Switchfoot, a heartfelt performance to remember.

 

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

A sensational performance which took place on Easter Sunday at the outdoor amphitheater at BGC Walkway at Bonifacio High Street. The event was part of the culminating activitites of Holy Week with Church Simplified.

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

It wasn’t the high quality sound system, or the interesting live video feeds on the background, (one camera in particular, was suspended on a long cable from the back of the stage to the soundboard across the crowd, which created unusual perspectives), that made concert a stand out, rather the demeanour of the band themselves, especially the dynamic lead vocalist Jon Foreman.
iRocktography: See what music looks like...iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

He masterfully commanded the stage with ease, with an energy level that would make the Energizer Bunny bleed with envy. Not staying in one place for long, he kept the audience on their toes, while mixing it up performing with and without a guitar, and even a harmonica on one of the songs.

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

There where smiles all around as he interacted with his bandmates, one of which is his brother, Tim Foreman on bass guitar, Drew Shirley on guitar, Chad Butler on drums and Philippine native, Jerome Fontamillas on keyboards and guitar. For most of the night Butler and Fontamillas stuck to the back portion of the stage while Shirley and the Foreman brothers focused the crowds gaze towards the front.

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

In case you haven’t heard of Switchfoot, they’re an alternative rock band out of Southern California, often classified as a Christian band. Labels may be helpful in the packaging of household goods, but useless when referring to musical genres. They’re not performing church hymns here like “Amazing Grace”, or a campfire songs, such as “Kumbayah”, however their lyrics are inspirational and show their love of God.

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

Worship music perhaps would be a more appropriate name, but in a form of rock and roll, and the excited crowd in Manila ate it up. It was evident to all of those in attendance, that the band is something special. A group of Christians, as their music will attest but performing their songs in a truthful, honest, and exuberant fashion, exactly what music should be, regardless of it’s classification.

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

He not only connected with the crowd in a figurative sense with the music but also literally when he jumped into the crowd without hesitation. He meandered through the sea of fans, while completing two entire songs. It’s not often that you see a lead vocalist let himself get completely surrounded on all sides, engulfed.

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

I’m sure the security team is not too fond of this behaviour but it was evident to those in attendance, that this band is something special. For the entire show, all the band members where consistently smiling, as they looked out into the crowd with a sense of gratitude, you could feel that there was an undeniable love for what they do.

 

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

“It’s the greatest gift to be able to sing these songs of hope with you guys, halfway around the world on such a day as this.” Jon Forman told the crowd.

 

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

Switchfoot is one of those bands that may be sound better live than on a record, which Jon announced they are now in the process making of their tenth, they’ve been around for awhile now, their first album was “The Legend of Chin” in 1997. And according to their production staff, while here in Manila, they will be shooting footage for the upcoming music video for one of the singles off the new album, so keep an eye out for that. The vocals for the evening may not have been perfect, and there was no string section that you would often hear on a studio version of some of the tracks, but none of that mattered one iota. There were no facades here, certainly not just going through the motions. Sincerity cannot be faked, people pick up on it almost immediately. It wasn’t so much the lyrics themselves that were inspirational but it was the way in which they were sung, with true emotion and a sense of love.

 

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

Jon Foreman’s crowd interaction was also truly impressive. Typically, the front member of a band will approach the crash barrier for a moment or two, with a quick hello for the lucky die-hard fans in the front rows and Jon did that; on numerous occasions, giving high fives to anyone holding out their hand, even borrowing a hat from a stranger or later donning a fans homemade banner draped over his shoulders. At various points of the concert, he even climbed on the stage structure above the crowd itself and kept on singing without missing a beat. He payed attention and would approach the obviously excited fans, but also acknowledged some special folks in attendance, like a fan in a wheelchair. And on stage, on more than one occasion, Jon caught some serious air, as he leaped off the top of the drum kit.

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

An intriguing high-energy show, a blast to photograph such a dynamic frontman and a pleasure to behold such a tight performance of talented musicians, often loud and wild, which was an unusual juxtaposition with such inspirational lyrics. A memorable performance indeed, if you missed them this time, Jon told the crowd, they should be back around in a year or so.

iRocktography: See what music looks like...

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