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April 27, 2012 | 3:09 p.m. CST
The year 2003 was a pleasant one. The first season of The O.C. began, Syracuse beat Kansas in the national basketball championship game and Switchfoot’s fourth album The Beautiful Letdown launched the band into prominence.
Fans of the surfer-bro musicians expecting to hear songs from this era left unfulfilled. After playing “Stars” as their second song to much audience acclaim, it seemed as if the band was going to dip deep in their repertoire. The big guns were officially out.
It would later appear that this track was only one out of four that were not included on their latest two albums. Of course, this is nothing unusual; artists are known to heavily promote their most recent albums.
Despite this, even as the band has grown older, their showmanship still packs a youthful energy. Frontman Jon Foreman jammed with the intensity of a feral honey badger on steroids, holding the hands of front-row concertgoers and at one time jumping off the drum set.
Another part of this experience was the frenetic light display. Green rotating beacons of light shone on the San Diego band’s bleached hair while yellow floodlights behind them bathed the stage in a bright glow. Clearly the technician deserves a promotion … or at least some free merchandise.
With the exception of some change-ups in the form of looped chords and repeated verses, Switchfoot faithfully matched the quality of the tracks laid down in studio albums, Hello Hurricane and Vice Verses.
Matching the bouncy, melodramatic personality of The Rocket Summer, who warmed up the stage, Foreman worked hard at charming The Blue Note crowd. Midway through the set list, Foreman shared an anecdote about traveling to Columbia with the band and losing his passport before landing in Bogota. “I’m glad I didn’t need a passport to visit this Columbia,” he joked.
And now, with Girls on its third episode and Kansas losing the national championship yet again, 2012 could be a promising year for Switchfoot.