Switchfoot: The Next Generation

A life I thought was behind me, I have now found, is only ramping up.  I’m finally getting to return to, and share with my children, one of my favorite things.  I thought I might grow out of it, or being a mom would take me too far to return to it.  I’m happy to say, my reality is, I’m back to going to Switchfoot shows, and my oldest son has now been to his first!

My love for Switchfoot is going to make this a long post (I already feel it coming on).  To truly understand how special this is, you have to realize the journey.

This all started when I first heard Switchfoot in high school and saw them perform on Disneyland’s Tomorrowland Terrace stage, as part of an incredible night of Christian bands playing throughout the park.  I was hooked right there.

I think the next time I saw them was at the Anaheim Convention Center with the OC Supertones.  It was just Jon, Tim, and Chad, then.  By now I wanted all their music all the time!

My next memory of Switchfoot is at Point Loma Nazarene.  This was when Jerome came on scene.  The guys were still shy and modest on stage, but the music was ever so good.  These were the days when shows opened with worship songs like, I Could Sing of Your Love Forever.  Such an incredible experience!  There was also a beautiful performance by a choir of Sudanese refugees.

I think this was around the time of the release of Learning to Breathe.  I went to Switchfoot’s Question & Answer at North Coast Calvary Chapel, asked about school life (Chad also took Chem 6A twice) and musical influences (mainly U2 and The Beatles), and got autographs.  No one would believe me now, but there was almost no one there.  I hardly noticed, because I knew I was meeting some of the most incredible people ever.  Yes, these were pre-digital days.

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One of the memorable times I saw Switchfoot was New Year’s Eve at the San Diego Convention Center.  There were a few huge rooms with a stage in each, along with human foosball, gladiator fun, etc.  I took my little brother.  He must have been ten.  We were in the front row, but the stage was at least five feet high.  I remember my brother grabbing the stage and doing a chin-up in order to see, and Chad thought it was hilarious.  It was really cool to share that with my brother.

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My memory’s kinda hazy, but I know there was another time I saw Switchfoot in San Diego with my friends around that time.  I think it was a show with the OC Supertones and Relient K (history seems to repeat itself).

I have a photo that supports having seen Switchfoot again in SD, but I don’t remember it. :(

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I took my family to a show in Orange County.  I remember it being in a small church.

Then there was the release of  The Beautiful Letdown at Tower Records in La Jolla.  I must have missed the presentation, but I remember meeting the guys, getting autographs, and Chad mentioning my “i like switchfoot” shirt was from the “old” days.

Not too long after that, I saw Switchfoot play a show at UCSD, our alma mater.  That was the first show that felt somewhat big for them.

I saw them at the Del Mar racetrack, during race season. I remember being disappointed this was the first time I couldn’t get up front.  It was at the end of a day of races, so there were a lot of people.

I saw Switchfoot in Anaheim at The Grove.  I don’t remember much, except that I couldn’t get out of work fast enough to get over there.

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A really cool show I went to was on Santa Monica Pier.  The sun was setting, the atmosphere was great, and I was standing in front of a movie star.  You know the guy from Ghostbusters 2 and Numbers?  Switchfoot must be big time now!

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I know I went to a couple Bro-Ams.  My family rented a house across the street from that beach one week every summer of my memorable life.  It was awesome when we could coordinate it with Bro-Am.  That’s where I watched the guys surf, we discovered Invisible Children, and my mom asked Jon to sing at my wedding.  Gotta give her credit for trying.  Don’t worry.  Our wedding was still filled with their music.

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The next I have photos of is when they played at Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine.  I don’t even know what album they were on then.  I was just so glad to be there.  I was very pregnant with my oldest son, and a friend snuck us in.  My son either hated it or loved it.  He was moving the entire time.

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And then I had kids.  I thought my days of going to shows were over.  I hardly had time to listen to their latest music anymore.  I fell behind.  I call those the Dark Years.

Then, my youngest was old enough I could leave him for an evening, and my awesome friend I used to go to shows with was game for a flight out to see Switchfoot together.  It may seem simple, but it was like a dream.  I got to spend time with my bestie in our old stomping grounds of La Jolla, and experience the music we’ve always loved.  It rained on us in the Open Air Amphitheatre, but I remember belting out Only Hope, with Keith totally rocking it on the cello.

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I thought that last show was a one-time deal for me.  Shows just aren’t in our budget, and babysitters are hard to come by.  Then, my husband surprised me for my birthday.  He took me to see Jon Foreman at Lido in Newport.  And our friends were there!  We had a great time.  We even got to visit with Jon afterwards.

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My husband decided we were on a roll, so we saw Switchfoot at the Palladium in L.A..  It was another great show.  I was back at the front of the crowd.  The vibe was awesome.  We got to meet with the guys afterwards.  I loved it!

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My kids enjoyed Fading West and Where the Light Shines Through, so I was eager to take my oldest son to a show.  I loved the experience with my little brother, and couldn’t wait to do that with my son.

It all culminates to this night.

I found out Switchfoot was playing at the Del Mar Fair (how have I not thought of this before?), and thought this would be a good time to bring the little guy.  I could not wait for Daddy to get home and watch the littles so we could take off!  He was going to his first Switchfoot concert (not counting in utero)!

I let this guy borrow my retro Switchfoot shirt from 18 years ago (the same one I wore when he was the bump under it).

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We braved fair traffic and got there with plenty of time.  The weather was nice and cool.  The fog machine seemed redundant, with actual fog rolling in.  We met great people (the wonderful thing about Switchfoot shows) to rock out with, and I reveled in seeing my favorite band with one of my favorite people.

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19622581_10209310491415017_984532722_n_aPhoto: Shari Hallahan

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When we left the show, my little guy was starving, and only a hot dog would do.  I got him a Pink’s hot dog, and then his eyes looked up.  He wanted to go on the gondola.  We had a terrifying, beautiful ride over the fair.  He felt so brave when we got off!

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It was a night we’ll always remember.  So glad we did it!