4th March 2011
There’s a moment of uncertainty as Yellowcard take the stage following the exceptional reception that Bucks-based opens Young Guns received. This is a band that’s been on hiatus for two years, not toured the UK for five and has a following, one would assume, slightly older than the bands they’re sharing the stage with tonight – not to mention that opening for more-pop-than-punk giants All Time Low has to be an intimidating prospect for anyone – but from the first violin strings to the last singalong chorus, Yellowcard stand out for all the right reasons.
The band pull out all the stops with hits like Way Away, Lights And Sounds and Only One turning the nostalgia factor up to eleven but the really clever thing is that none of it sounds even the least bit dated. Every note and every word is a fresh as the day the songs were recorded. Two new songs, Hang Me Up and For You And Your Denial, from the upcoming When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes get an outing and fit in perfectly with the rest of the set both in terms of style and quality and of how excited the crowd are to be hearing them.
For the older among the crowd who remember singing along to Ocean Avenue way back when we were the age of most of tonight’s audience, it’s pretty special to see the band at their all time best, rocking it out to a new generation of pop-punk fans. Seeing a band member on stage jumping around with a violin in hand may not be the most common sight but it’s one of the most appealing things about the show tonight. The inclusion of strings is quirky in a way that’s never gimmicky and adds a layer of musicianship that just makes Yellowcard all the better for it.
There screams aren’t quite as ear-splitting (with the exception of the answer to vocalist Ryan Keys’s question “are you ready for All Time Low time?!”) and the words aren’t shouted back with quite the same level of intensity but the crowd don’t stop moving for the entire thirty five minutes that they band are playing. Maybe they didn’t have the ready made fans that Young Guns and All Time Low played to but they worked hard up there and it’s paying off. There are more than a few converts by the end and it’s obvious that a good lot of the audience will be back in the crowd for Yellowcard next time around.