Switchfoot brought a night of rock performances on campus to an emphatic close Sunday in Moody Coliseum.
The final show of the nationwide tour also brought ACU’s fall break to an end.
Atomic Tom opened for Anberlin and Switchfoot, as they have throughout the month-long tour. The band members said they’d thoroughly enjoyed touring with the popular rock bands. The band’s bassist, Philip Galitzine, said the other groups couldn’t have been nicer.
“They’re some of the most incredible people we’ve ever hung out with,” said Tobias Smith, Atomic Tom‘s drummer. “As a support band for two high profile groups, we weren’t necessarily expecting to be so welcomed.”
Anberlin followed Atomic Tom‘s 30-minute set without its lead singer, Stephen Christian, who left the tour early for family reasons. Phillip Sneed and Dan Marsala of Story of the Year have filled in as lead vocals for the final stretch of the tour since Tuesday in Dallas.
Nathan Young, Anberlin‘s drummer, said the band made the decision to bring Sneed and Marsala on in the best interest of the fans.
“It’s been different; we’ve only played with Stephen before,” Young said. “We could’ve either cancelled or continued with different singers. We decided this would be better than cancelling.”
Audience members received the change fairly well.
“It definitely would’ve been better if their lead singer had been there,” said Erik Soulek, sophomore accounting major from San Antonio. “But they did a good job; the whole band played a great set.”
Switchfoot, featured recently on ESPN’s college football broadcasts and Hawaii 5-0, headlined the show and ended the evening with an hour-long set, featuring songs from both older records and from their recently released album, Vice Verses.
The band is popular among students on campus, but not everyone in attendance were big fans of the San Diegan group, including Hunter Turner, sophomore information technology major from Trophy Club.
“I really haven’t heard much of Switchfoot‘s music,” Turner said. “But I liked the show, even though it was really loud.”
Jon Foreman, Switchfoot‘s lead singer, said this concert was the first they played their new song “Blinding Light” outside the recording studio.
Foreman played a small after-show outside Don Morris Center at midnight, about an hour after the concert ended. A small group of about 50 fans surrounded and sang along with him as he played acoustic songs from his solo EPs and from Switchfoot albums. He said he really enjoyed the smaller after-shows with the smaller group of fans singing with him.
The Abilene show ends Anberlin and Atomic Tom‘s tour. While both bands expect to play a few shows before the end of the year, they are beginning to moving on to writing and producing.
“We’re going to go into the studio in early February to start working our new record,” Young said. “It will probably be released in late spring or early summer.”
Switchfoot will take a two-week break from the road before heading overseas early next month for a short tour through Europe.