A week after the Alice Cooper and Ace Frehley shows at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater, I’m back for another show. This time around we are seeing Switchfoot as they open for one of my favorite bands, Needtobreathe. I had never seen Switchfoot and like a lot of their songs so I was excited to see them as they are a great compliment to Needtobreathe. A great double bill.
Now there was an opening act called The New Respects. They are a family band out of Nashville and were pop, funk, rock and a whole lot of fun. The lead guitarists is a young lady by the name of Zandy Fitzgerald who was mad woman on the guitar. She also had a lot of style and you could tell she had some star potential. She was very likable. The interesting thing about The New Respects is they are the background singers for Needtobreathe during the show so very cool that Needtobreathe gave them the opening slot to shine on their own. I don’t have a decent photo of them, but when you get to the Needtobreathe Concert review, they will pop up there so go check that review out as well.
Back to Switchfoot, the band is a rock band out of San Diego, California and lead singer Jon Foreman has the surfing, hippie thing going that brings a certain charm to the band live that you don’t necessarily get in their studio albums. Seeing him perform is a different experience.
The last couple of weeks for me haven’t been big on releases. This week changes all that. There are so many I want to check out that it might take a whole week to get through them all. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Now before we go on, lets take a look at something in the list below. Frontiers Records has not 1 or 2 or even 5, they have at least 6 albums coming out this week (could be more, I only put in 6). That is one label releasing that many albums on one day. Kind of shocking. If I was an artist on that label, I would ask how the label can market that many releases at one time. Seems unfair to the releases. And a lot of the label’s albums are similar type of music. There is no way, the public can buy them all, especially in today’s environment. I am not sure I understand their strategy. Enough about that. What albums are you most eager to hear? Let me know what you want and what I may have missed. Thanks and have a great weekend.
The Pretty Reckless – Death by Rock And Roll – (Fearless Records): This hard rock band, fronted by Taylor Momsen, is back with another kick ass release. At least I hope it will be kick ass. Taylor has a great rock voice and I have been a fan of her vocals and band since they came out years ago. Can’t wait to dive in to this one.
Durbin – The Beast Awakens – (Frontiers Records): James Durbin has returned after a short stint with Quiet Riot. Glad to see him on his own again. He has brought some heavy hitting friends along and this one is supposed to be balls to the wall heavy and should be right up his alley. Who’da think this boy from American Idol would still be hanging around this long. Good on him.
I have followed Switchfoot since around 2003 with their fourth album ‘The Beautiful Letdown’ and now some 16 years later they bring us their eleventh studio album, ‘Native Tongue’ and yes, I am still a fan. The new album brings us more of the same and yet travels down a new road as well.
The album has a familiar Switchfoot sound that is at times pure rock, at times pure spiritual and at times au natural almost Earthy feel to it. They try so many different musical styles, including a little EDM, but they were able to keep it cohesive. That is in part to what seems to be a theme throughout and that is “Love”. Whether it is God’s love, human love and love on some different level, I don’t know, but the songs all seem to be connected.
The opening track, “Let it Happen” has this spiritual feel with a little bit of rock thrown in and the message to it about letting love just happen as well as letting life just happen. The rock comes in full force with “Native Tongue”. The heavy tribal drums and bass sound kick this up a notch and was a great choice as the first single. And then you get the church feel of “All You Need” and with that chorus I can picture a worship team singing it out loud during service.
For My Sunday Song #86, “Dark Horses” by Switchfoot is my choice. The song is off their ‘Vice Verses’ and the single was released on July 20, 2011. It reached #1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Songs and #1 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (I don’t really know this chart very well). It went to #5 on the Rock Alternative Charts as well. Needless to say, it did very well for the band.
What I like about Switchfoot is they have Christian roots, but can pass as a mainstream act as well. They are able to get the message out and most people don’t even realize they are getting a positive, heartfelt message of some kind whether it is religious or some point they want to get across. I love how he can turn that message into such great music.
“Dark Horses” might be a familiar term to those in the sporting world. A dark horse is a term used to describe a person, team or horse that is not well-known but rises to the top. The song is talking about the homeless children that aren’t well known, but they have something to offer if they were just given the chance. Jon & Tim Foreman are wanting to spread the word and put the focus on helping these homeless kids so they have that chance to shine. For Jon, these kids are the kids he sees on the streets of his home town in San Diego and he works with the organization Stand Up For Kids. I agree with the band and we shouldn’t write them off, they deserve a chance to shine and succeed just as much as anyone.