Jess reviews: Switchfoot concert


Switchfoot are a Christian alternative rock band, who hit the big waves wherever they can… sound and light and water, bringing track mixing to a whole new level. Join Jess Thinks… as she reviews their latest online concert, “The Fantastic NOT Travelling Music Show’

Find out more about Switchfoot here

They break all the rules and yet they make the rules soar. Poetry of the existentialist meets oceanography meets humanity. And the track mixing. It takes me on a journey that I never tire of – I’ve been upgraded to first class in discovering this alternative Christian rock band.

I won’t bore you with the stats. That’s not Switchfoot. You can Google these at your leisure. Or rather, sign up to premium ad free listening and subscribe to the band. You won’t regret it. I didn’t, even though it means less take out at the end of a long work day.

And who needs food when you can take your brain on a sensomatic adventure. That’s what I did, when I bought a ticket to their latest online gig. Perhaps gig isn’t the right word. These guys had spared no expense in providing crystal clear sound that echoed all the way from the mountains of the Pacific coast, to my apartment in the UK. The bass, the voice, the backing vocals… mix this in with drone shots of the band and the coastal view, selfie clips during the concert, and entertaining zoom calls to folks of all walks of life during intermission, and I had a visual track mix of the highest standard. Now that’s Switchfoot. And this was their connection to the World Wide Web – it made me almost grateful for Lockdown. No offence intended.

I bagged myself a front row seat where the intros from their fanbase streamed seamlessly into a friendly welcome to this outsider. It was during the usual no smoking intro just before the band went live, that I hopped onto The Fantastic NOT Travelling Music Show. Speed reading the livestream, I dived in:

Can we vape?

Jess Thinks UK

It broke the ice I think; @heyjude6 said  ‘hi’ and his girlfriend said ‘LOL’. The track started and I said ‘this is Clarity’. The music and the message I meant. The guys on sound were grateful… I would be too if I had invested that sort of dough into livestream all around the globe. They kept checking on me… quality; and I’m only a YouTuber with 6 subscribers.

I don’t know what was more entertaining; the band’s banter or the livestream interaction from their fanbase.  Yes, they would take the mick, but the very real appreciation the audience had for each other, and for the music, and for the band members themselves, speaks volumes. There was something very vulnerable and intimate about the whole show. From a mosquito who lead singer Jon Foreman introduced as ‘hello little fella”, when it interrupted him with a friendly bite, to the reminiscences of cold turkey… hands up all who can identify… everything about my 1AM viewing made a memory I hope I’ll never lose.

If you’ve heard of or listened to Switchfoot before, you’ll know what I’m talking about when these song titles appear on the page in front of you now: Restless, Shine Like Gold, Joy Invincible. My favourite tracks of all time. Yet the band’s repertoire goes far beyond the mellow and indie, to proper hardcore rock. Their covers are interesting too. And as so many listeners comment – better than the original.

The biggest surprise of the evening for me personally was when Foreman announced they would be focusing on previously unheard or unpublished tracks. Prepare to be bored or disappointed, I told myself. As usual, Switchfoot did a number on us. The collective intake of breath from the audience as his distinctive voice hit the raw edge of beauty makes me wish I had the show on repeat. I’m looking forward to the next Insta or YouTube post from these guys. If not for the opportunity to properly say hi to ‘@heyjude6’, then definitely to thank the band. What else can one say….. that I’ve published a review with WEBC? Now that would be quality.

Jessica Nel is a digital content creator, working for the greatest creative in the business. Connect with her via Jess Thinks… on YouTube, and jessicanel7 on Instagram