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Switchfoot gathers fans for Fresno fair concert

Weeks of anticipation come down to one night. There they stand, in the front row of the big amphitheatre, dressed to match in their pink, glittery shirts that spell out “Switchfoot” at The Big Fresno Fair on Oct. 9.

As the eyes of the fans pan the stage, a figure walks out of the side curtain. Three girls grab hands and scream as tears fall down their cheeks.

The band takes their positions and… .

Although many locations across the country could promote this scene, this year The Big Fresno Fair will host the band Switchfoot.

“I saw them live in ’97,” Nick Westburg, ’05, said. “They were so heavy; you could hear the words…you could understand the message.”

Reactions to lyrics such as, “This is your life, are you who you want to be?” enthuse many with an optimistic viewpoint.

“It shows we should make the most of our life,” Joshua Palmer, ’08, said.

Switchfoot fans say that their music offers an encouraging alternative to other artists performing at the fair such as Los Lonely Boys, Brian McKnight and Lonestar.

“Their music seems really positive,” Esther Tarudji, ’05, said. “It’s a good thing, because there aren’t so many wholesome songs out there.”

The band’s recent decision to sign with Columbia Records, a secular label, stirs up discussion among students.

“I still like their music, and I listen to it,” Carson Belmont, ’05, said. “In fact, I have their newest CD! But, I think by signing a secular label they become sellouts. They’re willing to sacrifice their Christian persona for ?fame and fortune’.”

Other fans agree with Belmont’s view on the situation.

“I am disappointed by the fact that they claim to be a Christian band, but they aren’t willing to stand by that claim,” Andrew Kaiser, ’05, said. “I feel that if you proclaim to be a Christian band and your motives are in the right place, then you shouldn’t want to sign onto a secular label.”

Some say that Switchfoot’s decision makes little impact upon their opinion of the band.

“It doesn’t really matter,” Layne Meadows, ’05, said. “Even though they’re with Columbia, the songs are still good. I have their new CD and the lyrics still have a positive message.”

Kristen Jenkins, ’07, plans on attending the live concert at the fair.

“I enjoy their beat and lyrics,” Jenkins said. “I am looking forward to listening to them and praising God!”

With previous Christian performances drawing sold out venues, the Newsboys are also joining Switchfoot in The Big Fresno Fair concert lineup and are scheduled to perform Oct. 12.

For more information about the Big Fresno Fair or the highlighted bands visit www.fresnofair.com, www.switchfoot.com and/or www.newsboys.com.

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