Friday, April 29, 2011

The LIVE Sound.

You know recently, I've got a couple of Dream-come-true events. It might not even be a big biggie to anyone else, it to me, it is. What kind of dreams that came true? They are the one unspoken, a little lingering wish in the heart, quietly singing out and reminding you in little phrases or images. Dreams that you don't cling on to tightly wishing for for it to happen NOW. They are the ones that came from the past. The ones you thought you have forgotten about.

well first, it was Architecture school's Shocking year 2 results. - that I prayed for a year ago.
Oh, the cello. It was only a desire, I 'know' that it was just a fancy and I wouldn't get to play on one until I earn my own money and decide to get one?
Ipod. I wished. I didn't quite ask. And then dad comes saying during christmas, "I know the desires of your heart."
Designing a performing arts hall/building. Since 2008. 2011 I get to do it.
Getting into a year 3 school work group that is responsible enough to get stuff done. No, I got not only responsible peeps, I got great buddies that I learned from so much already since school started 2 weeks ago.

Striking up a conversation with SF guys.
Taking a photograph with my hero.

And it happened, yesterday night. Massive. I didn't thought of the 'dream' since 2004; I just thought, well, good chance indeed, if there's a meet and greet session with the FOTF pass cousin got us.

That's why this certainly needs to be written down, in as much detail as I can remember.

Around February, cousins sends me a gtalk message; "JU! SWITCHFOOT IS COMING TO SINGAPORE DID YOU KNOW THAT?!"


Why of course, YES to it. I miss the live atmosphere, it was a total thrill to be there in 2008, Expo. Great hall, but it wasn't filled. I the atmosphere was electrifying for all I could remember, and I wasn't quite satisfied : Bad footage, was not totally in front (I'm rather short so people blocked me) JEROME'S PICK. I bet he threw it at me. Something small DID hit my arm. Blur, worrying about going back to JB late etc- I didn't search thoroughly enough and the girl beside me got it. She showed me the guitar pick, in her hand. Had a terrible personal-dissatisfied-hangover in school the next day, thought the concert went massively well. And yes, you can read about the concert experience HERE.

Alright. Let's start.

I was starting to count down 15 hours before sound check, at 4pm.

Morning, I get a nerves right, get my stuff, get tickets, get FOTF pass, get ipod and what not's. I get to school for AP lecture, I get my coffee, I get all hyperactive, I try to continue work, I talk to couz, I do work, I get all jittery, I walk to MRT, I signed up for Rotaract out of impulse, I wait for train, I met couz on the train, we gave each other dreamland faces and laugh on the way to city hall. We went to marina square, wanting to get the samurai umbrella sword for Tim. Then after much consideration, we did not get it. They'll need to get it on the plane and I'll be depressed if they left it for someone else. lol! So nearing 4pm, we got ourselves outside rock auditorium. Not many were there yet, so we talked, listened to the sounds coming from within, waited, anticipated until this man came to brief fotf-ers concerning the soundcheck.

They were to play a new song from their record, and recording devices weren't allowed.

New song! NEW SONG!

That means we get a secret preview of an upcoming track in the record.

True enough, by 4.45 we went in the hall, bags and stuff to the side of the hall, turn you head, yes.

The familiar sight, the golden hair, the sound, the sounds, the guys on stage, testing out sound quality.


The 20+ of us got in the middle of the hall (WITH SEATS, YES NO KIDDING) the front ones occupied the third row, I leaded the second row, couz said Drew was pointing at both of us when we walk across the second row! Like:


We got seated. Jon in the middle, tim on his left, drew on his right, chad and romey at the back.

"Hello guys how' ya doing!"

I gave two thumbs up and a big smile.
The others said 'great~!'

"This feels like a theatre show. Well grab your popcorns and enjoy the show!"

"Any questions?"

"That's mr nickels at the back. he's the one in charge of sound system... see chad at the back there, that ice cream device *laughs* yeah that's what he speaks into so I can hear it in my earphones"
“sorry for the delay yeahh had to deal with our equipments and gear at the airport there... didn't get much sleep, downed 3 cups of coffee”

"Well we have trust right. You and I both. We're gonna play a song for you... it's a track from the upcoming album.. and we're not quite there yet so.. I'll trust you guys not to record and put it up on the internet okay?"

"Its called Somewhere I belong.. the last track in our new album."

*this really deep and intense amp sound emanating*
Song starts playing in an average speed, major key, Chord I and IV of the key following each other, 4/4 time, 2 bars of intro, jon starts singing in a gentle statement.

The repetitive chords 1 and 4, jon's voice, the deep bass, the steady drums and guitar rhythm, the harmonization: it was the sound of a calming perfection. It speaks rest. Until 3 quarter down the song suddenly the relative minor chord vi sank in and the words paused for a second. The melody resolved downwards after that, it came to a conclusion, and then it ended in chord I, sustained guitar sounds, fading to an end.

The lyrics were something like this:

Voices start shaking
Voicing a generation
Finally waking up this side
Until I die
I’ll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world that I belong
Where the weak are finally strong
And the righteous right the wrong
Looking for a home
In a world where I belong
A world where I belong
This body’s not my own
This world is not my home
…the day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell you that I tried
To live it like a song
When I reach the other side
I want to stare you in the eyes
And know that I’ve arrived
In a world where I belong
Where I belong
Where I belong

Well, I love how there are scripture references in the lyrics. Well, since scriptures are beautiful, refreshing, profound verses, this is new has the character of it. It was enough to make me close my eyes, just listening, the music was good enough for one to just soak in without any visual distractions. They weren't moving around much too, focusing right into the music.

I look on my left where couz was, we smiled at each other, probably saying the same think without speaking “can't believe we're here, 20 strong audience, previewing this fantastic new song in front of the people who have been inspiring us through their music since many years back. Eyes wide open, couldn't quite believe the moment.

We applauded, I nod in complete approval.

“well thank you, thank you guys. Thanks for being here.. do you guys have any questions? Requests?”

Girl from the back : “will you guys be playing songs from vice verses tonight?”

“well.. you've got to ask my brother tim over there *laughs*”

*drew strikes a chord*
*tim plays a riff*

that sounds like something from our new album”

bullet, guys”

They start playing that nasty cool riff from bullet soul's opening. Darn, private rock concert y'all. The Live sound was Perfect. It wasn't noisy, the atmosphere is ready for a rock concert. Was So amped, wanted to jump on the seat already- but the singapore crowd was being quite civilized and robotic so i scrap the idea.

You're a kid with a bullet soul

Are you ready to go.”

Bullet raked up all the adrenalin inside of me. YES I'M READY TO GO. Hah.

Two songs, they played for soundcheck which we were part of it. Jon took off his guitar, he came down to us, started up a chat with the front row guys. Tim and the rest followed suit.

Went to the side of the hall to grab our cams, and there was chad and drew at the right. Bodoh fix chairs were in the way, so we had to detour to the left side where there were less people around timmy. :D So we hanged around until the others left, and got the chance to talk to timmy! :D I guess we hadn't prepared much to say, just too stunned that we actually GOT a moment to come up close with them.

Told him we wanted to get a samurai sword umbrella for him, just worried bout the securities and stuff.

“well that'll be interesting! Just got to see how we'll get through the airport immigration”

couz said asked about their pacific tour, and commented that it must be tiring and about the effects of jet lag.

“yeah.. its quite tiring, haven't got much sleep.. after singapore we're going to jakarta, then manila, and finally kuala lumpur. I guess when we're tired we play better. ”

I asked him whether they'll be playing songs from their older albums.

“umm any song requests?”

“Chem6A!” I said.

“Ah chem6a! Alright *smiles*”

Asked him whether I could get a picture with him, “no problem!”

He initiated a handshake “thanks for coming!”

Signed my sketchbook too!

I wonder what my reaction was, but was probably too shy and excited all the same time, never imagined this moment.

Went over to jon, people were getting his autographs, I took my ipod out, he signed the back of it “Jn”. He signed J, then turned away to answer another person, I thought he was done, when he turned back to finish the 'n'. Couz snapped us a photo, and then was about to go, when he placed his hand on my left shoulder, looked me in the eye saying “hey thanks for coming” :)!

Couz said Jon even asked her for her name, snapped a picture and said thanks.

This really tells me they're really, really nice and down to earth, humble guys.

Walked past the second row when romey past by. We said hello and shook hands!

“Hi I'm jerome,”

naturally i replied “hi! i'm julia”

“nice to meet you julia”


Well, there wasn't quite a need to introduce himself as jerome, right. He's Switchfoot and of course I know he's romey! And then there wasn't quite a need to introduce myself either, right? XD I just love the fact that these guys take the effort to come down, talk to us like normal people, very warmly, without any air of fame around them.

The coordinator the said, 5 more minutes guys, and I would need to steal these boys from you.

Headed over to drew, he was talking to another fan, while I 'sneaked' up to his left and couz wanted to snap a photo, but he wasn't looking over. He found me on his left, placed his arms around and initiated a pose! XD

He looks like my best friend here! XD

“nice specs!”

I said “you've got to same type too! :D”

“same, same! :D”

And then we left the hall.

Was dazed. Really dazed.

Went to the person with “host” landyard and asked him why are there chairs in the hall. He said that's the arrangement... so yeah. I was bit pissed with him, its a rock concert for heaven's sake, why are there chairs?!! He changed the subject by telling us go get our free ice cream at the counter. Whatever.

How can we enjoy ice cream after we've met people better than ice cream?

I was still all in a dazed. Got my butterscotch vanilla though. Sat down and wonder what happened just now?? Surrealism.

Went down to souperlicious, had some food, it was BROCCOLI soup, but i was found stirring it round and round, unable to eat anything much because of the terrible excitement. Ipod now is worth more than a million, it has Jon's signature for heaven's sake.

So after that we waited. Waited for the next big moment to happen. Couz was pretty honest about her dslr when security checked her bag, when they didn't bother to check mine! Should have just dunk in my bag and I'll walk through like nothing's wrong 8D Well she had some debate about the camera and the counter guys, while I found a SF sticker lying on the floor, finder's keepers; headed over to the merchandise booth where they were selling macbeth shoes and tee shirts. So when I've decided what design I wanted to purchase, they ran out of S, so I got two M sizes. I didn't quite mind the size, it fitted okay, but back in school JT was complaining why he didn't get an S, and said that sf guys where tees that are fitting. Lol! That guy cracks me up.

Back to the scene, couz got back to me saying she had just walked away after the stupid manager can't find any excuses to get her dslr and was unsure of how things will go. So we still had it with us, just that we were avoiding that bald manager. x) So we queued, and we were in right in front of the line, thinking we could get seats right in front- but singaporeans being singaporeans, we headed to our assigned “sistic numbered” seats. Couz was really disappointed become of the massive speakers blocking our view. We were in front, but Right at the side of it. Well I still had hope that we would be standing in those empty spaces when the lights go out ! True enough, I dodged in front when the lights dimmed. Securities didn't bother much, yet- because it was the opening bands. But the crowd did came forward. Who would stay in their seats for a rock concert?!?!

The Calling of Levi, band from Perth, pretty decent sounding albeit a little too much guitars for my liking. Still, the lyrics caught my attention and the melody and rhythm was enough for me to hum and move to it. Won't be the last time hearing them! Oh yeah, the guitarists were reallllyyy energetic. Its terrible how the security pushed the audience back into their seats, telling them to seat down after the second or third song. The lead singer also said, back in australia they've seen switchfoot live, and we're in for a good show tonight! The crowd cheered! So yes, I guess we all felt shameful that we had to 'sit' down listening to energetic songs while they were jumping around on stage.

The MC came out after they played, apparently a power 98 DJ, he was quite entertaining and funny! Using sf song names, he connected them into sentences, getting the crowd all excited and ready. But unfortunately, really unfortunately we had to go thru another 40 minutes of an opening band- local, and sounded really bad for my musical taste. “The Great Spy Experiment”, they called themselves-It was noisy and they were supposed to play at events like zoukout and probably not suitable for an switchfoot opening band! :S Dance rock, their genre, so it was pretty repetitive and loud, was pretty much a noisy lullaby to me. Yeah, we were all seated, couple of heads bobbing up and down and that's it man. The lead singer tried to make some jokes but it made them look bit cocky to me. “so I bet you guys are here to watch the great spy experiment.. not sweet-sweechfoot right?” half the crowd making audible groans. “come our rock it out with us... in your seats.”

Alright enough of that. If I knew that the security would be chasing us back to our seats after the opening bands, I would not have even bother coming into rock auditorium until 9.30pm. I got the very front row 'floor seats' during the opening band's performance when we were chased back into the side seats when it ended, with a 20 minute interval.. before the lights dimmed again.

Once it dimmed I dashed to the front row 'floor' seats again. Guess I was the most ballsy one. The security was dodged, i was in the middle row, he didn't quite chase me back in to the side seats. And THE BOYS WERE OUT ! The crowd rushed down the aisle, but there was a flimsy barricade which no one dare to cross. There was a void between the aisle and the first row seats, and yes civilized singaporeans who were worried about getting caught by the security stayed behind that barricade and looking a little sad, cause the guys were out and security's being a total asshole. Couz was probably stuck in that crowd because she was a split second later behind me! So the boys started the whole thing with The Sound. (Jon was in red checkered :D )

The Sound:
I don't know how Jon does it, but at 0:37, he walks away from the mic stand, goes round Drew, and then comes back RIGHT ON TIME to stand on the amps singing " The static comes alive........"

Love how he pulls the words "ALIVE......"

1:33 he Grabs his guitar, puts the mic only the stand, puts on the the guitar , hits the pedals, plays the guitar effect SEAMLESSLY. LOL

1:50 Drew jumps on the amp and plays his guitar solo. no need elaborating, did the jump-on-amp as seamlessly as jon did. love the siren sounding stuff drew does 8D

The guitar Sound effects Drew does makes me go wilddd. so crazily awesome! 8D
You must remember, I can really hate electric guitar Noise, but a guitarist that can use it to produce Sound is something totally different.




"Its been too long my friends"
Crowd echos Jon's 'stars....'
4:20 Drew and Jon finishes the final riffs

OHHHH...... (in gradually ascending pitch) *intro plays*
Oh! Gravity:

Screamed when jerome played that famous Oh!G. hit-key-riff on the keys! :D

Tim came over to our side at 1:44 and did his famous bass swing 8D

Jon was saying "a long time ago when my brother - here on the bass guitar - back before he graduated from high school, we had a song like this : *chem 6A intro plays*"

But well, when the boys played Gone, they started of with Chem6A intro and a let out a scream! Haha! I requested for chem6A during M+G! :D Drew looked over, point, smile and nodded at me i swear. He was darn near so its gotta me he was pointing at :D LOLL Red checkered shirt was enough to be identified easily, right!

And then seamlessly went into the intro of Gone!
Chem6A intro + Gone:

The famous Live bridge passage from verse to chorus: "this could be rihanna's umbrella, ella, ella, whatever, Gone!" :D

I badly wanted couz to be beside me! She appeared after Gone, when the audience were supposed to put their hands around each other and sway from side to side, and I was alone at the front? Because the others haven't dodged security to squeeze to the front? Zzz. Sometimes I wished I was in a different city where the people were less robotic. :l

Your love is a song:

Jon took somebody's fedora "thanks for letting me use your hat! its a beautiful hat.. can I use it for one more song?"

Harmonica plays. Romey plays live version intro of Your love is a song on keys.

Love how gently Jon comes in with "I hear you breathing in, another day begins"

The whole song was played in a very worshipful atmosphere, the guys stayed at their spot throughout.

Drew was close, eyes close nothing show-ey, I sung-a-long, stole a glance at drew, and I thought I caught another smile from him :)

Tim plays This is your life intro on bass- such a signature opening!

This is your life:
0:21 Jon walks over to my side
1:30 He walks over again.

Remember how they played this song during the 2008 concert- equally conversational.

2:30 Jon comes over, ducks down and head into the mid crowd! AHAH OF COURSE COUZ AND I GO TO TOUCH HIM WHEN HE CAME OVER LOL.

3:13 a kid in the crowd climbs up the chair, Jon lets him sing into the mic when the crowd supposed to sing the echo parts!

4:07 Jon runs back up stage!

5:15 Jon screams into the guitar pickups, giving this faraway voice- signature of This is your life Live version!

Jon starts with fragments from Happy is a yuppie word.
Drew does this cools effects from the pedal again! Sounds like police sirens.
Love how Chad comes in with the drum beats, like preparing for war march!

4:15 Tims walks over to Drew with his bass!
5:07 Romey hitting those bass drums!
5:27 Drew plays those nasty guitar riffs!
5:58 Jon joins in Romey hitting those bass drums! Everyone makes a cacophony!

Only Hope, Awakening:

"That is Mr Andrew Shirley on the electric guitar"
"You're a beautiful man, andrew shirley," Drew gave a friendly gesture to Jon. :D

"And, closer than ever, for this tour to his homeland in Manila, is Mr Jerome Fontamillas!"

"This next song is a california campfire song, just close your eyes, picture yourself on the beach of california alright"

"We're all singing like this,"

Only hope intro plays. Crowd cheers and sings along well! We know the lyrics :D

It starts of acoustic, spotlight on Jon only. Then drew comes in with one or two notes- just love how nobody's fighting attention to play their instruments. (Because I have enough of jamming sessions and listening to other bands where every musician fights to be heard. ugh.)

3:30 The band comes in, Smooth!

So gonna learn only hope acoustic version. :D

Then jon plays the strumming, band comes in for Awakening, "YEAH EHH EHH EHH"
Totally love the part where the sound jumps in together.

Great line-up, transition from a slow song to an upbeat song!

Awakening rockssssss.

"Yeah singapore you don't look the same" Jon inserted in one of the verses! :D

8:50 Drew goes over to Jon and go jammin'!

Then they switch to a serious mood, anthemic rhythms from chad, deep bass sound emanating.

Meant to live:

Jon sings some tunes about waking up. "We were meant to live....... ('live' with an ascending tone)

Jerome comes up front to play guitar!
Meant to live is a hardcore guitar sounding tune; love how balance it is despite the amplitude of it.

Love how Tim plays the bass line during the the connecting phrase to the bridge.

Crowd sings along loudly when jon stops at 3:22! Jon lifts mic for us to sing at 3:30! We sang continued to sing the chorus until 3:58! :D

Love how the crowd sings along so loudly!

Mess of me intro plays.
Mess of me:

"I am my own affliction.."
Whole band goes energized!

"sickness is myself" and my camera goes crazy. Jumpin'. 8D

Love drew's guitar fill in's. MAN.

Drew comes very near by, lifts his guitar at 2:33!

Then they quieten down, harmonica plays, soft guitars, Romey playing On fire's keyboard riff.

On fire, We are one tonight:

Crowd sings along loudly on On Fire. Just love the mood.
Great arragement of the soft riff on guitar just after the chorus ends.
Harmonica adds so much mood to this song!
At 2.20 Jon and Drew duels with the harmonica and guitar softly.

Chad goes to this steady rhythmic drum beat at 2:50, Harmonica plays this on-the-train-like riff.

"Let me see that sign." *picks up a placard 'we are one tonight' from the crowd*
"We play around the world, playing with families. With families!"

Drew plays signature We are one tonight intro! CRAZYYY.

Camera jumps up and down along with me 8D

5:40 *please slow the evening down* drew comes in with the nice riff there!
6:10 Jon sings "sunshine won't you be my mother" from the Shadow proves the sunshine. Awesome transition+mash up

7:11 the guitar goes rhythmic, crowd claps along.

Jon shouts "YEAH" into the crowd, crowd replies.

7:54 Jon goes into "we are one..." Can hear Tim's backing vocals there!
8:17 "the stars are coming out" and it gets energized again!
8:30 Drew comes really near to play, all smiles here!

Jon says "Thank You!" and the guys go backstage.


Crowd shouted for an encore!
So they came back on stage :D

"Is it okay if we play a couple more songs for you guys."
*Crowd cheers*
"You have no idea how happy we are to be back in Singapore this is a beautiful evening thank you so much for being part of it"
"this is another campfire song"
"I want you to sing it, whether you know the words or not hehe:)"

24 acoustic guitar intro starts playing.

(now I'm gonna sing these softer songs if I ever go for campfires 8D )

Drew and Jerome plays softly accompanying jon in the earlier part, whole band comes in at 3:05.


Hello hurricane, Dare you to move:

Tim plays the fast running bass line, LIVE :D
(Jumping again during HH's chorus.)
Tim sings harmonizing vocals of HH's chorus, bridge and woahh parts! :D

3:09 Drew lifts up the hand and sings along the woahh backing vocals :D
3:36 Random boy from the crowd breeches the oh-so-useless barricade and shakes his butt on stage! YEAH. I LIKE HOW HE CHALLENGE THE ANNOYING SECURITY :D Couz said drew laughed at it! xD

4:09 the mood changes to a contemplative one. Jerome backs strings, drew plays some notes.

"You're beautiful Singapore we love you"
"I find it crazy to think that, this isn't like my hometown or something you guys are so warm and welcoming and, I feel at home right here."

"This is a song about movement, I want to see things change, inside and out"
Drew plays Dare you to move guitar intro.


Band joins in with a strong rhythmic and guitar beat.

5:20 "welcome to the planet.." Things soften down, drew coming in at end of phrases.
6:26 Drew comes over with his guitar SO NEAR! We wave! JON COMES OVER!
7:20 Jon put his arms around drew!
7:50 Romey comes up front! Full guitars!

8:17 "Singapore where are you gonna run to now..."

9:14 all down!


10:00 FINAL GROUP PHOTO. Jon lifts up 'we are one tonight' signage. and band waves goodbye.

Then I look at couz, "this is it? so fast?"

Haha:) Good times do really pass by so quickly.


So Yes. Massive concert hangover alright.

But the more I read about them, listening to their interviews, watching podcasts, MEETING THEM IN PERSON.

They're the most down to earth people ever, for being in such a position. Being in this generation, such an honour to be walking this earth with these guys.

Here are photos couz snapped with my Lumix cam, since they banned her DSLR.

Cheers to the end of a long post!

[Published 12:55am, 15/5/2011- 2 weekends 3 days since the night of the concert! Aha! ]

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