Article by Scotti Moore
I’ve heard the name of the band many times over the years but not familiar with any of their material. Walking into St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit I kept thinking “I really hope this is worth the drive”. I always hope but rarely does a band I know nothing about gain my interest as fast as these guys did. The idea that I was going to be able to work my way to the front with no problem went out the door as I walked in. The house was packed from wall to wall! I turned to one of the members of the security team and asked who was going to be the opening band, he said Yellowcard . I looked at him with an obvious puzzled look on my face and asked him why they were going on so early. I was then made aware that they were actually opening for themselves. That’s right; Yellowcard was going to play their Ocean Avenue Disc, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of its release, in its entirety acoustically. So I enter the sea of Yellowcard faithful to get ready for what should be an interesting start to the evening.
Show time; the band took the stage and was greeted by the excited crowd. Ryan key (Lead singer) begin with reminiscing about the last time they played at St Andrews and how it was the crowd that took from a bad beginning to one the best shows they ever performed. Then with the strike of the first note I began to witness something amazing! The entire room joined the band in perfect unison singing every word to every song that they played through their complete acoustic set. What an incredible blend of music, emotion, passion & energy. While every one of them was very skilled at their craft they had something that you don’t see every day, a violinist who not only perfectly accented each song but played a share of the leads where a guitar would normally take over. While listening to this I kept thinking how I wish they would play the entire night in this format. From the band to the crowd to the intimate bulb lighting on stage I was in awe. As the acoustic set came to an end the crowd erupted with cheers and as the band left the stage the excitement they created during this unplugged session only sparked a new anticipation to the band coming back out and plugging in.
So during this brief intermission I set out to find an unbiased opinion of the show which would prove to be a bit difficult since every person in St. Andrew’s were there solely for Yellowcard. I began a conversation with Shane Gunn out in front of the venue & he told me this was also his first time seeing Yellowcard. When I asked him what he thought of the show he had this to say, “What an amazing show. I have seen Our Lady of Peace, Coheed & Cambria & Sum 41 do full album shows and this show by far this has been the best one.” A longtime fan of Yellowcard, Claire Standier came out to get a breath of the night air and told me her four hour drive has been so worth it. She said this was so good I just jumped online and purchased tickets to The House of Blues in Cleveland for Tuesday night show, she said “once just isn’t enough.” Now that’s a dedicated fan. Mind you, I was getting this kind of reaction and we are only half way through the night.
Lights go down & Yellowcard takes to the stage once again. This time they traded the acoustic guitars for electric. They continued the night with all that and more. The intensity level increased from both the band as well as the crowd. From one song to the next the love affair between Yellowcard and their fans proved obvious as the minions continued to sing every word of every song. I have never witnessed such crowd participation. While the band put on a masterful performance the violinist Sean Mackin in between playing made sure he kept the crowd involved while instructing them to get louder during certain parts of songs but the loudest reaction came when he jumped up on the drum riser and did a back flip with a 10 point landing. The night was full of excitement with an overall joy for music. Plugged or unplugged Yellowcard satisfied their hungry followers and has gained one more fan “ME”.