Live – Yellowcard

After almost 20 years creating music together, Yellowcard announced last year that they’re calling it quits. Since then, the band have released a final, self-titled album and toured the world – a last hurrah of sorts. I got the chance to see their second “final” show in San Diego, which was added after a few dates on their fall tour had to be rescheduled.

Even before the band took the stage, fans were singing along to classic songs on the house mix such as “All the Small Things”, “Cute Without the ‘E’”, and “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”. The audience was united in memories of the early to mid 2000s, and clearly was ready to experience what would be for most, if not all, in attendance, the last Yellowcard show they would ever see.

The band’s mammoth 24 song, two hour long set, started with a recorded introduction welcoming guests and requesting that they refrain from filming the show. The recording pointed out that if people wanted to watch the show on a screen, they might as well just pull up on of the thousands of videos that are already online. Thankfully, most people obliged and decided to enjoy the moment in real time, though it didn’t stop one person near me from filming nearly the entire show.

Playing through hits such as “Lights and Sounds”, “Way Away”, and “Southern Air”, the band showcased a variety of albums, playing cuts off of seven different albums out of the eight featuring vocalist Ryan Key. The energy of the fans was highlighted on songs from Ocean Avenue, but was still incredibly powerful during songs from the bands’ lesser-known albums.

Moving on to the technical aspects, the lighting director ran the best club-level lighting show I’ve seen since 2013. The LD created expertly arranged cues that not only added to the music, but also complimented it and blended with the band’s energy.

Speaking of the energy the band exuded, each member spent most of the show jumping around the stage, but I don’t think anything needs to be mentioned more than violinist Sean Mackin’s backflip off of the drum riser at the start of “Cut Me, Mick”. It was also great to see Jimmy from Like Torches returning as Yellowcard’s fill in drummer for this final leg of shows, as he always seems to be having a blast on stage.

Additional highlights included the incredible fan sing-along to the Ocean Avenue ballad, “Empty Apartment”, and of course the closing song for the set, “Ocean Avenue”.

Ironically, and probably intended as such, “The Final Countdown” was played as the crowd exited the building after Yellowcard’s final song.

If you have a chance to see the band during their last handful of shows, I can highly recommend it. Otherwise, you’ll have to make do with videos and their final record, Yellowcard.

Press photo by Joe Brady.