The past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. Saturday night, a colleague showed me a Facebook post about a concert the following night. “Switchfoot at Walkway. Sunday, March 27, 2016, 7pm. Bonifacio High Street Ampitheater.” I literally gasped out loud, and had to look again and read the name of the band carefully, letter by letter. Yes, it’s Switchfoot. Yes, that’s them in the accompanying photo. And yes, the concert date is the very next day, when I unfortunately had prior commitments. I began to feel really bad about the whole situation.
Now before anything else, I have a confession to make. I have not been a hardcore Switchfoot fan from the very beginning. They’ve been around since the 90s, and I’m sure I’ve heard a few of their songs during that time, but I only started to really pay attention around 2007, and became obsessed by 2011. I know, that’s a slow build. But don’t worry, I have now properly stalked them. I’ve read all about them, listened to all their songs non-stop, and have watched a plethora of music videos, podcasts (If you haven’t seen these, look them up. You’re welcome.), interviews, and live performances on YouTube. I think I can say I’ve made up for lost time. Haha!
Back to 2016, and the band’s upcoming concert that grazed the palm of my hands and was threatening to slip away. After a few minutes of sulking and making sure I’ve turned on social media notifications from Switchfoot and each member so I won’t miss any other announcements from them, I decided I would really hate myself if I didn’t do everything in my power to make my dream of seeing them live come true.
I don’t want to bore you with details, but I was able to move things around, and the next thing I know, I was there at BGC, patiently waiting for my favorite musicians to make their appearance. I went to the venue alone, but fortunately met with a friend there so I felt like I could fangirl without feeling awkward.
Turned out that it didn’t matter if I was with someone or not. Once the show started, I got completely lost in it all — the fact that I was seeing some of my favorite people in the flesh, witnessing their incredible musical prowess, and hearing the beautiful music, and the words of wisdom, encouragement, and hope that filled the air on that magical Easter Sunday.
The Foreman brothers Jon and Tim, Chad Butler, Drew Shirley, and Manila-born Jerome Fontamillas landed in Manila only that morning, but if they were jet lagged, it certainly didn’t show. They were a wonder to watch onstage! These guys are masters at their craft, expertly playing their instruments, and navigating vocal melodies and harmonies with ease. They can easily be overlooked in a rock band, but those harmonies are flawless. Frontman Jon delighted everyone (and probably risked injury) by climbing and hanging on to metal rigs beside the stage, leaning in close to eager faces in the crowd, all the while not missing a single beat. At times, he climbed down the stage to get up close and personal with some very lucky fans.
Speaking of fans (or as Jon always says, friends), can I just talk about how amazing this crowd was? Yes, I was part of it, so I’m quite proud. Speaking as a performer myself, I could tell that this was the kind of crowd that brought genuine smiles to the people onstage. And genuine smiles we did see, right from the get go when it seemed Jon wasn’t supposed to come in with the first verse of Stars yet, but everyone was already singing their hearts out so he just picked up from mid-verse.
Hundreds of people passionately singing every song along with the band, coupled with adorable bromance moments onstage (not just between Jon and Tim) made for an unforgettable night of music and camaraderie. I hope they come back soon. As Jon said right before encore, “Isa pa, dalawa pa, tatlo pa.” (One more, two more, three more.)
And many, many more, Jon. Your Filipino family will never get tired of Switchfoot.