Switchfoot

Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ

Switchfoot
Native Tongue Tour!
The Wellmont Theater
Montclair, NJ
February 22, 2019
With Tyson Motsenbocker & Colony House
Article By Estelle Massry with Dennis Morgillo | Photographs By Estelle Massry
 
What the world needs now, more than ever, is music. Music transcends all. Music heals all. Music is a gift to enjoy. 
 
It's another freezing night in NJ as Switchfoot and friends pull into town to perform at The Wellmont Theater in Montclair NJ. I was hoping they would bring a little San Diego sunshine and warmth with them, but the NJ cold always wins out. While it was cold outside, the music and love certainly made it feel warm inside the theater.  
 
First up was Tyson Motsenbocker, a very talented singer/songwriter also from San Diego. Tyson had a great solo acoustic set and the crowd was warm and enthusiastic. A beautiful intimate performance. I like this guy, I definitely want to hear more. 

Next up is Colony House, a 4 piece band from Tennessee. The band is, brothers Caleb Chapman (vocals) and Will Chapman (drums), guitarist Scott Mills, and bassist Parke Cottrell. Caleb and Will are the sons of contemporary Christian musician, Steven Curtis Chapman. Colony House is an enthusiastic band, reminiscent of a young U2. Great songs, and a lot of energy. Another excellent set, and a nice build up to the headliners.  
Switchfoot was formed in San Diego by brothers Jon and Tim Foreman, in San Diego, in 1996. It's hard to believe it was over 20 years ago since the release of their first album. Although, the brothers were sons of a minister, they were fans of Led Zeppelin and Rock n Roll. Unlike what you see in the movies, however, their minister father sat down with the boys and listened to the music with them and had a discussion about it, and then taught them how to play "Stairway to Heaven" on the guitar. Maybe this explains why they are the only Rock n Roll brothers that actually get along.   
 
Along the way, Switchfoot won a Grammy, toured the world and sold millions of records. They took a well earned break in 2017, which panicked their millions of fans, but refreshed the soul of the band. Their latest album "Native Tongue" was just released January 2019 and is getting rave reviews.   
 
The stage is dark and anticipation high, as Switchfoot enters stage left. The crowd erupts. The band breaks into "Let it Happen", as the lights and lasers are attacking your senses. "Let it Happen" is a great rocking song off the new album, and it sounds like a hit song that I have known all my life. The crowd is already singing along! Sorry to keep saying it, but I am feeling U2 vibes all night. That is definitely a good thing! During the instrumental break, I am getting a Queen vibe! And that is an ever better thing. Yet it is all 100% Switchfoot. 100% original. 
 
Next song is "Meant to Live", the band is receiving love and giving love and there is a nice acapella sing along with Jon and the audience. The band has a nice mix of songs from their catalog and new songs off of "Native Tongue". 

Jon Foreman thanks NJ and the audience and comments "tonight is a miracle already,  I witnessed a Red Sox fan and Yankee fan embracing during 'Love Alone is Worth The Fight'." 

Being that this is NJ, of course it is mandatory that the band perform a Bruce Springsteen song, which they do. After a band introduction, Tim Foreman on Bass,  Chad Butler on Drums, Jerome Fontamillas – keyboards, and Drew Shirley – lead guitar, Jon leads the crowd and band through a fun sing along of "Born To Run". It was extremely charming and a lot of fun. The crowd loved it. 

Switchfoot turns it up to wrap up the show. The beautiul "Prodigal Soul", and "Dare You To Move" end the regular set on an extremely high note. The crowd of course wants more, and they get it. The encores are "Native Tongue" and "Where I Belong". 

What a beautiful show. A night of Joy and Hope. Not all songs have to be about despair, angst, drugs and sex. There is nothing wrong with Joy and being uplifted. It's exactly what we need right now. It was pure Joy all night. The crowd smiled, sang and enjoyed themselves for 2 hours on a cold night. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. This was my first time seeing Switchfoot, but it definitely won't be my last. Make time to see this band and buy "Native Tongue", you deserve it. 
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