Collective Soul & Switchfoot
Opening set by Jade Jackson
The YouTube Theater – Inglewood, CA
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022
Collective Soul and Switchfoot are just over the halfway point of their 40 date Summer tour and finally made it to the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, CA. The YouTube Theater is a beautiful, 6000 seat venue tucked neatly into a corner of SoFi Stadium (Home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers), reminiscent of the old (and MISSED) Universal Amphitheater.
For tonight’s show the balcony area was closed off and to be honest, almost half of the floor section could have been closed off too. Whether it was due to a Tuesday night show or a lack of promotion, the venue was definitely not packed.
That in itself was a shame because Collective Soul and Switchfoot put on one hell of a great rock show.
Switching off headline spots, Collective Soul were first up this evening. Hailing (proudly) from Atlanta, Georgia, Collective Soul always seemed to be the red headed step-child of the 90’s alternative scene. For me they were the band that played the “Oh, that’s Collective Soul?” songs. After seeing them live, I now have a much better appreciation of the talent they brought and their rightful place next to their alt. peers.
Collective Soul are brothers, Ed (vocals/guitar) and Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Will Turpin (bass), Johnny Rabb (drums) and Jesse Triplett (lead guitar).
Without even hearing a word, I knew that I’d enjoy Ed Roland’s personality. Dressed in, what can only be described as, a dixie cup colored, shorts suit, Ed took center stage as the band ripped into “Cut The Chord” from their latest, 2022 release, “Vibrating“.
The bands greatest hits were layered through the set providing a nice balance between the old and the new tunes. The opening riff of “Shine” garnered the first big roar of the evening and the first round of crowd participation during the “Yeah” moment.
Other highlights included Ed, solo acoustic with harmonica performing a tribute to the “greatest protest song writer” on “Bob Dylan Where Are You Today“; hearing my favorite CS song, “The World I Know“; Ed naming some of the great artists that hailed from Georgia (Otis Redding, Little Richard, Ray Charles, The Black Crowes…) and paying tribute to “one of the greatest from our State” with REM’s “The One I Love” as they were joined on stage by opener, Jade Jackson with an appearance by Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman.
A really killer set that had some people questioning why Collective Soul weren’t closing the show this evening.
Full Collective Soul Pic Gallery: HERE
To be up front… I was one of the people questioning the choice of closer. I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t even HEARD of Switchfoot before the show was announced. I read up on them and saw the “controversy” (if you want to call it that), about whether or not they are or aren’t a christian band. I even went down a YouTube wormhole listening to ther greatest hits and frankly felt kind of “meh” about them. Well I have been enlightened. Switchfoot were one of those bands that made me realize why I so love the live music experience.
First off, they closed this CA date because 1. it IS a joint headline tour and 2. it was somewhat of a hometown show for the boys. Hailing from down South (not THAT South.. the San Diego South), the guys in Switchfoot certainly have a very faithful following (So much so that some wonderful person on their facebook page came to the LA show even though he’d be “in a place with a bunch of fucking liberals”. HIS facebook page oozed of being a “good christian” for what it’s worth). Hopefully he survived all the liberalness he surely experienced. I digress…
Switchfoot have quite the discography, racking up 12 albums since their 1996 formation. Tonight’s set covered songs from the vast majority of those releases. The band consist of (Another set of brothers), Jon (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Tim Foreman (bass), Chad Butler (drums), Jerome Fontamillas (keys/rhythm guitar) and Boaz Roberts (lead guitar).
They kicked off their set with “Take My Fire” and “Stars“, but it was their 3rd song choice that peaked my interest as they laid into a killer version of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage“. This had Jon leaving the stage (not for the last time) to head into the crowd and sing among the fans.
What Switchfoot bring are a lot of great, catchy songs, an infectious energy on stage and frontman, Jon Foreman has a really, laid back, peaceful, surfer boy vibe. He often referenced playing or writing these songs while sitting around a fire on the beach. The laid back approach to life didn’t allow them to hold anything back on stage as they ran around the place, with Tim Foreman taking a couple of leaps off the drum riser at times.
In a set full of highlights (And I remind you again, I knew none of these songs previously) I really enjoyed “Where The Light Shines Through“, bringing out their friend Keith Tutt to play the electric cello on “Live It Well” (dedicated to a couple of friends and family members that had recently passed away); opener, Jade Jackson returning to the stage to help the band sing “I Won’t Let You Go” (While Ed Roland danced around in the background); the bounciness of “Float“, what is probably their biggest hit, “Meant To Live” and of course the Beastie’s cover.
Since the show, and while writing this review, I’ve revisited their songs online and I really have a new appreciation for them and the band. Seeing them live really brought them to life and Switchfoot have indeed gained a (couple of) new fan(s). My friend, Erika, wasn’t that familiar with them either and left saying that she enjoyed them more than Collective Soul. So there ya go.
For what it’s worth…my take on the “are they, aren’t they” a christian rock band: It didn’t matter one bit because they and their songs aren’t preachy (which I do tend to stay away from). They are just a band that seem to be full of peace, love, togetherness and brotherhood and I’m all for that. (Even if there was a guy next us shouting “Jesus Loves You” at the band).
Full Switchfoot Pic Gallery: HERE
The show was opened by singer songwriter, Jade Jackson. Jade played a short, mainly acoustic set of originals with a cover of The Boss’ “Dancing In The Dark” thrown in for good measure. She sounded and played great, but man, was it quiet in that place during her set. Polite applause followed each song, but you could hear a pin drop.
This by no means was a reflection on Jade and her talents, more so that the half venue was half filled and people had not yet made their way into the theater.
Those that did make it in early received the well deserved treat of her music. She’s a poster child for sticking at what you love and not letting anyone deter you from it.