When you’ve been marketed as a Christian Rock band by an early record label, you have more than your usual number of battles to fight – particularly if you don’t view your music as being ‘Christian’. All kudos goes to Switchfoot for fighting the good fight, and going a long way towards gaining mainstream acceptance.
Their popularity vas never more evident than in Melbourne where their sold out show was attended by a fusion of fans, ready to rock-on into the night. Riding high on local radio airplay and chart successes, the band wooed the audience with music they’d longed to hear live. Beginning their set with ‘Say it like you mean it’, the vibe was established with air punching, clapping and enthusiastic banter quickly becoming the ordre du jour.
By song three, Jon Foreman (vocals guitar) was vertically crowd surfing, looking for all the world as though he had magical powers. The energy between band and crowd sparked with electricity and by the end of the gig it may not have mattered what was played as the punters were determined to let the good times roll.
With outstanding instrumentals and tight vocals it was obvious to all why Switchfoot have managed to stay so popular in a very fickle rock world, while those of lesser talent have had their five minutes of fame and have receded quickly into anonymity. Anyone present, on this night at least, was served a memorable gig with side orders of showmanship.
It seems that music that comes from a Christian place can have mass appeal if it doesn’t shove opinions and doctrines down the throats of fans, but relies on solid music principles to win friends and influence people.
Review by Sharon Brookes, photos by Mary Boukouvalas.