SF Masonic Center
San Francisco, CA
November 26, 2016
Given every that's happened throughout this year, whether it be in politics or the pop culture world, hope is needed. Happiness is needed. Sometimes, it takes two bands whose careers have been completely built and raised on a foundation of these two aspects of life to make people forget about all of the crap that's been going on in the world. I honestly feel that Switchfoot and Relient K couldn't have come at a more perfect time to San Francisco.
The crowd was quiet, non-rowdy, intent on listening to every word and note the two bands performed throughout the evening. There was no opening act; the show was solely focused on these two bands. Given that both Switchfoot and Relient K have a combined discography of nearly twenty records (this doesn't include ANY EPs or live records either), we had a bit of material to get through.
Relient K performed first, and I think this was a good move. They're a group that has much more of a pop-rock sensibility to them, and this was needed in order to kick things off and bring up the morale (the weather outside was rather dreary and rainy). Hits and deep cuts were performed on a stage adorned with a number of fun trinkets, including a massive lion (?) sculpture and a Coca-Cola cooler situated next to the piano. It gave the stage a rather outdoors-y feel.
Perhaps the greatest part of this tour coming to a venue like The Masonic, in addition to the fact that the crowd was very intent on listening to the bands, was that there is a major amount of intimacy with a show like this. Vocalist Matt Thiessen stopped before the last few songs to talk about a wonderful organization, Cure International, and the crowd just shut up. They listened, and they responded at the proper time. I witnessed this when I got the chance to see Garbage perform at this very same venue back in September. I don't know if it's the venue or the artists themselves, but it's amazing when I see fans truly really quiet down and listen to what an artist has to say. (Also, please click on the Cure International link above to go and check out their incredible organization).
Switchfoot took the stage about a half hour after Relient K had finished, bringing with them their epic brand of pop and alternative rock. Much like Relient K, every member of Switchfoot seemed to actually want to be on stage, truly enjoying and showcasing their passion and love for what they do. Vocalist Jon Foreman took things a step further when he performed in the crowd for a good number of songs in the set, bringing with him a swarming cavalcade of fans to sing the words right back to him. They truly are a band that just emanates feelings of hope and the feeling that you really can take on anything, whether you're a longtime fan or hearing them for the first time. You can't help but get a little choked up, particularly when a song like "Dare You To Move" comes on. There's nothing like it.
These are two bands that really have crafted their own incredible fanbase. I saw nothing but positivity radiate throughout the crowd. No shit-talking, no bashing, no negativity. If you ever need a break from the increasing negativity that is permeating the air we breathe every day, just know that you'll be safe at a Switchfoot and/or Relient K show. You can't go wrong with either band.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.