The smell of burning incense sticks was filling the air off the stage when I walked into the packed Algonquin Commons Theatre to see the opening act, Relient K, perform.
The six man band from Canton, Ohio that has its roots deep in contemporary Christian music, brought positivity and spirituality that you could almost touch into the theatre.
Relient K performed a solid forty-five minutes of alternative pop rock with the crowd singing faithfully along with the lyrics, and added a fun touch in between songs with the singer Matt Thiessen’s banter of stories from their journey making the audience burst into laughter from time to time.
The much anticipated Switchfoot entered the stage with a short personalized video made just for the Ottawa show and it drove the crowd wild.
For a band that has been around for twenty years, these guys still have an amazing amount of energy on stage and definitely know how to make their audience love them.
The singer Jon Foreman’s strong vocals and dynamic presence carried on the show as they played most of their biggest hit songs from ‘Dare you to Move’, to ‘Meant to Live’ to the beautiful acoustic version of ‘Hello Hurricane’.
Foreman made sure to engage the crowd with asking them to embrace their fellow concert goers, and during ‘Love alone is worth the Fight’, got up close and personal by running through the crowd all the way up to the mezzanine to sing and dance with the audience.
He got serious in between songs addressing the current political situation in his home country, and delivering a powerful message to his fans.
“Present is a very strange time to exist. I don’t want fear to be driving my life. My hope has never been with those with power, my hope has always been with all souls.”
The band returned on stage for an encore along with a huge disco ball and filled the theatre with magical shimmering light for their grand finale.
The satisfied crowd left the show humming “Live it Well” before heading into the blizzard feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
Review by Laura Collins. Photos by Dave Di Ubaldo of Worn Leather Media.