If you’re a fan of good music, you’re familiar with a band of surfers from San Diego called Switchfoot. If you’re not familiar with them, you are obviously not a fan of good music and should make haste in rectifying that.
I, for one, have been a Switchfoot follower since 1997 when I heard a then-fresh, new song called Chem 6A. In retrospect, it’s a fun little ditty but ‘we were just kids…in the fever of our youth’; that first release is musically and lyrically worlds away from the epic, Grammy-winning tunes of the last several years. Seriously, listen to the Hello Hurricane or Vice Verses albums and try not to love them.
Switchfoot made a stop in KC back on September 21 during the first leg of their Fading West tour. We were there with (proverbial) bells on and loved every second of the show. So much, in fact, that we bought tickets when the Springfield MO seating went on sale. Fast forward two months to last Thursday—we played hooky, packed up the car and headed south to sit front row.
This tour featured a VIP Experience wherein you could meet the band for a photo-op and get some signed swag. For $35/person, it was tempting but we had other plans. Rather than head directly to our hotel after the show, we waited outside behind the venue with a couple dozen college students in sub-freezing temperatures (for real, it was only about 28°F).
I learned two things that night: 1) the difference between people in their early/mid 30s and people in their early 20s is far more distinct than I would have imagined when I was on the younger side of that spectrum; 2) wintry weather is considerably better in theory than in practice.
Some 90 minutes after the last encore, we had our first band encounter. Jerome Fontamillas snuck out of a back door virtually unnoticed until he passed by Severus, who calmly said, “Good show.” To which he replied, “Hey thanks, man,” before being swarmed by aforementioned college kids.
Shortly thereafter, Chad Butler came out to visit. After the initial frenzy died down, he made the rounds to everyone who was standing outside. Chad’s a super nice guy who asked our names and chatted for a little bit; I tend to think he hung around by us a bit longer because we played it cool and looked relatively uninterested. Being aloof has its benefits sometimes.
Sadly, I have no photographic evidence of having met Chad or Jerome. And because Internet rules apply here (“Pics or it didn’t happen”), you’ll just have to take my word for it.
I did, however, manage to get a picture when one Mr. Jon Foreman made his way into the chilly post-midnight air.
And with that, I cross off another goal for the year: meeting someone famous. It wasn’t Reedus or Cavill but I’m perfectly happy with Foreman, arguably one of the best musicians of my generation.
I’ll post concert photos before week’s end.