Live Review: Switchfoot

7 April 2015 | 2:40 pm | Michael Peberg

Foreman "is held up and supported, ever-so-gently, by adoring fans in the moshpit."

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Audience cheer rapidly builds momentum and the chanting gradually gets louder as Switchfoot’s scheduled start time approaches. The room finally darkens and the band appear on stage, one by one, accompanied by a furious guitar riff that introduces Say It Like You Mean It. “Tonight’s a celebration!” declares lead singer Jon Foreman, together with his close band of brothers/friends. They embrace the chaos of their tour and mix up their original setlist plans: “We’re totally off the rails and we don’t know what’s coming up next!”

Stars sees the moshpit ignite as a sea of twinkling fingers reach upwards and arms flail around to the beat. The band demonstrate great showmanship as they connect with the audience and draw out each song by slowing to a pause toward the end, before building up for an extended bridge that leads into a tremendous final chorus. By the fourth song, Foreman gets off the stage and joins his family of devoted fans. “We’re all in this together!” he shouts to begin the all-inclusive Who We Are while reaching out for high fives and climbing from ledge to ledge around the room.

Love Alone Is Worth The Fight is a song about one of the worst days of Foreman’s life, one he explains was an important journey through a dark period during their last visit. Written in a broken state, he challenges things that confuse or terrify him and delivers the song with true passion. What It Costs, also written during their last Melbourne visit, features Foreman’s younger brother Tim on lead vocals, and celebrates our city. Having not played in Melbourne since 2012, they’ve clearly been looking forward to this return to a city that holds a special significance.

A spontaneous version of Hello Hurricane is a special, intimate acoustic version that makes us all feel a part of their strong bond. The group link arms around a single microphone and jam together as they share their mantra – “Life is short, live it well”. Jon Foreman proclaims some inspiring words as a prelude to Dare You To Move: “From the moment we wake up in the morning, the dare is waiting for us to be hopeful, faithful and true as we live every breath like it’s once in a lifetime.” He is held up and supported, ever-so-gently, by adoring fans in the moshpit.

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An encore beginning with Dark Horses and Meant To Live takes us to the conclusion of their hits, which span across nine albums. We are excited by their announcement that, following this current tour, they are heading back to work on their tenth record. Until then, the band end the evening in celebration of, “One last breath on this planet and the beginning of the next chapter,” with Where I Belong, which is a song about a promise that cannot be broken.