San Diego five piece Switchfoot have been around for fourteen years in one guise or another although this is the first time I have come across them. They grace the second stage at Download in an early afternoon slot and get a pretty good turnout in the raging sun (which doesn’t last much longer!).
As early as the second song ‘The Sound (John M. Perkins' Blues)’ singer Jon Foreman goes down to the front rows of the crowd and from that point onwards he has them in the palm of his hand. They don’t blow me away but the longer the play the more I grow to like them. Whilst undeniably rock in essence they clearly have a good grasp of pop sensibilities with catchy choruses and big driving rhythms. It takes me a while to put my finger on it but eventually it clicks that they remind me of Cave In during their ‘commercial’ phase, which is no bad thing.
It’s an honest and enjoyable performance and although their cover of the Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’ isn’t the greatest, overall they have done themselves plenty of favours today.