Switchfoot and Relient K bring their 'Looking For America' tour to Pittsburgh

This past Wednesday Switchfoot and Relient K brought their Looking For America tour to Stage AE here in Pittsburgh. My middle school self had been waiting for these bands to tour together for years, and as soon as I saw the tour announcement I knew I had to go.


Switchfoot has remained one of my favorite bands since those days, but I hadn’t been following Relient K for some years. So in preparation for the concert I brushed up on some of my favorites and listened to their new album, Air For Free, which just came out this past summer. Switchfoot is also using this tour to promote a new album, Where The Light Shines Through, which was also released this past summer.

I may be bias as these two bands are two of my favorites, but this show was truly one of the best I have ever seen. Both bands had incredible energy and kept the audience engaged the whole time. Along with playing some songs off their new albums, they both included classics such as Relient K’s “Be My Escape” and Switchfoot’s “Dare You To Move”.


It’s been close to six years since I had seen Relient K in concert, and from this show I could tell that had been much too long. Matt Thiessen was as adorable as ever, begging the Pittsburgh crowd to sing the line “Let’s hear it for the Cleveland Browns” from their new song Mrs. Hippopotamuses’ as a favor, citing the fact that Browns fans are currently the “saddest fans in sports”. They played new songs such as “Mountaintop” and “Heartache” as well as favorites “High of 75”, “Sadie Hawkins Dance”, and one of my personal favorites, “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been”.


Relient K would end their set with another one of my favorites, “Deathbed”, even bringing out Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman to sing his featured part on the song. There was a quick changeover, and the crowd only had to wait about 15 minutes until Switchfoot came out.


I have seen Switchfoot many times, but this performance definitely topped the list. They opened their set with “Holy Water”, one of my favorite songs off their new album, and followed that with their hit “Meant To Live”. They even debuted the song “Gone” to the tour, saying they specifically saved it for Pittsburgh, as they knew it would be a special show. Some of my favorite moments included a heartfelt performance of “I Won’t Let You Go” which nearly had me in tears, the confetti guns they shot off during one of the last songs, and the bubble machines they had going during “Float”.


Relient K would return to the stage to sing a chorus of Switchfoot’s new song “Live It Well” with them as part of Switchfoot’s encore. At the end of the show Switchfoot took their traditional group bow, but this time were accompanied by an American flag, which yours truly was lucky enough to be responsible for handing to the band after the last song.

After the show Foreman would do one of his traditional after shows down by the water behind Stage AE, and it was a beautiful experience. He sang one of my all time favorite songs “Twenty-Four”, and hearing that song with my favorite city in the background was so amazing.


Despite the fact I was flying solo, I had one of the best nights of my life. My middle school crush on Thiessen is back in full force, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to Relient K and Switchfoot since that night. I would definitely recommend attending the Looking For America tour. I loved it so much I might even attend a second date! If you can’t make it out to a show, then make sure to check out Air For Free and Where The Light Shines Through on iTunes or Spotify!