San Diego native band rocked under the rain at SDSU

Switchfoot frontman in the crowd

Megan Wood

Jon Foreman hopped into the crowd during Saturday's concert.

by Courtney Brown, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Nov. 1, Switchfoot put on a hometown show at the San Diego State Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre. Two other SoCal rock bands, The Young Wild and Sir Sly, joined the San Diego natives.

It was a magical night to say the least. Audiences began filing in as The Young Wild started off the night under a crisp moonlit sky. The indie-pop band had the crowd going with its high energy. With a similar vibe to Imagine Dragons, The Young Wild used a heavy kick drum and bass to lay down a powerful beat. Adding funky electric guitar riffs and synths gave the group its unique, feel-good sound. One of the highlights of The Young Wild’s set was when it was grooving to a chromatic keyboard solo during its last song and it started raining. At a place like the Open Air Theatre, there’s nowhere to hide from the weather, so most of the crowd embraced it and rain danced until Sir Sly took the stage.

Some say it’s good luck when it rains at a concert. I personally think it’s a sign from the Universe telling us to rock on. By the time Sir Sly started its set, most of the amphitheater was full. Sir Sly is a seasoned band and was well represented at the show by its local fan base. The band’s dark, ominous intro had the crowd screaming as droplets drizzled from the clouds.

“Thanks for hanging out with us,” said lead singer, Landon Jacobs, “I’m going to move this sound equipment so I don’t get electrocuted and die onstage.”

His voice, however, was electrifying. The band’s energy and Jacobs’ killer dance moves kept spirits high. Both opening bands thanked the crowd and community of San Diego over and over again for supporting their music. Even in the cold and rain, good vibes radiated from the stage.

The amphitheater was almost full as Switchfoot prepared for their headlining set. The general vibe from the diverse crowd was pure excitement. Switchfoot fans have a lot of love for the band. Some members of the audience had seen the group perform more than five times and keep coming back for the powerful message the members project through their songs.

Like clockwork, at 9 p.m. the sky became clear and dry and Switchfoot took the stage. They opened with the high intensity song, “Say It Like You Mean It” from “Fading West.” You could feel the band’s positive charge and excitement to be playing in their hometown in front of people they loved.

“I cannot tell you how good it is to finally be home,” said frontman Jon Foreman.

After dedicating his next song to the San Diego night sky, Foreman hopped off stage and into the crowd as he invited fans to sing along with him to “Let it Out.” You could feel their love and humble appreciation for the community that built them. It was like watching a concert for a group of their most personal friends, and you felt like you belonged.

One of the highlights of the set was when Foreman channeled his inner Bob Dylan and incorporated a harmonica neck rack with his soft guitar for “Your Love Is A Song.” At one point the group went fully acapella and all you could hear was the crowd echoing the lyrics throughout the amphitheater.

Foreman attributed his inspiration to start a rock band to the musicians he used to watch as a kid at the Open Air Theatre. Now playing on the same stage was like coming full circle, he said.

Another highlight was when the band brought out cellist, Keith Tutt. The group played an emotional rendition of “Only Hope.” The combination of the cello and the luminous moon added a spiritual aspect to the night. The show ended on a bright note with “When We Come Alive.” Energy and inspiration were buzzing through the venue and the sense of connection was as loud as the lyrics serenading the crowd. Comments from people leaving the theater were all along the lines of “Switchfoot never fails to put on an amazing show.”

It was a radical night of music with a nod to the significance of promoting local bands. You never know who might be playing at the Open Air Theatre some day.

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