Radio 104.5 put on their annual Winter Jam once again this past Saturday and the weather made this typical festival transform from just an outdoor festival in the middle of winter to something that was truly once in a life time. Starting just around 11am Philadelphia began to experience snowfall that would last all day and get pretty heavy at times. As epic as this weather was for both the Winter Jam attendees and performers it did put a damper on things by causing large delays in between sets along with a fair amount of technical issues throughout. The temperature hovered around 27 degrees for the entire event and the snowfall was a few inches but that didn’t stop the Piattza from becoming packed before the first band even hit the stage.
The first band to hit the stage was voted in by Radio 104.5 listeners, they were called An Honest Year and were fittingly enough from the Philadelphia area. For being the first band to hit the stage and having no existing knowledge of what they were like I thought they did a great job and it seemed like the crowd agreed with me. They didn’t get any crowd surfers going but they sure had them moving around and that is what counted most. The weather was also the worst of the day during their set and the snow was almost a rain which made visibility of their performance impossible for any one towards the back of the crowd. Overall, good way to start the day but nothing show stopping just yet.
An Honest Year Exclusive Gallery :
The second band to take the stage went by the name MS MR. Their album “Secondhand Rapture” has made some major waves in the Indie since it’s release early last year and you could see they had a fair amount of dedicated fans turn out to brave the cold at Winter Jam. The band opened with “Bones” off that album and jumped right into a cover of “Do I Wanna Know?” by the Arctic Monkeys which the crowd loved.
MS MR Exclusive Gallery :
After two great opening bands it was time for the REAL fun to start at Winter Jam. New Politics blew them away, no offense to either MS MR or An Honest Year, but these guys are on a whole new level when it comes to live performances. Lead singer, David Boyd, is a total animal when he performs and he was the first singer of the day to make use of the concrete blocks holding down the stage as he made them into his own pedestal to dance on. The snow was coming down heavier than ever but that didn’t hold back Søren Hansen from shredding on the guitar and jumping into the crowd at the end of the set. Boyd was standing on the crowd, climbing the stage, hanging off of things and still hitting all the notes in the bands now hit songs. New Politics had a great year in 2013 touring with bands like Fall Out Boy and P!NK, but in all honesty the best is yet to come from them in 2014 and I predict that they will be back next winter headlining Winter Jam with a whole new level of insanity in their performance.
Give Me Hope
Fall Into These Arms
Just Like Me
Yeah Yeah Yeah
New Politics Exclusive Gallery :
The crowd anxiously waited for Switchfoot to hit the stage during the 40 minute set change following New Politics set. As the band came out they broke into the opening riffs of “Meant to Live” the crowd came to life in a whole new way and was belting out the lyrics louder than I could possibly imagine. Jon Foreman instantly said the crowd was crazy but that “today he wanted to be a Philadelphian” and with that he went into the crowd where he would spend well over half the set. The band’s second song was “Who We Are” off their recent release, “Fading West,” which just debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard 100.
Being that this song was so new Foreman took a second to introduce it to the crowd but it was obvious that he didn’t need to teach them the lyrics because they already knew it. The snow was coming down just as hard as it was during New Politics set but that didn’t stop anyone from having fun. Impressively enough Jon Foreman sounded perfect and was full of energy which was surprising due to his recent surfing injury.
The highlight for me was the unexpected cover of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys, a song that I love and Switchfoot did such justice too in their own alternative rock kind of way which I’m not really sure how to explain to anyone who wasn’t there. Just like it began their set ended with a hit and they left fans singing a long to “Dare You to Move” as they walked off the stage and out into the snow back to their bus.
Meant to Live
Who We Are
When We Come Alive
Love Alone is Worth the Fight
Dare You to Move
Verdict: Switchfoot were the real headliners of Winter Jam 2014 without a doubt and let me explain why; they have the biggest following out of the bands, they had the largest crowd(but I would say that this could have been because people started to get cold), and lastly they are hands down some of the most talented musicians I have ever seen take a stage. Though their setlist was a brief 7 songs they brought it from stop to finish and the crowd gave them everything they had. Twenty one pilots came out and played just as intense but they just couldn’t raise the bar higher than Switchfoot did (gallery below).
Sight of Sound Magazine will be covering Switchfoot’s show in March at the Sherman Theater and we can’t wait to see what their proper show is like with their own production and a full setlist. Fans, until then you can check out our exclusive gallery from Winter Jam and we will see you there!