Way back at the end of March, I got to see Switchfoot in concert again, finally. (My first SF concert and, until that night, only, had been in 2006.) It was a little insane getting there. First, the concert was on a Monday night. Who plays on a Monday? I had an early dismissal on the day of the concert, though, so I drove straight to Birmingham on Monday afternoon. Mind you, I had just been in Birmingham the previous weekend, so my lovely Etta was logging significant mileage.
Sarah and I headed downtown a bit later than intended, but we got to WorkPlay during the opening act, Matthew Mayfield. He was good, but nothing magical. Since we were so late, though, we wound up near the back of the hall. I had a great view, though, being behind enough people, and Sarah found some good gaps to look through.
Before the concert started, some of the crew wheeled an enormous plastic case back near the sound board, where Sarah and I were standing. I thought it was strange that they’d move something so huge so late. The thing was half the size of my car, though not as tall. Shortly afterward, the band came out on stage, sans Jon, and began to play. As I anxiously awaited Jon’s delayed entrance, I heard a voice to my right shout, “Hello, Birmingham!” I screamed. Jon Foreman himself had apparently climbed out of the enormous case and was standing on it, right over me!
That was one of the most awesome moments of my life. He started the concert by singing the first verse and chorus of “Needle and Haystack Life” from his perch above us there. Never have I been so glad to be in the back!
The rest of the concert was not as amazing as that, but pretty awesome nevertheless. As I had seen in previous concert reviews, Jon broke out an enormous red drum to play during “Free.” He played piano on “Always,” and Chad switched to a single drum and shaker for “Yet.” They did not play “Ammunition,” one of my upbeat faves, or “Only Hope,” but I was satisfied.
By taking a few stealth photos before the show started, I got the set list early and had neither to wonder nor take notes during the concert. It also meant that I knew they’d encore. The “surprise” was spoiled, but not the group sing of the “ooh” lines to “Hello, Hurricane” we used to lure them back.
- Needle and Haystack Life
- Mess of Me
- Bullet Soul
- Learning to Breathe
- This Is Your Life
- The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)
- Sabotage (Beastie Boys cover)
- Your Love Is a Song
- Meant to Live
- Hello Hurricane (first encore song)
- Dare You to Move (second encore song)
|Switchfoot in Birmingham|
After the encore, I was very tired and starting to develop the cold that would precede and mingle with my temporary new allergies later that week (which was, of course, Holy Week). Jon is known to do acoustic concerts in the street after shows, but I had to teach the next day. I slept until 5 a.m. and drove straight to school (in Montgomery) on Tuesday morning. Was I exhausted all day in school? Pretty much. Was it worth the incredible journey? Absolutely.