Fading West – Switchfoot | Movie review

In this documentary of American Christian Rock band, Switchfoot, you can’t help but be swept away by the fun and adventure they experience as they travel the world playing music and making the Fading West album, all the while looking for the perfect wave.

Their songs have become the soundtrack to thousands of people around the globe with words that shape the heart and give hope for the future. Having been impacted by music all their lives, the Foreman brothers are now fulfilling their life’s calling of writing and recording a soundtrack for others.

“We wanted to be that band for someone else, to bring the song of hope to people around the world.” – Jon Foreman

With bandmates, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamillas and Drew Shirley, brothers Tim and Jon Foreman, leave their San Diego homes and families to share the message of their music and explore the broad spanning beaches of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Bali.

Arriving in Sydney, Australia, their schedule is packed with appointments which include an interview on radio station Triple M, a live recording on Seven’s Sunrise Morning Show, and some very necessary surf trips to Garie Beach, all leading up to their performances at the Sydney Soundwave Festival which feature predominantly heavy metal bands.

The calling on their lives to bring songs they believe in to uncomfortable places, brings their message to a whole new audience. The boys admit they feel like the new kids on the block, watching as some of the well-known metal artists pass by them. They quickly find themselves in the face of some major obstacles when things don’t go according to plan on stage as well as off stage.

With a family emergency requiring lead singer Jon to return to the States unexpectedly, the distance from family becomes all too real. Each taking their role as husbands and fathers very seriously, life away from their family is difficult and they share some heartfelt thoughts on this subject.

The band reluctantly continues on their tour without Jon, this time to the beautiful pristine beaches of New Zealand.

New Zealand welcomes them with open arms and they are entertained with sheep-chasing, cow milking, cliff jumping and of course, surfing.

It is here in the land of the long white cloud that the band hook up with surfing legend Tom Curran to surf the ‘land of the lefts’ (waves you surf to the left) at Raglan. With Tom Curran out in the ocean with them, as well as excellent conditions, this is a surfing dream come true. The waves are beautiful and the barrels are clean.

In amongst their hectic show schedule, the ocean clearly gives them the headspace they need to relax, reflect and enjoy their down-time.

Lead singer Jon Foreman, returns as the tour arrives in South Africa. The freezing waters of Capetown offers the most challenging surf they have yet come across. Landing during ‘shark week’ the boys surf some of the roughest breaks they have ever seen.

The band revisits the Kayamandi children’s choir, who feature on the track ‘Is this the world you want’. They had met these amazing children during their previous tour in South Africa, and are inspired all over again by the incredible joy these children radiate straight from their hearts onto others despite the devastating circumstances they have come from. Performing with them on stage Jon and the band share this joy, which comes from the hope they have in Jesus.

Last stop Bali, where the weather is warm, the scenery beautiful, the food delicious and the atmosphere freeing, providing the band with down-time to be refreshed and inspired before their long journey home.

Rob Machado who is best described by the band as ‘surfing royalty’, takes Jon, Tim and Chad to some amazing beaches, surfing on reefs and catching perfect waves, while Jerome and Drew explore the town and experiment with local instruments, capturing new sounds to use in their music.

On their final leg home, the band is ecstatic to be reunited with their families once again – their most important inspiration. Home in San Diego, they prepare for the annual fundraiser, the Switchfoot Bro-Am which involves, you guessed it – surfing, people and music. Featuring some of the world’s surfing greats and finishing the day with Switchfoot’s music belting out across the ocean on an epic beach stage, this West Coast crowd obviously love their homegrown Switchfoot boys and with good reason.

This documentary is inspiring and filled with so much fun! The tour that brings together their two loves of music and surfing so very seamlessly, may very well find you wanting to take up surfing or attending the next Switchfoot concert.

This documentary brings alive every sound, every lyric, every emotion that they’ve recorded in the Fading West album. It makes you feel like you’ve journeyed with them.

Join them in their honest journey of joys and sorrows, highs and lows, and ultimate excitement and adventure as they share the songs from their hearts that are now resonating with thousands of people, young and old, around the world.

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