Original Show Date: February 16th
Distance, the space between two things, sometimes it is great and other times small. When an event/concert from a favorite artist is happening, distance can be a friend or foe. This particular instance is in reference to ‘Heavy and Light’, an event held by non-profit, To Write Love on Her Arms, every year in their hometown of Orlando, Florida. Normally, little limits this writer from attending an event, but sometimes finances, or lack thereof, can be a significant roadblock.
Such is a similar story for all parties involved. To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) has gotten so many comments over the years from people, similar this writer, who just couldn’t make the trip for that very reason and other additional factors. TWLOHA had always envisioned taking ‘Heavy and Light’ on the road, but encountered obstacles also. Well, as luck would have it, something came about that solved the problem. All it took was a few million mouse clicks and social media.
The Chase Community Giving program allocated the responsibility to fans of how charitable dollars should be dispersed courtesy of via Facebook voting. On this page, fans could choose which organization to potentially win the $1 million grand prize. It was announced that TWLOHA won the grand prize at the first ever American Giving Awards. Upon accepting the award, founder, Jamie Tworkowski, announced his intentions for the funds, to take ‘Heavy & Light’ on the road to cities across the country. “An evening of music, conversation and hope,” would continue TWLOHA’s purpose, to serve as a source for anyone to reach out to during his or her time(s) of need.
At every city, fans and supporters had the opportunity to meet and speak with Jamie, hear the story of TWLOHA and see an amazing concert. The ‘Heavy and Light’ tour featured stopped at Center Stage in Atlanta, featuring music from Jonathan Foreman (Switchfoot) & Fiction Family; Anthony Raneri (Bayside); Will Anderson (Parachute); Now, Now and Steve McMorran (Satellite). When the opportunity to attend presented itself, this writer was stoked. On the night of the event, upon entering the venue, attendees were encouraged to participate in Fears vs. Dreams, TWLOHA current campaign encouraging people to speak out. People wrote whatever they felt on those marker boards and were photographed in front of a ‘Heavy and Light’ banner. All photos were to be compiled into a project for the TWLOHA website.
Into the theatre area, fans gathered, anxiously awaiting the start of the event. Suddenly lights dimmed with only a spotlight being visible. The light shined on spoken word poet, Anis Mojgani, who kicked off and spoke throughout the evening as well. His words were true art and brought great atmosphere to the night. The supporting artists walked on stage with their acoustic guitars and rocked the house, all showing their appreciation for TWLOHA and sharing personal hardships with the crowd. People were welcome to discuss anything they wanted/needed, there were no judgments that night, nothing was off limits and everyone was a friend to one another.
Music brings people together from all walks of life, it is a common bond that unites us. Live shows are a chance to see our favorite songs live and have new experiences. As the first artist to don a TWLOHA shirt on stage, in the beginning days of the non-profit, during a Switchfoot performance, it was very fitting that Jonathan Foreman headlined the tour. That night, Jon took the stage as a part of Fiction Family, performing their original songs. There were of course, some classic Switchfoot tunes mixed into the set list. “Dare You To Move” was exceedingly appropriate at this performance because it encourages listeners to not let anything get them down or in the way of living their lives. The choices in life are in the hands of each individual.
At the beginning of the set, if memory serves properly, Jon’s acoustic guitar was unplugged somehow, but he chose to go with it. He felt that he could be heard without a microphone, so he performed totally unplugged and encouraged the crowd to sing along with him. Fiction Family is a musical partnership between Jon Foreman and Sean Watkins (Nickelcreek), together they share with the world, their take on folk/classic rock music. Two musical geniuses working together can only create more musical genius. Fans saw a new side of Fiction Family, as a full band act and loved every minute of it.
The music portion of the evening came to a very triumphant close, but the night was far from over. Fans lined up in the lobby at a chance for photos and one on one conversation with Jamie Tworkowski. As their opportunity to speak with the found of an organization that has had such a substantial impact on their lives, it was a beautiful sight to see so many people be so open, unafraid and appreciative towards TWOLHA. This writer was amidst the majority, but also took the opportunity to be inquisitive and learn more about how the tour.
Without Chase, an opportunity to share ‘Heavy and Light’ nationwide would have been significantly more challenging, but Jamie was thrilled to be able to do so. He strongly hopes to be able to continue ‘Heavy and Light’ as a tour. Once the opportunity to attend presents itself again, assuming that it will because the turn out was exceedingly successful, this writer strongly recommends attending. Whether it be the first time or as a returning attendee, everyone will thoroughly enjoy ‘Heavy and Light’, guaranteed.