Switchfoot Worth the Wait, Brings Arena to Life

October 24, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

By Anissa Rowe
Photos by David Blakeman

Last Friday night’s Switchfoot show took the GCU Arena concert experience to a whole new level, speaking volumes of the facility’s capabilities.

Opening act The Rocket Summer let its hair down with hits such as “So Much Love” and other songs with positive lyrics.

Lead singer Bryce Avary decided to kick the show up a notch, saying, “You guys need a breakthrough.” With that, he and his well-groomed hair climbed up on the risers and trusted his body to be carried by hands that turned him in all directions (legs straight up at one point) quite artfully. Later on, clutching his guitar, he surfed the crowd while singing “Healed My Broken Wings.”

Then came the waiting.

Unbeknownst to fans, Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman was rushing across town to get to the Arena, as he had been invited to open elsewhere for Taylor Swift.

Anticipation grew with each passing minute.

It was well worth the wait when the lights finally dimmed, strobes sporadically flashed like a kaleidoscope and fans erupted with screams as Foreman and the band opened with “Mess of Me.”

Over the course of the evening, Foreman cast his jacket to the side, then his tie and finally his button-up shirt. A fan contributed by throwing a black fedora into Foreman’s hands. The singer promptly placed it on his head and continued on, without missing a beat.

Foreman kept the audience engaged by echoing portions of songs and adding instruments such as a harmonica and a giant, one-man drum to the distinctive Switchfoot mix.

At one point, he entered the mass of the mosh pit and gracefully walked among the fans, steadily singing the new hit single, “Restless,” as he continued into the seats on the east side.

Known for their deep, thought-provoking lyrics, the songs included all of the band’s popular hits, both new and old: “Dare You to Move,” “This Is Your Life,” “Your Love Is a Song,” “Stars,” “The Sound” and “Meant to Live.”

A bystander observed that the skyward-reaching, clapping hands looked like spaghetti. Across the Arena, a fan held up the sign “Tim, Can I Play Your Bass?” Some fans danced solo in the aisles, while others sang along.

“We haven’t seen a crowd this lively in a long time,” Foreman said.

Aside from a few mosh-pit gliders who tried to steal the stage, the performance went smoothly, ending after a well-received encore.

After the show, one student exclaimed, “I felt like I was having a seizure with those lights — it was sick!”

“I’ve been listening to them since fourth grade and never seen them in person until now, and they were amazing!” said student Vanessa Woodworth.

Her fiance, Brett Reinhart, said, “We had great expectations, and they far exceeded them!”

Switchfoot had given GCU a night to remember.

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