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Concert Reviews: Switchfoot

Post Gazette Pavilion Pittsburgh, PA
May 28, 2004
By: Linda Spielman

photo of Switchfoot's drummer Chad Butler copyright Linda SpielmanIt seems like just yesterday that I was asked to cover a new, up and coming band called Switchfoot at Club Laga in Pittsburgh, PA. Actually, it was last October. The group's first single Meant To Live was just being released to radio. The small but enthusiastic audience at the show obviously knew more than the rest of us because less than eight months later, Switchfoot was everywhere. Almost every radio format, with the exception of Adult Contemporary, was playing them and they were performing in much larger venues with more well-known acts. The alternative Christian rock band from San Diego, CA was taking the music world by storm.

What better way to kick off the first official weekend of the summer of 2004 than with a festival concert? On Memorial Day weekend, Pittsburgh's 105.9 The X hosted some of the industry's most popular alternative acts for the photo of Switchfoot's singer Jon Foreman. Copyright Linda Spielmanstation's annual X Fest. Although Offspring and Cypress Hill were the headliners on the main stage, it was acts like Switchfoot, Story of the Year, New Found Glory and Finger Eleven that reigned as the event's primary crowd draw.

As New Found Glory's set ended on the main stage, the masses converged upon the fenced-in second stage in the parking lot. The photo of Switchfoot singer Jon Foreman. Copyright Linda Spielmanswarms of people came over the lawn seating area in waves to insure their spot for Switchfoot's set. Despite the stigma that may be attached to a Christian band as to how hard they can rock a crowd, Switchfoot made it perfectly clear that music is music and the message is all the same when you come down to it: you can write positive, powerful songs and still kick butt. The hills around the staging area were packed with fans, as well as nearly the entire floor. As night-time air personality Alan Cox announced the band, the crowd went nuts. The band played nearly their entire debut CD, The Beautiful Letdown, along with a new song--- much to the delight of the crowd. There was plenty of crowd surfing, which, in most cases, is the truest compliment of a band's status as a rock band.

No doubt the members of Switchfoot are used to warm weather being Southern California natives, but despite the unseasonably cold weather on the East Coast on the day of the show, they still managed to put on a stellar performance very much worthy of their headlining status on the second stage at the festival.

Photos by Linda Spielman