Monday night I got to see Switchfoot for the third time since September. This evening will be remembered for years to come, if not a lifetime. It was full of excitement, anticipation, anxiety, tragedy, pain, hope and song.
Since I am a member of The Friends of the Foot, the bands fan club (go ahead laugh, i am secure in my fan-ness) I get "meet and greet passes" to all shows and am able to go to sound check. The funny thing is, I have NEVER done it. I always chicken out. I mean, what am I going to say to them..."umm, hi, your music is amazing and I stalk you because of it." seriously. The only time I have ever spoke with the band, and I have had my fair share of times, I talked about how their new album at the time (Learning to Breathe) had so many undertones of the CS Lewis books I had been reading. We had a great talk about how their dad read them CS Lewis every night growing up. It was a great chat. I walked away and felt like a moron...and have never spoke to them again.
Vernon, who is NOT a concert goer, decided he would come to the show with me this time. He is also Switchfoot fan and more specifically a Jon Forman fan. When we found out our great friends, Sarah and Andrew, were coming in from KC for it, he was in forsure. Vernon, knowing how much I chicken-out, said he would go in to the meet and greet with me (because I get two passes to all shows). The sound check was superb and fun. They guys came down from the stage and just hung out with all the FOTFers for about 45 min. We got to tell them how they have impacted our lives, writing songs about the hard things and about redemption. These guys are our age, married and have children. I was in awe of how sincere they were, how honest and open they were and how kind they were even to the 17 year-old over excited girl who had drawn them a picture and talked their ears off. These guys are legit.
We got the best seats in the house...literally, center of the bar, no one in between us and our view of the stage . This was the first concert I have EVER been to that I sat....talk about restraint. But there was NO WAY in the world we would have gotten Vernon to stand in the pit with all the jumping, yelling crazies. It makes me laugh just thinking about it!
We got settled for the show and we were enjoying the opening band when Vernon's phone rang. It was a friend who would normally call my phone instead of his. He said, "should I answer?" because it was loud. I said, "she probably wants us to let her hear a song, I'll call her on one of her favorites." But Vernon decided to pick up and go to the back to get the call, "just incase" ...and I am so glad he did.
This call was one you never dream you will get from one of your best friends. The worst of the worst tragedy was explained to him on the phone. He walked back to our seats stunned and told me what had happened. We immediately began sending out texts to friends for prayers. Our hearts were so heavy.
It was now time for Switchfoot to come on. We were deciding if we should leave and get packed to go to be with our friends, or stay and enjoy the show. We knew we could not head out that late in the bad weather. So we stayed, hearts heavy for our friends, excited for the show and every emotion in between. Each song, filled with hope and reality, loss and redemption ministered to my heart as I processed the news we just received. Lyrics like::
It's no accident we're here tonight
We are once in a lifetime
All is not lost
All is not lost
Become who you are
It happens once in a lifetime
these are the scars
deep in your heart
this is the place you were born
this is the hole
where most of your soul
comes ripping out
from the places you've been torn
and it is always yours
but I am always yours
I'm caving in
I'm in love again
I'm a wretched man
every breath is a second chance
This night will be remembered for years to come as we journey through this tragedy with our friends. Thank you Switchfoot for being a part of the process, even though you have no idea.
And on a lighter note, our friend Sarah who came with us is and AMAZING photographer and all of the above are her pics from the night. Love you Sarah and Andrew! What a great evening!