Switchfoot & HIRIE perform Petco Park Drive-In Concert

On June 7th, live music returned to the state of California in the form of a drive-in concert: an event titled Feed The Need, hosted by local San Diego radio stations 91x and z90 in the Padres’ tailgating parking lot outside the famous MLB Petco Park stadium, with all proceeds going to the local Feed The Need food bank. It was a full stage, full sound production — something missing in the world since the global COVID-19 shutdown three months prior. Gracing the stage for a noon concert were local San Diego bands B Side Players, SM Familia and Los Sleepwalkers before evening headliners Switchfoot and HIRIE took over the double-header. It was $100 a head and 91x hosts boasted over $50,000 was raised that day!

As the arena emptied from show number one, cars filing out in an orderly single-file fashion, the stage crew worked diligently to prepare for Switchfoot’s full rock sound. A few sound checks later, concert attendees drove onto the site, setting up shop where they parked as the parking coordinators flagged them into place. In came convertibles, jeeps and big bed trucks, so that attendees could get the best view without any vision obstructions.

If you weren’t enjoying your picnic and BYOB with the top down, you were kicking it in your truck with your loved ones or even standing atop your car for a bird’s eye view.

91x and z90 prepared videos of notable local bands performing hit songs acoustically before the night’s performance began, welcoming Switchfoot’s cellist friend onstage to showcase his skills solo in between. The first up in the night was HIRIE, a local reggae rock band, who chose an acoustic set sans drummer for the event (turns out drummer Matt Benoit was unable to make it). Even with half her band missing, HIRIE was still able to capture attendees’ admiration with an intimate look into her music on top of heartfelt sentiment between musical numbers. Speaking of, attendees were encouraged to honk their horns vivaciously instead of cheering, making it sound like a traffic jam after every song!

As the sun set over the Coronado Bridge, 91x and z90 DJs welcomed San Diego’s own Switchfoot to the stage. After a mellow acoustic performance, Switchfoot rocked the seatbelts off the crowd! If you weren’t able to catch the show live (because, let’s face it, there’s only so many cars you can fit into a San Diego downtown parking lot), 91x was gracious enough to broadcast the live performance from start to finish on the radio airwaves. Let’s hope that — in a world devoid of live music for so long — we will be able to continue this drive-in concert tradition… even if that’s all that can be allowed at this time. At least it’s something!

Photography by Kristy Rose

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