Journal, Tour

My Favorite Relient K Songs

January 17, 2017 — Jon Foreman

I first remember meeting Relient K at a festival in Ohio. It was one of those beautiful summer afternoons: the sun had just set, the rolling green hills stretching down towards the stage below, the sky blushing magnificent shades of red and gold, as this young band from Ohio filled the evening with their witty brand of beach-boys-infused pop-punk. When they got off stage, we talked about Pet Sounds and tried to figure out where we were going to sleep that night, as hotels were not provided from the festival. I think we ended up sleeping in the dorm rooms in a nearby college, if memory serves.

Since then I’ve come to know and love this iconic band. Both for their music and for who they are as friends. Some of the more careless reviews I’ve read have lumped them in with a more disposable genre of music, most often listened to in high-school. But the true music listeners know the truth. Underneath the catchy melodies, there is a hidden complexity of being Relient K. Take a second listen to any of their albums, and all at once, you will realize the true genius of this amazing band.

Every night on this tour I have been blown away by the delicate musical touches that make each Relient K song truly iconoclastic. Sometimes I wonder if these subtleties are even noticed by the folks in the crowd. Often, it feels like these elements are added for the folks playing the music on stage as much as for the more observant folks listening.

So the folks who haven’t spent time with Relient K, I’ve put together a starter kit of a couple of my favorite tunes. I hope they make you smile. I hope they make you dance. I hope they make you think twice.

And as you listen, remember: Matt Thiessen and Matt Hoopes are smirking at you and dead serious at the same time.

“Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been”
“Be My Escape”
“Air for Free”
“Forget and Not Slow Down”
“High of 75”


1/21 – Fresno, CA @ Warnors Theatre
1/22 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
1/24 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
1/25 – Anaheim, CA @ City National Grove of Anaheim
1/26 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Arlington Theatre
1/29 – Redding, CA @ Redding Civic Auditorium
1/30 – Grants Pass, OR @ The Historic Rogue Theatre
1/31 – Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theatre
2/2 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
2/3 – Vancouver, BC @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
2/4 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
2/8 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre – SOLD OUT
2/9 – London, ON @ London Music Hall
2/10 – Ottawa, ON @ Algonquin Commons Theatre
2/11 – Portland, OR @ State Theatre
2/12 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
2/14 – Knoxville, TN @ The Mill & Mine
2/15 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
2/16 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
2/17 – Lancaster, PA @ American Music Theatre
2/18 – Rochester, NY @ Roberts Wesleyan College — Voller Athletic Center

Categories: Journal, Tour

  • guy in chicago

    Absolutely wonderful – agreed 100 percent..

    Thanks again SF

  • Roxanne Wiedemann

    Such good choices! Those are some of my favourite Relient K songs as well!

    Love this band for being my drive-in-the-car-with-the-windows-down band. But also writing songs that I listen to when I feel desperate.

  • EddyLaceEmUp

    This tour was a dream come true. Thanks for making it a great night looking for America!

  • EthanRogati

    Please advise if you have any plans to return to Vermont any year soon.

  • james neal

    Well said Jon, see you in Sacto!

  • macwombat

    Would love to see Switchfoot & Relient K together in Sydney, Australia!

  • I feel like Relient K is a band that’s been along with me every step of the journey. (As are you).

  • Deathbed is a genius song. I think there is also a very familiar voice at the end. 🙂

    • woman4life


  • Michelle R.

    Confession… I’m extremely stoked for this concert & the main reason I’m going is for Relient K! 🙂 A diehard fan for 15+ years. Deep lyrics, great music, just love.

  • Sarah-Jane Hammond

    I have got to say, I have been relistening to a lot of bands from my teen years (Relient K included), and I have been loving every moment of it from Be My Escape, to Breakdown I have been realising the more intrinsic meaning behind the songs, that I somehow missed in my narcissism as a younger person. I think there is value in re-listening to artists when you have had more experiences in life, it gives you a different perspective. That’s something I love about music. The songs don’t change, but you do, and naturally, you take something new away when you hear it from a new perspective.

  • Peter Gray

    I’m not sure I would’ve picked that exact mixture to truely showcase all of their incredible songs, but this is a fantastic start in a magical musical mystery tour. I have been to quite a few shows in my life, but seeing this dynamic duo when they passed through Arizona was easily one of the best experiences I’ve had in many years. While there were differences in their playstyles, that alone made for a tasteful evening of music. Matt Thiessen and friends took me on an emotional journey throughout their catalogue of music followed by Jon Forman and friends rocking my face off! What an amazing night!

  • All their songs are absolutely terriffic! But my favorite of all are Deathbed and BME. Thank GOD that there are bands like you folks!

    Another concern… when will you be coming back to the Philippines? ???

  • disqus_TmS2lJ3PDk

    Great post 🙂 As a fan of both bands, this tour was Amazing, capital A. Jon, I love the new cd – it gets better and better with each listen, and I’ve really started appreciating all of you guys’ cds from the first one onward. Listening to all of them every day at work, and I thank God you guys and Relient k listened to God’s calling for your lives.

    From Jacksonville, I saw the Ft. Lauderdale show and wish so badly you guys would come back around the Southeast on the second leg of the tour! It would sell out in a heartbeat, and that venue Revolution Live did not the best viewing for fans (although American Backyard is always cool lol). You guys should check out Mavericks at the Jacksonville Landing, it has real good open viewing and hosts big headliners.

    But as a long time RK fan, I like the songs you suggested. I would also recommend the songs, When I Go Down, More Than Useless, I Am Understood?, Forward Motion, Devestation and Reform, The Lining is Silver, Life After Death and Taxes, Come Right Out and Say It…ok I’ll stop. ? God bless, everybody. And don’t miss this show.

  • Rob

    I’m 60, Switchfoot and Relient K are 2 of my top 5 favorites. I have purchased their work as it was released. I have had the opportunity to see Switchfoot twice but never before rocked with Relient K. I have been to more than 50 concerts in my life and the show in St Petersburg, FL was, without a doubt, the best concert my wife and I have ever been to. If you have a chance to go to one of the shows, GO.

    • woman4life

      I’m 61. I’ve been a fan of both for a long time… RK since 2001 and SF since 2003. 🙂 They are both worth seeing and together they are gold. 🙂

      • Sunny

        absolutely..celebrated my 60th bday in Vegas as a surprise from my son.
        Still remember it as one of the best times ever..the guys from both bands are great.

  • woman4life

    Air for Free is great! But my favorite on the new cd is probably Man. I love that one. I also love God and Elephant Parade. Older favorites: Probably my all time favorite is In Like a Lion. I love that song. Forgiven, Deathbed, Let It All Out, Be My Escape, Who I am…, For the Moments I feel Faint, When I Go Down, Fallen Man, Curl Up and Die, Therapy But there aren’t too many I don’t really love. I think Matty is a genius at word plays. And I know he used to sell himself short, but he is amazingly talented.

  • Mason Perkins

    Ha I see what you did there, Jon. Deathbed is a great song indeed! I saw you with Relient K in Memphis when you sang it with Relient K. One of the most important musical experiences of my life. Really felt like I was supposed to have been there. Actually kind of rebooted my desire to start a band, and one of the people I went to that show with is in it!


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