Well, let me tell you… I am a big music guy, but Switchfoot is not one band that really tickles my fancy. However, because they are a favourite of Josh’s we took a visit to the local Ticketmaster and grabbed our tickets for a Switchfoot show on February 28th at The Kool Haus in Toronto.
Josh picked me up from a 9 hour day at work in the good ol’ smart car and we hit the road for the 7 o’clock show. We made it there about 20 minutes early, so we caught ourselves in line right near the front with a few friends that had already been waiting there for a couple hours. After what seemed like hours waiting, 7 finally rolled around and we were welcomed into the club. All my friends were patted down and ushered through the doors, but when I arrived to meet my first intimate moment, I was patted down, right to left, top to bottom, and I was told to reveal my new camera to him. After one quick glance, I was informed that my camera was too professional! I made the claim that it was digital, not SLR, and even tagged a line a friend of mine used in a similar situation by claiming that I needed it for a school project. No dice. He told me I could either leave it at their drop off booth or take it back to my car. So I quickly called out to Josh, got the keys and had to trek back to the car in my tight single t-shirt and jeans. As you can probably assume, I ended up having to go back to the end of the line and spent at least 10 minutes freezing in the cold, just to get patted down a second time and finally enter through the club doors.
I met up with all my friends inside. They were located at the front right side of the swarming mob of people crowding around the stage. I squeezed my way through and found a nice spot to stay. That ‘nice spot’ lasted about 10 seconds. Soon enough, more people added to the mob and we were all being pushed closer and closer to the front of the stage. The concert began at 8, and honestly I have never been so squished by other humans in my life! For the next 4 hours, I was surrounded by sweaty, bad-breath, screaming friends and complete strangers. As I stood there for a minute, I could feel my feet were almost off the group because the bodies around me were holding me up, that’s how tight we all were. At one point, there was a girl on my left trying to squeeze past me causing me to push against the girl on my right, who in turn pushed back. They were suddenly having some sort of unofficial sandwich game with me in the middle. Calling out ‘ladies, ladies’ I was looked at by a friend who turned around to see what the commotion was all about and claimed, ‘Ben man, are you being sandwiches between two beautiful girls?’ And their response of course was, ‘you know He’s loving it.’ Now let me be frank, as a male equipped with hormones, there was something about this situation that I must say I enjoyed, but let me tell you I did have my future wife on my mind and doing so tried to stay as clear minded as possible (Scroll down to read my blog titled ‘My Wife’ to get an idea of what I’m talking about here). There were a few other instances where I felt the obligation to protect certain girls at the show from being crushed by somewhat blanketing my body close to theirs. Mind you, there were a few young guys who needed the same protection at times. I can honestly say though, I have never been so intimate with any woman or man as much as I was at this concert… but it seems as though that is all part of the experience… um…right?
Half way through the show Jon Foreman, the lead singer of Switchfoot, decided to take a detour out onto the dividing rail between the audience and the bouncers. As he stood on this rail being held up by the bouncers, countless fans were stretching out their hands, screaming, grabbing at him. Let me tell you though, this all took place on the left side of the stage, far away from me. As a spectator, I saw this and was disgusted. I couldn’t believe these people were idolizing Foreman this much, there were going crazy over him and desiring to touch his human flesh. After a minute, the moment passed and Foreman returned to the stage to finish the song with his band. A few songs later, he decided to venture out on to the rail again, this time on the right side… yes, right where we were standing. So here came the infamous leg of Jon Foreman, and the people around me crowded the arms to get a touch here and grab there. This was ridiculous. As he continued singing, his hands were even in reaching distance, so the fans around me were going crazy having to touch the bare skin on the back of his hand. How could these people be worship Foreman as a person so far that they felt the urge to reach out and simply touch? As disgusted as I was, there was in fact something within me that was overcome with the same urge and before I even knew what was happening, my hand was stretched out in front of me, I needed to have some Jon Foreman. And what do you know; he reaches out and holds my hand. If that isn’t intimate, I don’t know what is. As he braced his palm on mine as I held him up for almost 10 seconds, he also waved the microphone in front of a buddy and me as we sang along with this idol. Before I could even take in what was happening, I passed off his hand to someone else to experience this amazing feeling. I don’t know what it is about concerts. Like I said, I'm not even a big fan of Switchfoot, but there's just something about having a celebrity reach out to you when you’re caught in the moment, and there's nothing you can do but give in to them.
Before we knew it, the show was over and we were back in the car driving home. We were sweaty, our adrenaline was rushing, and we had stories to tell. All in all it was a great night; an evening full of intimacies that I could never have imagined I was going to experience.