The 21st Annual Almost Acoustic Christmas 2010 stage was opulently lit up with ironic Christmas palm trees and wispy cotton clouds, floating above the heads of San Diego alternative rock band, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Switchfoot[/lastfm].
Idyllically festive, the stage mimicked a rock ‘n roll nativity scene, the disco balls serving as make-shift constellations directing the way to the main event. The juxtaposition of an almost holy backdrop and the utterly unholy, body vibrating power chords serves Switchfoot well.
The band has literally transcended genres–”switching feet” (a surf term that denotes opposite movement and change) from their original popularity as a Christian rock band to their becoming a ground-breaking, yet still religiously affiliated Grammy nominated mainstream rock band.
Lead singer Jon Foreman was dripping with an ecstatic charisma; his smile constant, his voice passionate and unyielding. On the first song, “Meant to Live,” Jon was already drenched in well-deserved sweat from earnestly balancing the lush drone of the accompanying instruments with the politically-charged sentiment of lyrics like “we want more than the wars of our fathers.”
While bassist Tim Foreman, drummer Chad Butler, multi-instrumentlist Jerome Fontamillas, and guitarists Drew Shirley’s warm, post-grunge pedal-pounding vibrated the stage viciously during the instrumental break, Jon’s voice had a sexy, albeit vulnerable edge.
The band kept up the dynamic momentum for their next song, “Mess of Me.” Switchfoot is musically on-point; their instrumental syncronicity is tight and practically mathematical, without losing it’s heady, seductive purr. This buzzing quality leant well to their special “Christmas” cover of Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage.” Almost as if the Beastie Boys were there themselves, the crowd went wild.
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But not as wild as when Jon jumped into the audience during his anthemic-ballad, “Dare.” Running through the pit and up the first level, Jon said, “Yeah, you look good from up here” as he seemingly floated through the second level, much like a surfboard calmly riding a wave.
For the last song, Switchfoot played “The Sound.” Out of breath, Jon dedicated the song to a gentleman named John M. Perkins who taught him that “love is louder than racism, love is louder than violence.” The song stated over and over again, “this is the sound.”
You’re right, Switchfoot,this is the sound and the sound is huge.