performances. The band ok'd the online distribution of these tracks as well, and the bootlegs circulated across the Switchfoot fanscape. This practice continued for the Appetite for Construction Tour, where the band shifted to hosting the bootlegs online to allow for more variety in the song selections.

After this tour, they came together with Philemon Thomas to sort through and compile the cream of the crop for a live album compilation called "Best of Bootlegs Vol. 1." This can be considered the band's first proper live album, but it saw limited release as a Friends of the Foot fan club exclusive. That was in 2008.

Now, we've arrived at the beginning of a new year. Late 2009 through to late 2010 saw the band play some of their most inspired, powerful shows to date behind the cathartic "Hello Hurricane." (Anaheim show review) These shows were worth recording, especially those from the 2009 Fall leg of the tour. Here, we saw the band play their entire new record front-to-back. These shows need to be remembered. After all, the band was coming off the most creative period of their career and were clearly at the top of their game on the live stage.

So, we got news that the Atlanta show had been recorded with the intentions of a possible live album release. Later, we heard that the record was in the mixing stages, while a friend of mine claimed to have met Switchfoot's live recording producer, who was working on a DVD. But after that, we've gotten nothing. And, it's 2011 now.

If the band took the trouble to mix the recordings from this show, perhaps there is still a chance that we hear a proper recording from this tour. I feel like this is something that really needs to happen. Their track record would suggest that a "Hello Hurricane" tour recording is plausible.

"The Beautiful Letdown" was captured through "Live in San Diego," and the "Switchfoot: Live - EP."

"Nothing Is Sound" had nothing, though that could be owed to the tumultuous time period they were in with Columbia/SonyBMG.

"Oh! Gravity." got the "Live at the Ventura Theatre" recording, while the Appetite for Construction Tour got the "Best of Bootlegs Vol. 1."

Switchfoot is by all accounts on excellent terms with their new label, Atlantic, so there could very well be a Live Hurricane album in our future. Maybe even a DVD perhaps? Who knows?

Here's hoping!


Sarah said...

Hey! I went to a Hello Hurricane show in March, and while we were waiting around, all of the security guards were telling us that we were not allowed to take pictures or record anything, because the guys were recording that show for an album. I questioned the validity of that statement as soon as it was said, but as you all know almost every show has several videos posted on Youtube, and ours has 2 that are each about 30 seconds long. So, obviously, people took their request seriously. But like I said, I don't have a clue if this is in the works or not. Fingers crossed!

Job said...

Whoa! Thanks Sarah! which show exactly was that?

Sarah said...

Switchfoot in Royal Oak (right by Detroit) Michigan on March 25th, 2010. (<3)

Job said...

Awesome! Well, we'll have to see. Did you see any cameras onstage or elsewhere?

Sarah said...

Nope. Do you know the lights they put at Jon's feet that are multicolored and small? One of the security guards said that was a camera, but I didn't believe him (as much as I wanted to).

Job said...

that's really weird that he would say that. But you're right... there is no footage on YouTube from that show. Interesting.

Sarah said...

Believe me, I think about it all the time :P

Job said...

sweet. they definitely don't tell people to put away their cameras at every show. we'll see.