Switchfoot's 2nd Annual Easter Concert in the #CHILLippines

6:25 AM


As soon as I heard the news about Switchfoot’s comeback in Manila, I immediately called my friend, Iana, to block off her schedule. We got our tickets on the first week of distribution. I have to say that the timing of the concert was perfect because I will be back by then from my trip to Japan. The timing was also perfect because Switchfoot just released their 10th album – Where the Light Shines Through. I had a perfect picture in my mind that this day would be one of the best days of my life, like the past two Switchfoot concerts I’ve been to. But then, when the day finally came, things did not go exactly as planned. Well, to start the series of unfortunate events that happened, I forgot my iPhone and all I had with me was my Lenovo phone that can’t even function well. At first I thought it got stolen, so I spent the entire morning panicking and worrying. I was on the verge of crying while I was on my way to Makati. I later found out that it was just in my room, underneath my sheets. I don’t usually forget my phone but of all the days, why does it have to happen on the concert day?!

My friend and I were supposed to meet in SM Makati at around 1:30PM so we can book an Uber ride together. While we were heading to BGC, I was playing with my DSLR and then I realized that I left the battery charging in my room! So I forgot my Iphone, then I forgot my camera’s battery. Great. To top it off, I also forgot my Switchfoot photo book that I was planning to get signed by the band at the presscon. Aaand I forgot my umbrella and it was raining so hard. Yup, shit happens.

It was only 2PM; the day was still young. Awful things were happening to me on the day that was supposed to be perfect. But then I remembered one of Switchfoot’s songs in their latest album, there’s a line that goes, “None of this is in your control”. These bad things that happened earlier were beyond my own restraints. What I can do, is to control how I react to the situation. So with a new perspective, I’ve decided not to ruin the entire day just because of what happened earlier.

SOUNDCHECK AND PRESSCON

The moment we arrived in BGC, the very first thing we did was to search for a camera store to purchase a DSLR battery. Luckily, there’s one in Central Square Mall in Bonifacio High Street. As we were heading towards the exit of the mall after buying the camera battery (which is so expensive, btw), we heard the sound of drums and guitars coming from the stage. Iana and I began to run because we figured that the band was about to do their soundcheck! 

Switchfoot fans who were there early were lucky enough to see the band do their soundcheck. Switchfoot played two songs: “Holy Water” and “Float”. Oh, and did I mention they sounded great??

After the soundcheck, Iana and I went backstage for the press conference. At this point in my blog, I would like to thank Manila Concert Junkies for sending me as their representative for the Switchfoot presscon. Also, I would like to extend my gratitude to all the people in Church Simplified for bringing Switchfoot in Manila again, and for allowing us to cover this Easter event.

Okay, so my luck was starting to roll after that series of unfortunate events that I dealt with earlier. At the presscon, I couldn’t stop staring at the band’s faces. These are the faces behind the songs that got me through rough times. This is one those moments that I wish I could slow the time down or better yet, stop it.

During the presscon, there was a question on what made them decide to come back in Manila. Jon jokingly said, “Jerome told us he’d quit the band if we didn’t come. I want him still in the band so now we’re here.” Jon also said that 20% of the Switchfoot was born here in Manila, and that their Filipino fans feel like their family. 

The guys were very charming and articulate with their answers, which is why I didn’t have any problem when I was writing my news article for Manila Concert Junkies. Jon even told the audience that his young daughter is persistently listening to Taylor Swift. With this topic brought up, Drew mentioned that his daughters are very keen on listening to pop music, especially songs by cute boys like Justin Bieber, and then Jon perkily butted in and said, “So you think Justin Bieber is cute?” Everyone broke into laughter! Wearing a grin on his face, Drew then responded, “He’s okay, sure. Next question..”

The band asked the crowd what songs they would like to include in the setlist. I heard some of the media mentioned songs like Let it Out, Learning to Breathe, Only Hope, Float, Meant to Live and Stars. My friend, Iana, shouted “I Won’t Let You Go”, then Jon answered back, “I won’t let you go, too”. Iana and I were shookt by his reply. I told Iana to also shout “Golden” because I really, really love the way they play it live, especially Drew’s parts. But without thinking it over, I shouted it myself all the way from across the room because I was at the very back. The band couldn’t hear me and kept on asking what I was saying. So after 5 exchanges of “What” and “Golden”, I got an “Ooooh” reaction from my fellow media and from the band. Jon replied, “Wow! Golden. I hope I still remember the lyrics.” Golden is quite an old song (released way back in 2005) and they rarely play it live, like twice in their 20 years existence as a band.

When the press conference ended, some of the media made their way towards the band for a photo opp. Of course, I grabbed this opportunity to have a photo with them, also to give the shirts that I bought for them. When it was my turn, I was surprised by their reaction as I made my way towards them. Jon replied, “Wow, look at you! All set for the concert!” At the back of my head I was like, “uh-oh do these guys recognize me??” This was like my 4th time meeting them, and I have been an active fan in their social media. I don’t want them to think like I’m a creepy fan girl!

After having a photo with the band, I handed Jon a paper bag, containing the shirts that I bought for them. Jon then asked for my name and it took me a long while to answer back because I forgot my name! (Jeez, what’s wrong with you, Sab??) The guys all thanked me for the gifts I gave.  Drew asked what was inside the bag, I told him that it’s a surprise and to just open them.

Take 2. Thanks for the photos, Patrick! 

I was completely lost for words. The fan girl in me was screaming internally. It was a quick encounter, but definitely a moment to remember.


17 SONGS AND I STILL WANT MORE

Just like in their Looking for America Tour, the concert started with a countdown and a short video of Switchfoot coming out from the dressing room. Switchfoot warmed up the crowd with an energetic song from their latest album – “Float”. Manila is no longer a stranger to this song because the music video was born in the streets of Tondo, Manila.


The band kept the energy alive with their hits from the past – “Meant to Live” and “Stars”. Jon even said that this was their second annual Easter celebration in Manila; this could be like a tradition. Of course, we’d want that!


Before the band broke into the next song, Jon said while playing with his guitar, “I feel like in many ways, our trip here in Manila inspired us, kind of galvanized the entire album so thank you for that. And now I wanna sing a song, like most of our songs, moving from darkness to the light. We sing these songs because we believe that hope deserves an anthem.” The song “Where the Light Shines Through” was one of the highlights that night. My favorite part was when Jon and Drew exchanged guitar solos. This is one of my favorite tracks on their latest album of the same title. 


One of my favorite songs that night, “This is Your Life”, was a special one. Every time they play this live, the question “Are you who you want to be?” always stings, but in a good way. I have always been a huge fan of this particular composition, and every time I feel like I’m having a quarter life crisis or being emotional, I’d always turn to this song.


The most emotional song of the night – “I Won’t Let You Go”. I have no word to describe this song. For me, this song is their most phenomenal song to date. I get the same feeling of hope just like I felt for their song “Dare you to Move”. Jon’s vocals were unparalleled; the guy’s vocal range was incredibly high which made the song more vulnerable, in a way. 



The song “We are One Tonight” is also special, and I can daresay that this was my favorite part of the show. What sets the song apart from the rest is the way Switchfoot mashed two songs in one performance – We are One Tonight and The Shadow Proves the Sunshine. For the most parts, Jon jammed with his Filipino fans while he was standing on the thin railings.



For the song “Hello Hurricane”, Jon asked his band mates - Tim, Chad, Drew and Jerome -  to join him in front to sing this song as a group. Unlike last year, the guys played this song in a full band set-up. I like this stripped down version better because it was nice to see and listen to the boys like their doing a campfire song. 



If the House Burns Down Tonight” was their most energetic song that night. The crowd reciprocated the band’s energy by throwing fists in the air, and by jumping up and down as they rock the BGC amphitheater.  Another favorite live performance because the band really knows how to rock Manila.



For the song “Only Hope”, Jon started off the song acoustically. Then, the rest of the band joined him on the last chorus, which made the song performance more heartfelt and moving. 



Of course, the band cannot leave Manila without performing “Dare You to Move”. This song is truly a work of art, one of the greatest songs ever written. When Jon broke into the intro of the song, I couldn’t believe that the concert was almost over already. I never wanted it to end!



The band left the stage after they finished playing “Dare You to Move”. It was an indication that they were down to their last 2 or 3 songs. After a few minutes, the band went on stage again to their encore “Live it Well”.



For the finale, Switchfoot played “Where I Belong”. And just like last year, my friend, Israel, brought the very same flag that Jon used for this particular song. It was a bitter-sweet moment because it was the end of a good rock show.

I still can’t believe that the concert was over. It felt like it was short even though the band played 17 songs. I keep on saying this, but I never wanted it to end! It was my third time seeing them perform live, and I just stood there, still in awe like a girl seeing magic for the first time.


After the concert, Iana and I were supposed to return backstage for the meet & greet passes that we won during the Solar ETC Facebook Contest. We waited at the designated area, together with my other friend who’s also a winner. ETC’s contact person was not replying, and she’s not answering our calls. And when she finally answered, she told us that the meet and greet was already over. It was extremely frustrating because we were there just as she told us, and she did not even bother to give a final call for the winners. I mean, was it too much to text five winners?? This girl with “a pixie haircut with a dog” even put the blame on us and kept on insisting that we should’ve buzzed her and we should’ve asked around. We did! But she was not answering. We also asked around just to find this girl.

It was unfair for us winners because we did our part and we complied with her instruction. The lack of communication came for Solar ETC’s end. The other winner, Renelle and I emailed ETC about this matter, and we even took time to do a timeline with screenshots of text messages and call logs. But it seems that ETC just ignored this matter. We understand. I mean, what can you expect from ETC anyway? They hired that girl who can’t even admit her fault and kept passing the blame to us. 

AFTERMATH

As I am writing this, it has already been 1 week, 44 hours and 12 minutes since I last saw the band. The Post-Concert Depression is kicking in hard, even up to now.


I realized that as I tried to relive every moment, I cannot feel the same excitement I felt anymore. It came to my mind that you will never get to relive your happiest moments, and that’s what makes it more precious. As I write everything that happened from the time of preparation down to their final bow, I can’t help but to smile. After the mayhem from the concert day, I’d still consider that day one of the best days of my life. Switchfoot dared me to move on, but I just can’t!


A post shared by Switchfoot (@switchfoot) on
 Jon Foreman, wearing the shirt I gave during the presscon.

Switchfoot is and will always be my favorite band because of the passion they put into every note. They are the kind of band that sings about hope; the band that challenges its listeners to ask big questions on issues that are difficult to break down into dialogues. Switchfoot sings honest songs, songs that are too honest that it will leave you wounded. And in those wounds is where the light will start to break through.

“Hope deserves an anthem” – Jon Foreman




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