By NASA MARIA ENTABAN
Switchfoot played Kuala Lumpur on the last stop of their Oh! Gravity tour.
Switchfoot turned up the volume for clean-cut rock action during its KL visit last week.
DON’T pity us,” said Switchfoot lead vocalist Jon Foreman as he sat relaxed with his surfing buddies and band mates in the room full of reporters, just an hour after stepping off the plane from Singapore.
The very tanned five best friends from San Diego, California, hadn’t had anything to eat, appeared tired, but were in surprisingly high spirits.
“We sort of organised this tour around surfing. We got to surf in places we’ve never been to before, like Bali, so don’t pity us,” he reiterated with a laugh.
Jon and his brother Tim (bass, backup vocals), Chad Butler (drums), Drew Shirley (guitar) and Jerome Fontamillas (guitar, keyboard, backup vocals) were on the last stop of their Oh! Gravity tour, after performing in Singapore, Jakarta, Bali and New Zealand.
Notorious for their intensive touring, they were visibly excited to be in Kuala Lumpur for the first time.
While many bands crumble after a few years, forced to perform songs they don’t even like and becoming jaded, Switchfoot remain down to earth, thanks to the incredible friendship they share.
“We’re like brothers of different mothers. We’re best buds,” said Jon. The guys even have their own surfing team back home in San Diego.
Switchfoot has recently become an independent band, after severing ties with Columbia Records.
“We’re in the middle of building our studio in San Diego, and plan to make the next few records there. It’s really exciting because now we can do whatever we want, there’s nothing in our way anymore,” expressed Jon.
The guys also have big hearts, being heavily involved in charity.
During their last tour they raised US$100,000 (RM330,000) to build houses for the poor through the charity Habitat For Humanity.
Throughout the band’s concert at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre last Saturday, it felt like a mamak session with friends – the spoke of the mysteries of life and agonised over why there are inconsistencies in the world.
That’s just what these surfer dudes are about – six albums into their music careers, they are questioning their surroundings, “politics of the heart”, and life in general.
A stellar set of 15 songs enthralled the young crowd of 2,000 – however the fervour shown by the fans almost made it sound like there were 10,000 people in the enclosed, non-smoking hall. The KL show was organised by One Armed Productions.
After making a grand entrance clad in good ol’ jeans and T-shirts, and declaring “Mari kita rock sungguh-sungguh’ (let’s rock hard), the guys tore into the hit from their latest album of the same name, Oh! Gravity.
From then on, it was an hour and a half of intense rock concert perfection.
The band, which has played more than 1,000 shows around the world, is one of those rare bands that sound better live, interacting with the audience and just having heaps of good, clean fun.
Switchfoot’s slower songs like On Fire, Only Hope (from the A Walk to Remember soundtrack) and This is Your Life showcased Jon’s excellent vocals, but the band was in its element during the more upbeat songs like American Dream, Awakening, Dirty Second Hands, Stars and We Are One Tonight.
As the evening drew to a close at 10.30pm, the band sent goose bumps through the crowd with its hit Meant to Live.
Leaving the stage briefly, the band returned with Jon donning an “I Love KL” T-shirt. These energetic rockers fittingly ended the concert with the anthem Dare You to Move, which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Rest assured, nobody left this concert disappointed.
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(Excerpt taken from The Star Online Newspaper)