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Switchfoot    Post Gazette Pavilion May 28th

By Linda Spielman

It seems like last yesterday that I was asked to cover a new and up coming band called Switchfoot at Club Laga. Actually, it was last October. The group's first single "Meant To Live" was just being released to radio. The small but enthusiastic audience at the show obviously knew more than the rest of us because less than eight months later Switchfoot was everywhere. Almost every radio format with the exception of Adult Contemporary was playing them, and they were playing much larger venues with much larger and well-known acts. The alternative, Christian rock based band from San Diego, CA, was taking the music world by storm.

What better way to kick off the first official weekend of summer than with a festival concert? Memorial Day weekend & Pittsburgh's 105.9 The X hosted some of the industry's most popular alternative acts for the station's annual X Fest. Although Offspring & Cypress Hill were the headliners on the main stage, it was acts like Switchfoot, Story of the Year, New Found Glory & Finger Eleven that reigned as the day's events primary crowd draw. 

As New Found Glory's set ended on the main stage, the masses converged upon the fenced in second stage in the parking lot. The swarms of people came over the lawn seating area in waves to insure their spot for Switchfoot's set. Despite the stigma that may be attached to a Christian based band as to how hard they can rock a crowd, Switchfoot made it perfectly clear that music is music, and the message is all the same when you come down to it. 

You can still write positive & powerful music and still kick butt. The hills around the staging area were packed with fans, as well as nearly the entire floor. As nighttime air personality Alan Cox announced the band, the crowd went nuts. The band played nearly their entire debut CD, along with a new song much to the delight of crowd. There was plenty of crowd surfing, which in most cases is the truest compliment to a band's status as a rock band. 

No doubt the guys from Switchfoot are used to warm weather being Southern California native, but despite the unseasonable cold weather on the East Coast Memorial Day Weekend, they still managed to pull off a stellar performance very much worth of their headlining status on the second stage at the festival. 

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 photos by Linda Spielman - Copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved


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