Switchfoot, a Grammy Award-winning alternative rock band, will perform Aug. 26 at the Evergreen State Fair. (Associated Press file)

Switchfoot, a Grammy Award-winning alternative rock band, will perform Aug. 26 at the Evergreen State Fair. (Associated Press file)

Alt-rockers Switchfoot kick off Monroe fair’s concert series

The band, which sold millions of records in the early 2000s, is back on the road after a hiatus.

The Evergreen State Fair’s concert series kicks off in high-energy fashion Aug. 26, when the Grammy-winning alt-rock band Switchfoot takes the grandstand stage.

Expect to hear hits like “Dare You to Move” and “Meant to Live,” which made Switchfoot famous in the early 2000s, as well as new songs from the band’s 11th studio album, “Native Tongue,” released this year.

Keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas said a lot of the band’s energy goes into emoting the feelings behind their music.

“We like to see ourselves pushing and encouraging ourselves to love more,” said Fontamillas in a phone interview with The Daily Herald. “We’re also pushing that idea out in the audience. A lot of it is the lyrics, but there’s other parts besides the lyrics that resonate with people — the mood of the music, the energy of the music.

“It’s a powerful medium.”

Switchoot was formed in 1996. The band is comprised of brothers Jon Foreman (lead vocals, guitar) and Tim Foreman (bass), and Chad Butler (drums), Fontamillas (guitar, keyboards) and Drew Shirley (guitar).

In the beginning, the band mostly released indie rock with Christian influences on an independent label. A Grammy nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album in 2001 earned them wider exposure.

They got their break when three Switchfoot songs were featured in the 2002 film “A Walk to Remember,” starring Mandy Moore. The big-screen exposure led to a deal with Columbia Records. Their first release for Columbia, “The Beautiful Letdown,” sold more than 2 million copies.

Since then, Switchfoot’s released seven more albums, including “Hello Hurricane,” which won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album in 2011.

The band went on hiatus in 2016 after 20 years of touring. While on break, the San Diego-based quintet thought a lot about their future.

Fontamillas, 52, said that when the band reunited last year to record “Native Tongue,” they wanted to respond to the political and social issues causing friction in the U.S.

He said they hope the album, and their Aug. 26 concert, brings listeners together in positive ways.

“It’s a yearning and a call within ourselves to break down these walls and unify ourselves through love,” Fontamillas said.

Concert schedule

The fair, which opens today and runs through Sept. 2, hosts a series of concerts featuring national acts.

Brett Young, a country-pop singer-songwriter, will perform Aug. 27. He’s best known for his 2017 single, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and has sold more than 1.2 million copies. It also was nominated for top country song at the Billboard Music Awards in 2018.

Newsboys, a Christian rock band that’s been around since 1985, will perform with singer Adam Agee on Aug. 28. Four of the Newsboys’ albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards, while six of them have been certified gold. “You Are My King (Amazing Love),” topped Billboard’s Christian Songs charts in 2003. Agee is the lead singer for the Christian rock band Audio Adrenaline, known for its album “Sound of the Saints.” Before that, he was the frontman for pop-punk band Stellar Kart.

The Born to be Wild Tour featuring former members of Steppenwolf is Aug. 29. Steppenwolf came into fame during the 1960s and ’70s; its signature hits are “Born to be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride.”

Aloe Blacc will cap the series on Aug. 30. The R&B, hip-hop, soul and funk singer-songwriter is best known for “I Need a Dollar” and “The Man,” as well as for writing and singing the lyrics on Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.”

Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, ethompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.

If you go

The Evergreen State Fair’s concert series is Aug. 26-30 at the Monroe fairgrounds, 14405 179th Ave. SE. All concerts start at 7:30 p.m., except for the Born to be Wild show, which is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25-$70. Go to www.evergreenfair.org/164/Concerts for more information.

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