Sometimes a line resonates with you; it speaks to your soul.
I saw Switchfoot perform earlier this year. First time I had seen them in concert since 2011.
That Switchfoot show was the best live performance I saw that year, better even than U2. There was something special about the energy of the crowd and the message of the band.
I’ve always liked Switchfoot ever since I received an advance copy of their first album. That initial liking may have been more based on who they were (second generation musicians produced by Charlie Peacock) than the music itself. I wasn’t their target audience; they were speaking to a younger generation.
But the band has grown and it has mined universal themes in recent years. The lyrics speak to angst and the human condition, things we all struggle with. I may be almost 30 years older than the guys in the band, but I get what they are saying. I feel the same way.
Which meant that the show I attended back in February was a must-see, especially with Relient K as the opener. I’ve always liked Relient K, especially their sense of humour, though I don’t know if their music ages as well as Switchfoot’s.
I didn’t get my hopes up this time. I figured they couldn’t possibly be as good as six years ago. I didn’t compare the 2017 to 2011 show. Didn’t need to. It wasn’t that sort of night, but it was a great show. And I didn’t write a review afterward. Wasn’t in the mood for it really.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying that, while I didn’t take notes during the concert I did jot down one line from lead vocalist Jon Foreman: “We sing these songs because hope needs an anthem.”
Seven months later, as I reflect on those words, their truth still strikes me.
We live in what very often seems like a hopeless world. Natural disasters. Wars and rumours of wars. Poverty. Racism. The list seems almost endless, the solutions pretty much non-existent. Some days it seems almost as if there is no hope.
There is though. If you are a Christian, you know that looks can sometimes be deceiving, that in the end Truth will prevail. If you are not a Christian I understand that life indeed can be pretty hopeless – but it doesn’t have to be.
That is Switchfoot’s message. We need more people like them, people willing to offer up a soundtrack of hope.
(If you knew what the back of my head looked like you would be able to spot me in this one)