Nissan Pavilion – Bristow, VA (September 14, 2008)
[img_assist|nid=809|title=Jars of Clay|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=262|height=196]Washington, DC is about as close to this venue as New York City is to Holmdel, NJ. So, I wonder why the Holmdel show was listed accurately on the tour dates. And Cleveland was one hour from the venue. Well, my friend had been to a show earlier this summer at this venue, so I had an idea that it was not close to DC. Therefore, when I decided last minute to attend this show in one of my “you only live once” moments, I had an idea the driving ahead of me. Actually, the time on the road was not as much of an issue as the cost of getting down there. But, I did it anyway!
I arrived home quite late (or early in the morning) from the Holmdel show because I stuck around for the Third Day meet and greet after the show. And with the lack of sleep that goes hand in hand with concert weekends, I had to take a nap after church on Sunday before making the trek south. I looked up the directions, checked on ticket availability, and I was off. Interestingly enough, I saw a front row near center seat open when I looked for tickets online. Wow. Perhaps it was part of some contest or something. I opted out of buying the ticket, not wanting to spend the high cost just for a close seat.
[img_assist|nid=810|title=Switchfoot|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=289|height=218]When I arrived at the ticket booth, there were many options still open. I selected a spot in the middle, just below the lawn for only ten dollars more. This was by far the emptiest of the three shows. My entire section was barely filled, along with both sides of the front sections. The lawn was crowded, but only in the center section. I expected the seats to fill up before the end of the show, but that did not happen.
A fellow Switchfoot fan joined me not long after I sat down. Both of us are used to being close up for Switchfoot shows. Yet throughout the whole set, we talked about how you can see (and hear) so much more from being further from the stage. We were almost dead center with the stage, which helped. Nothing but space to block the view. And this show saw not only the two huge screens on either side of the stage. Two smaller screens were added above the stage. Again, I could not bring in my good camera, but I was able to get some fun shots from my vantage point.
The age range seemed to have decreased from the previous two shows. I saw less small children and less of the older crowd. Once again it was difficult to determine the fan base, but during Switchfoot, the small audience seemed to wake up by standing and yelling when “Meant to Live” entered the set. Must be something about the Maryland/Northern Virginia crowd. That happened the last time I saw the San Diego boys in this area.
Due to tiredness and anticipation of going back to work on Monday after a long weekend, I left after Switchfoot, but not before making my way to the meet and greet. This time there were two meet and greets after the show (often times another meet and greet such as for a radio station will occur before the show). Security people had us line up separately, with Friends of the Foot going in first. I met up with other Switchfoot fans and waited in line. This time the guys were at an autograph table as fans streamed in and out. I was afraid it would be another “greet and leave”. Maybe because we did not get autographs and actually spoke with the guys, it was not rushed.
[img_assist|nid=811|title=Switchfoot with guest violinist|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=334|height=254]
In the end, I knew it was worth coming to the third show. I still wish I could make it to another show before the Music Builds tour ends in Denver, CO on October 12th. All four bands together, along with great production, make for a must see – if even in the faraway seats. (The last song of the show, with all bands together, is worth it even if you don’t like all of the bands!) Yet the realities of life say no.
Keep coming back for an in-depth review of the NJ show from Annie, as well as blogs from the three Texas and Oklahoma shows from Janet. And we are working on interviews with some of the bands, as well as fans who won spots at the Indianapolis and Nashville Habitat for Humanity builds.