Switchfoot at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, PA

Switchfoot are about to embark on leg two of their “Looking For America” tour with Relient K. Head below to check out a gallery of photos from the first leg of the tour in Philadelphia, PA, as well as some thoughts on the show.

I have been on record as saying Switchfoot is America’s most underrated rock band. Sure, they are the same band that the majority knows as “That band that played ‘Meant To Live’ and ‘Dare You To Move.'” But they are also so very much more than that. crafted a twenty-year music career out of crafting earnest, but not self-satisfied, political, but not preachy, anthems. Anthems of hope and loss and anguish and heartbreak and self-discovery. They have provided the soundtrack to the wedding dances. They have provided the soundtrack to protests. Switchfoot is a band that I keep coming back to, finding something new to love, even if the first time I fell in love with their music I could barely comprehend the words.

All of this was made all the more obvious to me when I attended the first leg of Switchfoot’s Looking For America co-headliner with Relient K last fall. The show took place exactly two weeks before American society as we know it was irrevocably altered by the events of Election Night, and the anxiety in the room was palpable.

The tour’s namesake is a song from Switchfoot’s most recent record, Where the Light Shines Through. It’s a song as fascinating as it is messy, as important as it is full of contradiction. A guest spot from Lecrae is particularly evocative, imploring a personified America: “I’m looking for your honesty in skeletons / Do away with your ignorance and arrogance / America the land of immigrants / Check the green card and pedigree.” It is as much a representation of the flawed American dream as any song I’ve heard, and stands as a tremendous spiritual sequel to the band’s “American Dream” (“Maybe we’ve been caught singing / Red, white, blue, and green / But that ain’t my America, / That ain’t my American dream.”)

While the tour may not always bear stump speeches as politically charged as the song it garnered its name from, Jon Foreman is still well known to give speeches discussing whatever is on his mind that day, from the radical hope for change and peace and love, to, yes, his relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you’ve ever been a fan of Switchfoot’s music, I urge you to attend the upcoming second leg of the Looking For America Tour. The band is currently at the absolute top of their game, and their newest songs from Where The Light Shines Through are as vibrant and vital as those early songs. If you’re in a place of general anxiety about the political situation and want to commiserate with others, or just need a night to escape away from the stifling conditions of discourse in our country right now, I urge to attend the second leg of Looking For America. If you’re looking to hear that band you loved when you were eight play “Meant to Live” and “Dare You To Move” (they still play both), I urge you to attend the second leg of Looking For America when it starts this weekend.

For now though, I hope you appreciate the pictures I took from the show. Please let me know what your favorite Switchfoot songs are. I’ll be compiling a playlist in the future of my favorites for people who maybe haven’t kept up with what they’ve done this past decade. You can find more information on upcoming tour dates here.

Craig Ismaili
Craig Ismaili Craig Ismaili is a contributor at chorus.fm. He can also be found at @TGSCraig on Twitter and on Facebook.