This was just one of those tours that any concertgoer could not afford to miss. It will probably go down as one of the best tour line ups in recent memory, and to make matters even better, it made a stop in Cleveland, Ohio. The tour we are talking about is the Looking For America Tour Part II. When Ohio’s own Relient K and Switchfoot got together for another run of shows, I have to admit that I was skeptical that this tour would be able to touch the level their last run did. Last year this tour took #1 in our Best of 2016 Live Performances, and I was almost afraid that they would not be able to live up to those expectations. This is the one and only time I am happy to say that I have been proven wrong in that notion.
We need to talk about Relient K. Generally speaking I am a rather stoic person. It takes a lot more than normal to get me to want to dance or jump up and down in public. Relient K managed to do all of this within their first song. Their energy is infectious and their live show is hysterical. To set the scene, their stage set up is comprised of a few lawn chairs, a grill, lamp, cooler, a giant wooden cabin back drop, oh and a life sized buffalo named Dermike. No, they didn’t use or acknowledge any of these items but honestly they didn’t need to. It flowed perfectly with their set and with their energy. They caused a usually stoic critic to not only crack a smile, but also to jump around and enjoy the set, which is not at all easy. They managed to incorporate their high-energy songs with some slower classics with such ease you may have forgotten that it was a different song entirely. The highlight of their set though was their song “Deathbed” to round out their time on the stage. Jon Foreman of Switchfoot joined the group and it was as though you were watching one giant family, which now that I think of it is probably true. Relient K certainly did a great job opening this show and set the standard extremely high.
And then there was Switchfoot. With both their album and previous tour ranking as number 1 in our 2016 round up. The question was whether or not they could live up to such a high standard. The answer quite simply is yes. It is interesting that even after the massive amount of shows that both bands have performed and played together, every single performance is still unique. Every artist still gives it their all and every audience feels special. Switchfoot is a band that absolutely nails this aspect of live performance. Despite having seen this band numerous times, it was still refreshing to see the set and still just as much fun as the first time. To anyone on the fence about seeing this band, whether it be fore the first time, or the one hundredth time, you need to do it. You will not regret that decision.
The Looking for America Tour Part II did the impossible. It was just as good, if not better than the first leg of the tour. Between Dermike’s appearance and Jon Foreman’s stage presence both bands have cemented themselves as two of the absolute best bands in the industry right now, and the Looking For American Tour as one of the best tours of all time.