Jon Foreman Seeks the Middle Ground in concert

  • Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman brings songs of encouragement and hope to Liberty students and CFAW guests.
  • Through music, Foreman hopes to create a middle ground for a divided nation.


In the midst of College for a Weekend, the Music Building’s Grand Concert Hall felt a hopeful energy on Nov. 11 as Switchfoot’s lead singer Jon Foreman serenaded a crowd of intent listeners in a concert hosted by Student Activities at Liberty University. The longtime musician promoted his solo career featuring soothing songs which aim to “resave” the spiritually sound who nevertheless face the painfully human troubles of life. Joining Foreman were musicians Keith Tutt on the cello and Aaron Redfield on percussion, and together they treated the concert hall with a soulful array of Foreman’s solo hits.


The concert began with a moving opening act by Tyson Motsenbocker, a dear friend of Foreman’s and fellow songwriter from San Diego. Once Foreman and company took the stage, they began shifting through a pile of fan-submitted index cards and performing various song requests at random. The audience even joined in with Foreman as he sang “Happy Birthday” to one attendee who had left a birthday hint on one of the cards.


Midway through the concert, Foreman addressed the crowd about his personal process of songwriting.


“I sing a lot of songs about hope,” Foreman said. “I feel like that’s the one song I write: I write songs when I’m depressed and lonely, scared and frustrated. And it’s really amazing people want to hear them, right? Because I think when I’m happy, I go surfing and hang out. I’m generally a happy guy, but lately I’ve been really feeling the weight of a lot of things. It feels like our nation is a divided nation.”


While Switchfoot’s traditional rock anthems celebrate and inspire entire stadiums with powerful messages, Foreman views his solo records as music one might listen to in a small room with friends after a show. Those records are concerned with the somber and complex struggles which often define not only Christian life, but human life in general. From light-hearted beats driven by Foreman’s guitar and harmonica to elegant pieces highlighted by Tutt’s cello and Refield’s innovative collection of drums and bottles, the entire production filled the Grand Concert Hall with an atmosphere of thought, thankfulness and hope. Several songs even featured prolonged segments of improvised instrumentation, which emphasized the unwavering talent of Foreman and company.



Foreman explained the purpose behind his songs, and how they seek to restore a world which is gradually being reduced to petty arguments and bickering.


“I fear that we’re losing the middle ground,” Foreman said. “It’s like there’s a polarity between left and right, like a binary age. But humans wear this watercolor of emotion, skepticism and pain; we’re mixed bags. Maybe it’s online, but the middle ground goes away and we just start throwing rocks at each other. This university is a bastion of hope for the middle ground, and that’s what music has been for me: an ability to find the middle ground.”


For the very last song of the concert, Motsenbocker rejoined the stage for a stunning duet rendition of Foreman’s “Your Love is Strong,” a song which rests all hope in the sovereign love of the Creator. With all four musicians combining their talents to create an unforgettable ending to the show, many in the audience raised their hands in passionate worship.


Before leaving the stage, Foreman thanked the entire concert hall for “seeking the middle ground” with him.


For more information on Jon Foreman including his solo works and tour dates, visit


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