Switchfoot Sets Sail on the Fantastic Traveling Music Show

Back in 2017, something that I never thought would happen happened. Switchfoot announced an “extended hiatus.” I actually wrote a piece lauding them for the 20 years of music they had given us. Well, fast forward almost two years later and Switchfoot pretty much played a huge practical joke on us all. They took 2018 off, sure, but then ended up releasing a new album, Native Tongue, in January of this year.

They spent February to April touring the new album and then announced another fall tour – The Fantastic Traveling Music Show. My husband and I try to catch their Boston show whenever they happen to be on the East Coast, but there wasn’t a Boston show this time around. We made a three(!) hour trek up to Connecticut, and it was totally worth it.

The premise of the concert was a shipwreck. The band went crazy with the set design, and had a literal boat on stage, which was pretty rad. They didn’t bring any openers, instead playing two sets. The first was an acoustic portion, where they took audience requests by pulling songs from a bottle, keeping with the maritime theme. I’ve seen Switchfoot play twice before this date, and there were songs I had never heard live. Even though it was cool as a fan to hear those older tracks like “Company Car”, I almost feel like the whole show’s concept was a way for the band to keep things fresh for themselves. They’ve been playing together for so long at this point; I don’t blame them for mixing it up.

The second act was a full band set. Instead of the boat, they suspended a hot air balloon above their instruments. The highlights during the second half were definitely “Meant to Live”, “Float” and “This Is Your Life”. Even now, into the later years of their career, the band has intense chemistry that makes every set seamless.

Accompanying the requests were reasons the person had chosen them and a very poignant moment was when they played “Where the Light Shines Through” for a family whose daughter was born with severe complications. The band has always been open and genuine about their own personal lives and struggles and it was nice to see them acknowledge the part their music plays in others’ lives.

They often bring a charity on tour with them and this time around they chose Food for the Hungry. Their goal is to have 365 children sponsored to receive food, clean water, and education. You can find more information about their partnership on their website. Switchfoot has been an irreplaceable band in so many lives throughout the past 22 years. I am so grateful to see them continue to make music and invite us to celebrate with them.

by Nadia Paiva

kiel_hauckNadia Paiva has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.

Farewell (For Now) to Switchfoot

In all of the crazy music news from the latter part of 2017, I feel the most bittersweet as we bid farewell (for now) to Switchfoot. Unlike other bands whose departure from the scene has been negative, Switchfoot states the need for being present in their home lives as their reason for stepping back. Finally, something admirable!

Throughout their 20 years as a band, Switchfoot have impacted both the scene and countless lives with their contribution of 10 full-length albums, three EPs and Fading West, their tour documentary. They are also a contributor to many charitable organizations, including To Write Love On Her Arms.

I have had the privilege of seeing Switchfoot live twice. I saw their Fading West tour and their latest Looking for America tour. Both of those rank on my list of best shows I’ve been to. The Looking for America tour also featured Relient K, and, quite frankly, as a kid who grew up listening to both bands, was a dream lineup. I wonder now, given this news of a hiatus, whether that was intentional – a last hurrah and nod to the golden age of Christian pop rock.

Hello Hurricane was the album that, for some reason, really drew me in. I always turn to that album as a familiar and constant musical friend. I don’t even have a favorite track; the entire album is like one long song and it feels like home. My boyfriend has been listening to Switchfoot for almost his entire life and I feel like that’s one of the things that really made us connect. He had the opportunity to see them for the first time from side stage when he was playing with a friend’s band in 2016, and he told me about what a special experience that was.

Switchfoot had the ability as a crossover band to really bring both sides of rock fandom together – those who just enjoyed their sound and Christian kids who craved something new and refreshing but didn’t know where to find it. Their songs about enjoying life and trying to find the meaning in all of it connect with people everywhere. Even if you don’t know Switchfoot, you know of Switchfoot. The broad range of people they’ve impacted is really incredible, and they used their influence to better the music scene they were in and the people around them.

I don’t know whether Switchfoot will ever come back to create new music, but I hope they realize what they and their art mean to all of us. Their musical talent and authentic lyrics are a gift. To Jon, Tim, Drew, Jerome, and Chad: Thank you.

by Nadia Paiva

kiel_hauckNadia Paiva has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.