Who knew in this post-Warped Tour wasteland era that we are living in – we would get to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue? Not me. But here I was, attending the celebration at the Skyline Stage at the Mann in Philadelphia for Yellowcard and stayed for the whole nostalgia package. A package that included Story of the Year, Mayday Parade, and This Wild Life. And I was not disappointed.
Short But Sweet
Much like the rest of the country, it has been a hot week here in Philly. And, as per usual, the night of the show was fairly humid. The combination of heat and humidity is definitely a rough environment to perform in. Notably, Story of the Year’s lead singer, Dan Marsala acknowledged this as the reason why there were large breaks between songs. Obviously, allowing them the necessary recovery time. No doubt the set was short but sweet and finished strong with fan favorite, “Until The Day I Die.”
The crowd was full of “Elder Emos.” A phrasing as seen on the Emo Night Brooklyn t-shirts (available at the merch tent). They are a touring dance party that exclusively spins all your pop-punk and emo favorites. Emo Night Brooklyn DJs entertained the crowd in between band sets to pass the time. In these moments is when I realized that a symptom of aging with the bands is noticing just how many of us 30-somethings are showing up with our children/younger relatives. It appears pop-punk is alive and transcends barriers between generations.
Mayday Parade opened with “Oh Well, Oh Well.” The lead singer, Derek Sanders, took to the stage alone for the first few moments. After roughly 20 seconds, the rest of the band joined him. Mayday Parade only had eight songs on their setlist. This meant it was a fairly quick set that included the classics, “Jamie All Over,” “Jersey,” and “Miserable At Best.” About halfway through their stage time, they spent a couple of moments wishing Derek a Happy 37th Birthday.
Yellowcard Takes The Stage
With great anticipation, Yellowcard stepped onto the stage. You could feel the energy amp up as people yelled with excitement as each band member took their place. It was as if Yellowcard never missed a beat. They opened with, “Way Away.” Ryan Key – lead singer and guitarist for Yellowcard, spoke to the crowd several times throughout the set.
From time to time he would reminisce on different aspects of the band’s journey. Their separation received the most attention. He mentioned how their decision to break up the band was “very final” for them. Ryan mentioned how they never thought they’d play together again let alone to a crowd of 6,000. According to Yellowcard, the Philly show marked the largest group of people they have ever played to. Ryan then polled the audience on if they’d seen the band before. Shockingly, a surprising number of people responded that it was their first time seeing Yellowcard perform. As I said, pop-punk is out here transcending generations.
Yellowcard expressed their gratitude for the love they received, people returning to see them, and those seeing them for the first time.
During the performance, Ryan explained how the band had zero intentions of ever making music again. It wasn’t until they performed at Riot Fest last year that they decided a new album was a must. This served as the introduction to their latest single, “Childhood Eyes” from their upcoming EP with the same name. Childhood Eyes is due out July 21st on Equal Vision Records. This 5-song EP will have songs with features from Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil, and Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional.
Derek from Mayday Parade joined them on stage to assist on vocals for “Hang You Up.” This is a song from their seventh album, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. To no one’s surprise, the set was inevitably finished with an encore. Naturally, this is what they saved “Ocean Avenue” for. Which if you don’t know by now, is a song from their fourth album, Ocean Avenue (which came out 20 years ago, this summer). This was the song every single person in the place was waiting to hear, as was evident by the sea of cellphones held above heads to capture the moment.
Yellowcard Continues the tour…
You, too can catch Yellowcard in a city near you. They are currently on tour through the end of August 2023. This means the band will be working their way around the US, wrapping up the tour in Portland, ME on August 18th. They have a mini break before they take the Las Vegas’ When We Were Young Fest stage in October.