In the middle of a massive co-headlining tour around the nation, Switchfoot and Relient K each had something special to bring when the Looking for America Tour made its stop at EXPRESS LIVE! indoor venue last night.
For Relient K, it was a kind of homecoming show. The band was formed out of Canton in 1998. However, the energy in the crowd did not seem to match the energy on stage. Promoting its new record “Air for Free,” Relient K played many new songs, which left many concert goers impatiently waiting for songs they can sing along to.
However, when those songs did come, such as “Be My Escape” and a beautiful rendition of “Deathbed,” which included some help from Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman, the crowd was screaming every word.
Relient K’s lead singer Matt Thiessen, with his high, punk-style tenor voice and his ability to rapidly switch from behind the piano to guitar, played through the set list with a humble yet confident energy surrounding him and the band. One thing I didn’t realize until I saw the band live is the complexity of its music.The band clearly had been around a while.
After Relient K left the stage, EXPRESS LIVE! had a different atmosphere when the lights went out to start Switchfoot’s set. From the moment the first chord of “Holy Water,” was played, the crowd was in Foreman’s hand and he was in theirs. Throughout the show, he went through the crowd, relying on audience members for balance as he climbed speakers and poles, all as he was singing hits such as “Meant To Live” and “Love Alone Is Worth The Fight.”
However, the highlights of the show were when the theatrics were erased. In honor of the people in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew, the band performed an acoustic version of their song “Hello Hurricane,” which included five-part harmony, acoustic guitars and an accordion. The lyrics of the song, “I’ve got doors and windows boarded up, All your dead-end fury is not enough, You can’t silence my love,” took on a whole new meaning.
There was a transition period where there was just one light bulb lit, and surrounding it were Foreman and guitarist Drew Shirley. In that moment between songs, Foreman started into a passionate version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” which led into the chorus of Switchfoot’s own “The Shadow Proves The Sunshine.”
Overall, Relient K and Switchfoot complemented each other very well. If the bands judge their success based on concertgoers ears’ ringing and voices gone, they did their job to a tee.