Switchfoot at Ayala Center Cebu

The alternative rock band’s first performance in Cebu was attended by thousands of adoring fans.

The Philippines is one of Switchfoot’s favorite places to regularly come back. The band performed in the country several times. They performed in Manila for last year’s Holy Week observation, and earlier this month, they came to Mindanao to sing songs of hope after hearing news of a devastating earthquake hitting the island.

After a series of gigs across the Philippines last week, Switchfoot stopped by Cebu and performed here in the island for the first time in their 21-year career. Frontman Jon Foreman led the group to an energetic setlist of 16-songs spanning 10 of their albums from 1997’s The Legend of Chin to 2016’s Where the Light Shines Through.

Performing at Ayala Center Cebu’s The Terraces on the night of 19 April 2017, Switchfoot exploded into the stage after an intimate acoustic performance from front-act Julianne (famous for her song Tulak ng Bibig)

Maayong gabi-i Cebu”, Jon greets the audience as he segues into the band’s funky opening song Float found on their latest record which they mentioned later in the concert was inspired by their trip to the Philippines.

Jon, emitting a charisma like Coldplay’s Chris Martin, would come off stage and walk through the crowd during several of the band’s lively songs. A handful of people would lift him up and then he would wave his arms at the audience who are singing along to the song. When he rejoins the band on stage, they’d continue performing many of their classic hits like Meant to Live and the anthemic Love Alone is Worth the Fight.

Switchfoot dedicated the song Stars “to the sky above Cebu” . On the song, Gone, found on 2003’s The Beautiful Letdown, their first record off the Christian label, Jon climbed up the PA speaker in pure rock and roll fashion.

The band then finished off their set with their more intimate songs like the popular sing-a-along Only Hope and the Award winning hit Dare You to Move. They did two more encore songs, a stripped down version of the band’s campfire song, Live it Well and the emotional rock ballad Where I Belong, perfectly wrapping up the two-hour show.

After the show, a meet-and-greet was arranged. Several groups of five fans got the chance to meet frontman Jon Foreman, bassist Tim Foreman, drummer Chad Butler, and guitarists Drew Shirley and Jerome Fontamillas, the latter of which is Filipino.

Switchfoot is now on their way to Japan in preparation for their European ‘Looking for Summer Tour’ with Lifehouse.

Stray observations:

  • The sweet acoustic music of Award winning singer-songwriter Julianne (who has worked closely with Filipina bossa nova princess Sitti) was a nice appetizer for the night’s main show.
  • Frontman Jon Foreman would pleasantly surprise the crowd by shouting random Bisaya words like “koyaw” and “payter”.
  • Guitarist Drew Shirley did an amazing guitar solo during the song Where the Light Shines Through.
  • Jon Foreman asked the audience if he could become “an honorary Cebuano”.
  • Throughout the whole show, the crowd lifted Jon Foreman six times!

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