San Diego based alternative rock band Switchfoot hit the Cain’s Ballroom like a hurricane Monday night. They even brought a little San Diego with them in the form of seagulls hanging over the stage. As the house lights dimmed and the sea of humanity began to roar (with waves of flannel and Toms of every color), lead singer Jon Foreman stealthily made his way from the right side of the building, through the crowd and on to the stage while singing “Needle and Haystack Life”. Maybe the most incredible way to start a show I have ever seen.
Right from the start, the band had a kinetic energy that took over the room. New release “Mess of Me” from their latest album “Hello Hurricane” had a great punch with its rigid alternative rock sound. Jon said that the Cain’s Ballroom is a special place to them and that Swithfoot had played at the Cain’s when they were just a 3 piece band in 1997; they currently have 5 members that make up the group. Jon went on to dedicate their next song “Always” to his Mom and to Led Zepplin. To his Mom for the piano lessons and to Led Zepplin which made him stop the piano lessons, of course this caused laughter throughout the crowd. The song is a beautiful ballad that is full of hope. The lyrics are about the start of life in the womb and follows a human soul through its journey. The fact that he is able to successfully encapsulate the epic journey of one persons mortality in a single song is nothing short of amazing. This is one of a couple songs that left me with goose bumps. It’s one thing for live music to stir emotion, but when that emotion becomes so strong it takes on a physical manifestation well…that’s priceless. Thank you Jon Foreman and Switchfoot.
The next song dedication “This is Sound”, was to John M. Perkins for his courage against racism and hate. Jon (of Switchfoot) said John Perkins always responded with love. When the song kicked in with its heavy guitars and anthem style vibe, everyone in the crowd was singing along with their fists in the air. This song is so empowering. It really moves you to create change in the world and the drive to make it a better place to live.
The last song of the night was “Dare You to Move”. Before they performed it, Jon encouraged us to always look ahead, doesn’t matter what your past has been like. With lyrics like “Maybe redemption has stories to tell, maybe forgiveness is right where you fell, where can you run to escape from yourself? Where you gonna go? Where you gonna go? Salvation is here”. All I know is, if you were a person that came to this show feeling a bit lost not knowing what your place is in this world, this song speaks to the depths of your being and causes real soul searching of where you are headed and what is your purpose in life.
Switchfoot played mostly off their new cd “Hello Hurricane” but played a good variety of old favorites like Stars, Dirty Second Hands and Daisy. The great thing about Switchfoot is their music is so relevant. Songs from 5 to 10 years ago sound just as good today as they did then. If this was your first time to ever hear the band, you wouldn’t be able to tell which songs were old and which were the new ones. Not many artists can pull that off.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
This is one show I hope you didn’t miss but if you did be sure to catch it when you can. The music was high energy, melodic, indie-rock fun. Jon Forman is a great front man with his hypnotic vocals and his stage presence. He was even hanging from the rafters after playing “Gone”. And if you really listen to what you are singing along to, you can have a very spiritual experience as well. For some, this show probably felt like a power house worship service, for others just a slammin’ rock show. But for me, it was both.