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Switchfoot tour makes stop at JBLM

Northwest Guardian

Published: 04:07PM April 24th, 2014

Specialist Sean Henze already had a copy of Switchfoot’s latest album, “Fading West,” but brought an additional copy to the CD signing event April 18 at the Lewis Main Exchange on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“Then I’ll have one copy to listen to and one copy for them to sign because as you play it, the signatures start to wear out,” Henze said.

Hundreds of JBLM service members and their family members had a chance to talk, photograph and get autographs with all five members of the band — lead singer Jon Foreman, bassist Tim Foreman, guitarist Andrew Shirley, drummer Chad Butler and keyboard player Jerome Fontamillas.

While not their first show in front of a military crowd, the band said they feel honored when an opening in their schedule allows them to visit the troops and those who support them at home, whether here in the U.S. or at bases overseas.

“We love the chance to meet people and hear their stories about how music connects with them, and that’s really life-giving for us because we enjoy it so much,” Butler said.

Only hours before performing in front of sold-out crowd at the Showbox in Seattle, the band stood on a stage near the entrance of the Exchange with only their instruments and a microphone for a quick three-song acoustic set. The crowd sang along to “Hello Hurricane,” “Meant to Live,” and their latest single, “Love Alone is Worth the Fight.”

Jon Foreman also talked to children in front of the stage and even let them touch his guitar during sound check.

“It’s as intimate as it gets,” he said. “It’s just an honest way to present our music.”

Each member of Switchfoot said while he was told the troops were honored by the visit, it was an honor for Switchfoot to show its support and thank service members.

Shirley’s father was a chaplain in the Navy, so the family moved around throughout the country and even to Puerto Rico. He said the experience prepared him for the life of a professional musician.

“Moving around so much and adjusting to new places as a kid kind of made me more flexible,” Shirley said.

Despite April 18 being a day of no scheduled activities for service members assigned to the base, many knew it was an opportunity to see a band up close and personal.

“You go to KeyArena and you would never get this close to the band,” said Pvt. 1st Class Jacob Koenig of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment.