w/ Like Torches, Dryjacket
October 22, 2016
The Regency Ballroom
San Francisco, CA
I had already bid farewell to Yellowcard in the article that I had written surrounding the band and their final album and tour. That was hard enough. Then I actually got to the show.
I didn't think it was going to hit me as hard as it did. But wow, I have to say that was really something. Yellowcard made their final Bay Area stop in San Francisco, California this past Saturday evening. To say it was an emotional evening for all in attendance would be a severe understatement. The show was completely sold out, and every corner of the venue was packed wall to wall with Yellowcard fans of all ages.
After two opening sets from up and comers Like Torches and Dryjackets, the moment was finally here. The lights go out, and a hopeful soundtrack comprised of ambient synths filled the airspace. Somber piano notes that transposed the melody of "Ocean Avenue" rang throughout the air. Light floods the stage, and the silhouettes of Ryan Key (vocals/guitar), Sean Mackin (violin), Ryan Mendes (lead guitar) and Josh Portman stand out against the bright lighting. Cheering fills the room. And then...
"Believe". That iconic violin line cuts through the air with ease. A little bit of sadness fills over me, as I know this is the last time than any of us are going to hear this again. The entire band fires on all cylinders. They were truly glorious. Music from every single era of Yellowcard is performed throughout the evening. "Believe" is followed closely by the epic "Lights and Sounds", and the dark-yet-poppy "Way Away".
Intimate moments between the crowd and the band occur at many moments during the set, in which vocalist Key takes the time to talk to the band about the genesis of particular songs, why certain tracks were chosen for the last tour, or what they were each going through at the time of the writing of any given record. "Lift A Sail" was proved to be a beautiful addition to the set. Hell, they even threw in a track from One For The Kids. I don't know if anyone thought that they would do that, and the reaction was astounding.
A true highlight of the night proved to be when the band brought out former bassist Sean O'Donnell to sing backup vocals on "Hang You Up", a track from When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes, the album the band put out after returning from a hiatus. Fans were delighted, and it truly felt like we were witnessing a rather special moment, a unique performance moment that other cities didn't receive. "Only One", the first of the two song encore, was played, and no one failed to sing the lyrics back as loud as they possibly could. But of course, that sad moment was about to occur. The one that brought a tear to my eye. "This is going to be a hard one to finish tonight, wow," remarked Key. The band looked into the crowd with a look of gratefulness that you don't see in even the most veteran of touring artists.
"So how about we sing Ocean Avenue one more time?"
I really don't think I need to explain what happened next. No words can be used to describe that moment of pure elation, happiness, sadness, and gratefulness for being there to witness the last Bay Area performance of truly one of the greats. I try to be as professional as possible whenever I review shows; I never go too deep into the crowd, I'm not one who goes crazy. But I'll be damned if I wasn't up at the front of the barricade screaming the words to "Ocean Avenue" one last time with Yellowcard.
Farewell, Yellowcard. Thank you for the memories.
Lights and Sounds
Five Becomes Four
Rest in Peace
Rough Landing, Holly
Light Up the Sky
Sing for Me
A Place We Set Afire
Lift a Sail
Gifts and Curses
Cut Me, Mick
Sleep in the Snow
Empty Apartment (Acoustic)
Hang You Up
Be the Young
Holly Wood Died
This has been another Shameless Promotion.