On Friday, Feb. 17, Switchfoot played a sold-out show at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pa. The show marked one of the final shows for their Looking for America tour with fellow band Relient K. Switchfoot’s lead singer, Jon Foreman, said on stage that the fellow band was with them for 70 shows. It marked a record for the band they have done the most shows with.
Switchfoot began as a mere high school garage band with members Jon Foreman (vocals/guitar), Tim Foreman (bass guitar), and Chad Butler (drums) in 1996. Originally, the band was a side project for the members while they attended college. However, after three records, the group decided to pursue music more seriously. In 2000, keyboardist/guitarist Jerome Fontamillas joined the group followed by guitar player Drew Shirley in 2005. Last year, the band released their 10th studio album, “Where the Light Shines Through,” via Vanguard Records/Concord Music Group.
Relient K was a solid opener for the group at the American Music Theatre. Formed in 1998, Relient K was an excellent pick. Not only did they get the crowd in a sing-along mood, their sound is similar to Switchfoot’s mellow rock vibes, and the band has also been performing for quite some time, starting in 1998. They performed various hits such as “Candy Hearts,” and radio-popular hit “Be My Escape.”
While Relient K’s set was a bit relaxed, Switchfoot amped it up when they hit the stage. The band brought edgy guitar riffs into the atmosphere, with their classic song “Meant to Live,” backed by an incredible lightshow, which changed with each song. At one point, the stage lit up like a starry night sky, and during “Float,” a disco ball circulated light throughout the theatre. There was a point in the show where the lights were completely off, and Jon Foreman asked the audience for light via their phone flashlights.
The technical choices were mesmerizing. At one point in the show, there was a spotlight on singer Foreman as he gave a speech stating, “Violence gives birth to violence. War gives birth to war. Tyranny gives birth to Tyranny. Racism gives birth to racism. And what ends this cycle, what ends this struggle, what ends this fight… love alone.” Foreman then launched into their song “Float,” that discusses freedom and how everything will be okay if people just keep fighting.
To conclude the show, the band performed the well-known hit “Dare You to Move,” which along with “Meant to Live,” catapulted the band into the Top 40. Despite record label and sound changes over the years, the band continues to perform and love what they do. Seeing them live is not an experience to miss.
While the Looking for America Tour has officially ended, the band continues on. To check out future tour dates, go to www.switchfoot.com/tour.