On September 30th and October 1st, Relient K and Switchfoot held their co-headlining tour “Looking For America” in Chicago at The House of Blues. Both bands recently released new albums: Air For Free by Relient K and Where the Light Shines Through by Switchfoot. Both nights were sold out and I had the privilege of not only being able to attend, but I met with the band Relient K as well.
The Meet and Greet check-in started promptly at 3:45PM where I received a tote bag that had the bands name and tour on it, a signed poster from the members themselves, and a VIP lanyard. However, the actual meet and greet began thirty minutes after the said scheduled time of 4PM since the band was practicing a couple of songs in preparation for the show (which I really didn’t mind because they sounded great!). After filing in line, Relient K band members Matt Thiessen (lead singer), Matt Hoopes (lead guitar), and Dave Douglas (drummer) came out and we were able to chat and take a group photo before the show started.
The show started at 6:30PM with Relient K being the first of the two. They opened with the song “Local Construction” from their newly released Air For Free album. Other notable favorites from that same album were “Bummin,” “Mountain Top,” and “Mrs. Hippopotamus.” Throughout the set, Relient K incorporated a ton of their hits from previous albums such as “Sadie Hawkins Dance” from The Anatomy Of Tongue In Cheek, “Sahara” and “Forget and Not Slow Down” from Forget and Not Slow Down. They played my first and all-time favorite song “Be My Escape” from Mmhmm, before ending it with the 10-minute song “Deathbed” from Five Score and Seven Years Ago, where they brought out lead singer John Foreman of Switchfoot who sang and collaborated in its creation.
After a 45-minute break, Switchfoot performed “Holy Water” off their Where the Light Shines Through. Other significant songs from the same album were “Bull in a China Shop,” an ode almost to Michael Jordan and his era in the 90s, and “If the House Burns Down Tonight,” a song that illustrates the experience of losing material things in a wildfire (since the band is from San Diego, California where that was common) but having your loved ones by your side and how they are all you really need. In addition, the band played the songs “Meant to Live” and “Dare You To Move,” two of their biggest hits overall from the album The Beautiful Letdown. Most exciting was the band’s acoustic version of “Only Hope,” a song sung by Mandy Moore in the movie A Walk To Remember where “Dare You To Move” was also featured. Switchfoot’s stage presence was unprecedented, incorporating multiple interactions with the audience, performing through the pit area, to even crowd surfing! The night ended with bubbles and red and yellow confetti.
The Looking for America Tour was honestly the most energizing concert I’ve ever been to, with having a front row view, a meet & greet with one of my favorite bands, and how wonderful both performances were. Aside from an amazing experience, both bands dedicated some of the proceeds from their ticket sales to an organization that helps homeless youth across America in addition to supporting CURE, a non-profit organization that donates 100% of their proceeds to helping children in developing countries have access to simple surgeries, such as fixing a cleft lip, club foots, and untreated burns, that normally would be no problem here in the U.S.
Overall I adored this concert, it was incredible and made for a memorable night.