REVIEW: Lifehouse + Switchfoot Find Summer in Coney Island

Lifehouse and Switchfoot brought their co-headlining Looking For Summer tour to a most appropriate place on Saturday night, showing up for a performance at Brooklyn’s Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk adjacent to the beach to play for a crowd of around 3500. What better place to look for summer than a boardwalk full of bikini-clad tourists sipping fruity drinks at surf bars while two bands play close to an hour and a half each? That’s the great thing about this particular venue – while you need a ticket to get inside, you can just as easily sit on the boardwalk or even the beach itself, or hang out at many of the boardwalk bars and listen to a concert while enjoying much cheaper hooch.

We tend to skip openers here at Soundboard Magazine, especially on a Saturday and at a venue so close to home. It’s hard to want to leave my air conditioned house earlier than I absolutely have to, and with the venue being a whole 5 minutes away, that’s not until about 10 minutes before the main attraction comes on. Switchfoot was an exception since this is a co-headline run with Lifehouse and, well, it’s Switchfoot. We don’t really do Christian music here, but I’ve always considered Switchfoot to be a rock band with Christian overtones, much like Creed was, so of course we’d cover their set as well.

Granted I really only know two Switchfoot songs – Meant To Live and Dare You to Move – but dammit, that wasn’t gonna stop me from checking them out, and I’m glad I did, because while they played 14 songs including the two I wanted to hear live, the band also tossed in a cover of the Beastie Boys hit anthem No Sleep Till Brooklyn, a fitting tribute to the boys from Williamsburg and the late Adam Yauch (RIP MCA). Other than that one surprise, the group’s set was fairly straightforward. Hello Hurricane (maybe a poor choice to play in a venue located on a boardwalk that was washed out by Hurricane Sandy 5 years ago?) along with When We Come AliveBull in a China ShopIf the House Burns Down Tonight, and Where I Belong.

Meant to Live closed out the first dozen songs before Switchfoot departed and quickly returned for their encore, which featured Float and the aforementioned Dare You to Move to close out their time and make way for Lifehouse. I’m impressed, Switchfoot is really great live and I’m happy I got to check them out after not being able to cover their tour with Reliant K. Check out the photo gallery and read past the jump for our take on Lifehouse.

Switchfoot performing in Coney Island

Okay, time for a confession: Lifehouse has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I feel weird as hell listening to them, because they’ve always had a following of preteen girls and songs targeted for that audience, and somehow I got to liking them when I was that age, probably because of a girl. Those same preteeen girls who liked their early hits – Hanging By A Moment in particular – are now grown women 17 years later (holy shit, it’s been that long? I’m old as hell) and many of them came out to see the band live, some of them with kids of their own. That was kind of a shock to the system, realizing the target audience is now old enough to have their own families. It’s hard to believe Lifehouse has been around that long and are still doing their thing, but here they are in 2017 headlining a tour in my own backyard.

Lifehouse is in the same vein as Switchfoot, I know their popular songs. Hanging By A Moment, First Time and Whatever It Takes along with Broken, which they did not play on this night. That was a bit of a disappointment, and I’d have preferred that to the band’s cover of U2’s Pride, but it is what it is. The group also kicked off their set with a song that was maybe a little less than appropriate for the venue, Hurricane (cmon guys, doesn’t anyone know the history here?) before jumping into All In and Halfway Gone. To be honest, Lifehouse are solid live, but the wait for the songs I really wanted to hear was painful. It’s like that at every show, really, when you know the tunes you came for are going to be played at the end of the night and you’re just grinding it out while trying to be objective about everything in between.

None of that is because of the set list and all because of my own personal desire to go back to my youth and the memories that came with being a 14 year old kid getting introduced to a band for the first time, so I’m gonna skip ahead to thepart where the band finally got into what I had been waiting for. 10 songs after it started, I finally got to hear Whatever It Takes live, followed immediately by First Time, and then Spin to wrap up only briefly to get ready for the encore. And, of course, as I expected all along, Lifehouse would close with Hanging By A Moment, and suddenly I was warped back in time to 2000, when I was just starting to chase girls and every one of them was in love with this song and this band.

Those are the kinds of moments (no pun) that make a show really special, when you’ve got a connection to a particular song that takes you back to a time when things were simple and nobody had a care in the world. And, to finally hear that particular song live 17 hears after it thrust the band into the spotlight, when you realize you still remember every lyric and start singing along like a giddy teenager again, that’s pretty cool. That alone was worth my Saturday night, but the fact that Lifehouse also killed it from start to finish was even better. Looking For Summer is just one of those tours you just have to part of, there’s no substituting a great show that brings back all kinds of good memories. Check out the photo gallery below.

Lifehouse headlined Ford Amphitheater last week