Live review: Relient K and Switchfoot

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Relient K and Switchfoot
Nov. 2, 2016
The Fillmore Charlotte

Most Wednesdays you’ll find the working class of the Queen City winding down after a long day at work at a local brewery. So what could possibly bring a crowd of bankers, hipsters and parents out to The Fillmore late on a weeknight? The promise of reliving a significant portion of their high school years.

Relient K and Switchfoot graced the Fillmore with their presence Wednesday night for their “Looking for America Tour.” These two powerhouses were pivotal to the pop-punk scene that took the mainstream by storm in the early 2000s and are now coming together for one epic tour.

Relient K kicked off the show with a 19-song set that featured a mix of old classics and their latest material. The group came onstage and played without any fancy pyrotechnics or screens — they kept it simple, with a background painting of a log cabin, a few trees placed on stage and a life-sized white buffalo casually sitting on the stage. It was quirky, and yet somehow perfectly aligned with the theme of their latest album, Air for Free.

They ripped through a fairly balanced set with their trademark energy. Occasionally you could feel the crowd getting restless, especially during their newer songs, but the room exploded every time they reached into their backlog. Songs like “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been,” “Sadie Hawkins Dance” and “Be My Escape” received a level of audience interaction that most bands only dream of.

Once Relient K finished up (with a gorgeous rendition of Deathbed, on which Switchfoot’s singer Jon Foreman joined), the audience’s energy slowly started to lag as the stage was set for Switchfoot. The 45 minute break in between the two groups was a touch too long to keep the momentum built by Relient K going. Yet when the lights finally came down, the crowd’s energy returned. Switchfoot took the stage and immediately launched into “Holy Water” from their album “Where the Light Shines Through.”

The interaction between front man Foreman and the crowd is a joy to watch. He took the time between songs to really build a rapport with the audience, and frequently jumped into the crowd to get as close as possible to the band’s fans. His joy and energy were apparent as he jumped from end to end of the venue, singing without missing a single note the entire time.

He had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire time, especially during the songs from Switchfoot’s early years. The crowd was entirely captivated when “Meant to Live” and other songs from their debut “The Beautiful Letdown” were played. The band seemed to tailor their setlist to the fans, setting everything up to give them the most nostalgic, enjoyable experience possible. The closed their amazing set with one of the first songs that launched them into the mainstream, “Dare You to Move.”

Switchfoot and Relient K proved to be the perfect combination. Both groups have been around for more than 10 years and hit the mainstream scene almost simultaneously. Together, the two bands put on a powerhouse show that fans aren’t likely to see again. If you were lucky enough to be at The Fillmore Wednesday night, you bore witness to the meeting of two incredible musical minds.

Relient K Setlist:
1. Local Construction
2. High of 75
3. Bummin’
4. Don’t Blink
5. The One I’m Waiting For
6. Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been
7. Runnin’
8. Mountaintop
9. Forget and Not Slow Down
10. Sahara
11. Air for Free
12. Mrs. Hippopotamuses’
13. Crayons Can Melt On Us for All I Care
14. Mood rings
15. Crayons Can Melt On Us for All I Care
16. Heartache
17. Sadie Hawkins Dance
18. Be My Escape
19. Deathbed

Switchfoot Setlist:
1. Holy Water
2. Meant to Live
3. Stars
4. Bull in a China Shop
5. Where the Light Shines Through
6. I Won’t Let You Go
7. The Shadow Proves the Sunshine
8. Love Alone is Worth the Fight
9. Twenty-Four (acoustic)
10. If the House Burns Down Tonight
11. The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)
12. Where I Belong
Encore:
13. Float
14. Live It Well
15. Dare You to Move

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