“There is three things I have realized in the 15 years we have been on tour. One, this is f***ing awesome. Two, we are really old. Three, this is f***ing awesome” proclaimed lead singer Ryan Key after completing the first four songs of the set. That pretty much summed up the night. It was obvious that Yellowcard could still captivate a crowd after all these years, and they still brought an intensity to their old hits that led the crowd to believe in 15 more years.
When I first heard I had the opportunity to go see Yellowcard in Indianapolis I immediately went back and listened to all the hits I came to love years ago. The anticipation of screaming out the lyrics of “Ocean Avenue” had overwhelmed me and consumed my whole day. This was a band I grew up with, spent my years of teenage angst with, and last night I was able to spend my night with.
Having released Lift a Sail in October of last year, Yellowcard was still on tour promoting this album and unleashing a new sound on loyal fans. Described as alternative rock album when Yellowcard is typically in the pop punk genre, Lift a Sail was still able to bring large hooks and choruses we come to love in Yellowcard’s early years. Implementing this album in the 17 song set provided for an interesting break from the fast paced songs on earlier albums. At one point in the concert all of the members had left the stage and the only things left on the stage were Ryan Key with his piano. All the emotion and heartbreak that went in their songs finally built up and came out when he performed California on a pitch black stage. There were few crowd members that actually knew the lyrics, but mid-way through the song I was compelled to sing along with them.
After this solo performance, he left the stage and the disappointment consumed me. Are they really not going to play Ocean Avenue? They had played other crowd favorites such as “Only One” and “Light Up the Sky”, but they were missing the one song that made a nation fall in love with them.
This disappointment was short lived as they came out for a three song encore and of course the last song they belted out was Ocean Avenue. For a moment I was taken back to seventh grade, when I had first discovered the song, and I felt like the whole world was mine for the taking. “We could leave this town and run forever.” That one line captivated me as every person, young or old, in the entire building sang along for the last hoorah.
At the end they thanked the fans for being so loyal over the years. Twenty years are a long time for a pop-punk band and they continue to put on an amazing show. They are still around for a reason and that is because they make every audience member feel like they are a part of the experience, no just there to watch it. No, thank you guys.