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JFH Concert Review

Switchfoot, Lovedrug
4/19/06, at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Switchfoot could easily be regarded as Christian music's best example of crossover success. Since The Beautiful Letdown hit shelves in 2003, the mainstream audience has found itself in awe of the musical stylings of the now five-piece rock band. The late 2005 release from Switchfoot, Nothing Is Sound, also proved to be another hit with the popular singles "Stars" and "We Are One Tonight." So, in further support of the most recent project, Switchfoot hit the road earlier this year for a second leg of the popular fall tour.

To prepare the crowd for the headlining band, opening act Lovedrug performed a set that lasted around forty-five minutes. The four-member outfit offered songs from their forthcoming summer album, including "Spiders" and "Angels With Enemies." With a creative sound unlike most of what we've heard from the rock scene lately, there is no doubt we'll be hearing more from this group in the future.

As soon as Lovedrug made their exit from the stage, a large crew immediately ran out to make the set transitions. After this very long change/intermission (over a half an hour), the lights in the auditorium finally went down and five individuals could be faintly seen taking their places. Just then, a single spotlight hit frontman Jon Foreman as he was strumming his guitar, beginning the show with "The Shadow Proves The Sunshine." Some may have found this as a rather mellow way to get things started, but it was actually one of the best opening songs for a concert that I can recall. To build upon the momentum from "Shadow," "Stars" (also from Nothing Is Sound) inspired cheers from the enthusiastic, youthful concertgoers. Evidently, most of the crowd was familiar with that song, shouting every lyric at an unbelievably loud volume.

Though, like many, I first became acquainted with the San Diego natives through The Beautiful Letdown, it was the early New Way To Be Human that I found most intriguing. As a flashback to the past, Switchfoot reintroduced the fan favorite "Company Car," which was one of the evening's best moments. From there, the pounding bass riffs of "This Is Your Life" took over before making room for "Happy Is A Yuppie Word" and the heavy hitter at mainstream radio, "Dare You To Move." One of the real treats was the introduction of a newly written and recorded song called "Awakening." In fact, this East Lansing show was the first time "Awakening" was played for a live audience. Switchfoot gave no details on where we may hear this song in the future, but it is one certainly worth keeping your ear open for. Maybe this college town was just a place that the band found comfortable, as later on Foreman played a humorous and rather random "solo" which he specifically wrote for the East Lansing audience. Of course, eventually the band had to return to familiar tunes. The ballads "24" and "On Fire" showed the musically lighter side of Switchfoot, while "Lonely Nation" and "Gone" showed off their amazing live skills. No doubt, Switchfoot is capable of one of the best rock shows around.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, but by no means does that mean it must be a simple finish. Au contraire. "We Are One Tonight" was truly unforgettable, paving the way for an incredible encore. Preceding the evening's final song was the quiet "Daisy." To wrap up Switchfoot's impressive performance was one important tune missing from the set, no other song would suit the closing position as well as the guitar driven smash hit, "Meant To Live."

Switchfoot has, without a doubt, one of the best live shows I have ever seen. The only downside to the night was that, according to the venue's website, cameras were not permitted into the auditorium, so regrettably I don't have any photos to share from the concert. Despite this minor letdown, it was an enjoyable, well-produced event and I would strongly recommend and encourage anyone to check it out when Switchfoot hits a venue in your nearby town.

-- Lauren Summerford, 4/22/06


Switchfoot Set List
01. The Shadow Proves The Sunshine
02. Stars
03. Ammunition
04. Company Car
05. This Is Your Life
06. Happy Is A Yuppie Word
07. Dare You To Move
08. Awakening
09. Easier Than Love
10. More Than Fine
11. East Lansing Tribute
12. 24
13. On Fire
14. Lonely Nation
15. Gone
16. We Are One Tonight
17. Daisy
18. Meant To Live



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