by Dylan Looney
The Fall 2015 semester was set off right with an energetic show by Californian alt-rock group Switchfoot. The opener, Colony House, was a pleasant surprise, with an energetic performance that highlighted excellent vocal harmonies and guitar interplay, all against a backdrop of down-to-earth indie rock. The group hails from right here in East Tennessee and contains two sons of Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman as members. The last song in their set, which I later found out is titled “2:20,” was an impressive and unexpected change of pace with the rest of their music. The song’s heavy blues riffing certainly got a few heads banging. Other highlights of their set included “Took Me by Surprise” and “This Beautiful Life,” both of which showed the band’s more human take on indie rock. It should also be noted that I caught Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman sneaking to the side of the stage to take some pictures of Colony House’s set, which I imagine can be found somewhere on social media.
Just as the sun began to set, casting a lovely orange-pink aura over the CPA field, Colony House finished their set with the aforementioned “2:20.” The tension in the crowd rose and exploded as Switchfoot took the stage and launched into the hard-rocking “Stars.” Second in their set was “Meant to Live.” I personally found it strange that they played one of their biggest hits so early on the set. Nevertheless, I could hear the crowd all around me singing along to every line. Altogether, Switchfoot’s performance was filled with an uplifting spirit and energy. Foreman even ventured out into the crowd during one song, coming within inches of a certain music blogger we know. The group proved to be full of surprises that night, pulling out an excellent cover of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” as well as covering Lorde’s “Royals;” Foreman informed the crowd that it was the first time they’ve played “Royals” live. I also noticed how well the band’s older, more guitar-heavy, material blended with the newer songs on the setlist. After a couple tracks of hard-riffing guitars, the band transitioned well into their more recent and more relaxed fare. The crowd even got a couple songs for an encore, ending the night with “Where I Belong.” As we dispersed back into our cars and dorm rooms, it was certain that Switchfoot’s concert was a huge hit.
Switchfoot has wrapped up their tour and are now back in the studio to work on their tenth album.