Heavy and Light returns to Orlando

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Ty Wright / Valencia Voice

To Write Love On Her Arms will host AFSP "Out of the Darkness Walk" on Feb. 1, 2014.

Jon Foreman did not let 30 stitches stop him from headlining the seventh annual “Heavy and Light” show presented by To Write Love On Her Arms Sunday night at the House of Blues.

Foreman, who is the lead singer of Christian rock band Switchfoot, slashed his face during a morning surf last Monday in his hometown Encinitas, Calif. He fully recovered, however with more than 30 stitches — many of which are inside his upper lip — he was not able to sing for a couple of days and was forced to cancel Switchfoot’s album release party. This had the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms’ (TWLOHA) Jamie Tworkowski nervous that he would have to reschedule the yearly event.

(Photos from the night)

Prior to getting into the first song of his set “The Cure for Pain,” Foreman was given a care package by event attendee Allie Sinclar. The package contained a list of miscellaneous items as well as a small note to go along with it.

Foreman took the stage backed by a cellist, Keith Tutten, and drummer, Aaron Redfield of Fiction Family and performed music from his solo projects as well as singles from his group projects including “Dare You To Move” which he performed with no microphone in unison with the crowd.  

Grammy-nominated artist Mary Lambert opened up the musical acts with a combination of spoken word and song. Lambert mixed heavy songs with light commentary to keep the night at ease. The 24-year-old artist sang original pieces, including “She Keeps Me Warm,” which was the basis to Macklemore’s and Ryan Lewis “Same Love” chorus.

When Lambert was not singing and playing the piano, she would reminisce on her past and the time she wrote her first spoken word piece about being a gay-Christian. She even managed to make her way back onto the stage to help Foreman perform “The World You Want.”

Lambert was not the only artist on the bill to assist Foreman on stage following their set. Summer Set’s vocalist Brian Dales provided tunes for not one, but two songs during Foreman’s set. Dales and Foreman performed their own rendition of Lorde’s single “Royals,” and “This is Home” which appeared in a Disney film (I guess it’s only right to pay homage to the mouse when your in his home).

The tour’s name hits the nail right on on the head. While musical sets by Tristan Prettyman and The Summer Set where what brought many out, it was their personal messages in between songs which kept people engaged.

It was the stories from 20-year-old Kevin Breel, who discussed how the “hardest choice I ever made was staying alive” just hours after leading his high school basketball team to the State Championship in 2011. It was the spoken word pieces from poet Anis Mojgani, who showed listeners that everyone deserved to be loved.

The event was live streamed for those who could not make it out to the show, and ended with a finale which contained all acts from the night singing “Lean on Me.”