The glory that is known as the “all-ages” show; many people talk about it, seldom people attempt it. After a summer visit, Switchfoot returned to Vancouver for a sold-out show at the Croatian Cultural Centre.
Oh, the humidity. Big props to anyone who can survive a sea of sweaty, hyper kids. Someone must be eating his/her vitamins or hormone-injected produce because it was hard to see past the towering heads on the floor.
Acceptance had the golden opportunity to open the show. It was fitting since they’re living the teenage-angst mantra that a lot of emo-punk-rock outfits are wearing out these days. Live, the guys gave off a pretty polished sound and the majority of sounds were catchy. They had the hard guitar riffs, and the vocal styles ranging from raspy vocals to can-you-hear-me-shout? choruses. Acceptance even showed their softer side by playing a rock staple power ballad lead by keyboards; this prompted lighters to be whipped out and a question: how young are the kiddos smoking these days? The lead singer was pretty energetic and the drummer pounded out the tunes. The band managed to keep the attention of the crowd for their whole set. They’ll be sure to be on the Much Music rotation faster than you can say George Strombolopogus. [sic]
And on the 6th Day, God created the concert. Okay, so He didn’t, but promoters have learned that if you book a Switchfoot concert, they will come. The band certainly has a faithful and devoted lot of fans; no other concert could fill a parking lot with a church school bus. Not sure what to expect from a Christian rock band, the sushi waiter that served the group earlier said it best, which lead singer Jonathan Foreman shared with the audience: “Rock first”. And they did.
Switchfoot opened with a bass intro and guitar pedal effects, fit for any Radiohead fans, which segued into “Ammunition”, a heavy rock smasher. Most of the setlist was taken from their latest release, The Beautiful Letdown like the slow-burning “On Fire”, to older songs like the energetic “Company Car”.
It was nice to see the band alter songs ,especially the radio hits; the hard metal-like outro from Beautiful Letdown merged into a harder version of “Meant to Live”. “Dare You to Move” featured playing around with the vocal timing but that didn’t stop fans from joining in. They debuted a few new tracks like the tamborine-happy “Easier than Love”, but the songs that had the most impact during the show were the slower ones.
The highlight of the night had to be the much-requested number song, “24”. Foreman appeared solo on stage with just an acoustic guitar; his only backup was a lone stage spotlight aided by cell phones display lights and lighters to light up the simple-but-moving song which the crowd lovingly sang along to.
Plain and simple: Switchfoot is very appreciative of their fans. They would bend over backwards to play song requests they don’t normally play like the poppy Everclear-sounding “Like Everybody Else” during the encore. Foreman would take every chance to stand on the rails to be closer to the crowd and hold up the mic stand to amplify all the voices singing along.
By the end of the night, it was a teenage wasteland of happy souls, ready to take on a brand new (school) day.