On a pleasant evening at Wolf Trap, Switchfoot gave the waiting multitudes camped out on the lawn and seated in the orchestra sections their money’s worth.
This show marked the first time that Switchfoot was not the headliner. They ceded that distinction to NEEDTOBREATHE, as part of what was dubbed, Tour de Compadres. Also playing were Colony House and Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. More on that later.
The forecast said rain, but there was palpable relief it didn’t live up to the prediction. So instead, we got an almost perfect night to sit outside on the lawn or grab a seat close to the stage.
Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot, started the show with a flourish and a wide-brimmed hat, but the hat got lost (removed?) somewhere along the way as he couldn’t hold still. Too much energy. Too much rock and roll.
Switchfoot is touring with their ninth full length album, Fading West, and promoting a new documentary, of the same name, which shows them behind the scenes, especially in their preferred habitat, surfing locales.
In fact, the band’s name is a surfing term about changing direction.
Their opening song, “When We Come Alive”, did indeed get the crowd riled up as they joined in on the chorus of ‘whoa, whoa, whoa’.
They moved on to the harder edged, “Dark Horses”, about being underdogs that still find a way to make it through the hard times.
They played their standout hit, “Meant To Live”, midway through the set, yet acoustically, which seemed an odd choice for that song, but it fit the mood Foreman was trying to set as he told a story of writing the song while searching for who he was in California.
Foreman, who grew up in Virginia, was appreciative of the crowd’s energy and willingness to sing along. Many had come specifically to see Switchfoot. Other band members include, Tim Foreman (bass guitar), Jerome Fontamilias (keyboards, guitar), Chad Butler (drums) and Drew Shirley (guitar).
Switchfoot’s last song, “Dare You to Move”, wrapped up their solid 8-song set with a contemplative song with A hope for redemption.
Switchfoot didn’t perform a traditional encore, but they did join (along with all the bands) NEEDTOBREATHE on stage for the last two songs of the evening.
I’d have to say four bands is a bit much on one bill on a school night, but although a few people did leave early, most were in it for the long haul. No one went home disappointed.