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[LIVE REVIEW] Yellowcard at The Enmore Theatre


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On Friday afternoon, Sydney was hit with a downpour. Rain was bucketing down faster than a thrash metal drummer on speed, and Enmore Road turned into a river (which I aptly renamed to Ocean Avenue for the night). The rain didn’t keep the punters away though, and they were out in droves for Yellowcard’s sold out final show at the Enmore Theatre. This was the first of two final Sydney shows, one at the Enmore, and one at the Metro Theatre – where they will play their 2003 album Ocean Avenue in full.

Joining them on the tour are Swedish pop-punk band Like Torches. They hit the stage to a full theatre, but despite putting on a tight opening set, the crowd never really warmed totally to them. They were there for one thing only, and that was to see Yellowcard.

As the house music cut off, and the lights faded before Yellowcard’s set, a pre-recorded announcement rang out across the theatre. Essentially asking the audience to refrain from taking photos and video, with the note “We’re not telling you how to live your life, but if you watch the show through a 6 inch screen rather than with the miracle of the human eyeball, you’re fucking blowing it.” With a final statement of “Phones down, hands up, lets fucking rock” Yellowcard hit the stage, and the crowd nearly blew the roof off.

With a two hour set – 22 songs coming from seven different records – Yellowcard absolutely killed it. With the energy and passion to rival any other band, Yellowcard went out on a bang in their first of two final Sydney shows – and the largest show on their Australian tour. Their performance left some in the crowd wondering – almost selfishly – how a band with this much passion, charisma, and stage presence could be retiring. This is not a final tour done out of obligation. This tour is done out of an intense and spirited love – of the audience for the band, and of the band for the audiences they play for.

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Violinist Sean Mackin spent most of the set running around the stage, culminating in a backflip before the band launched into “Cut Me, Mick”. With lead vocalist Ryan Key telling the crowd “Each and every one of you needs to go home with no voice… if you hear a song and you aren’t sure on the words, dig deep and sing whatever the fuck you want, make the fucking words up”, the crowd at the Enmore got louder and louder as the set went on. Performing an acoustic version of Empty Apartment, with just Key and Mackin on stage, the crowd’s vocals drowned out Key’s, and the intimate setting showed off just how skilled Mackin is on violin.

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Closing out the night with an encore of Only One followed by Ocean Avenue, the words “let your waves crash down on me and take me away” rang out through the Enmore for the final time ever. Most pop-punk bands from the early 2000s withered and died long ago – but Yellowcard stuck through it. Releasing six albums since 2011, they are hanging up their boots after almost twenty years – but at a time that feels like their prime. This was the farewell set the audience deserved. No half arsing, no rock star attitudes or egos, just two hours of songs in a room filled with love and energy. Yellowcard have left on a high, and they will be missed.

 

SETLIST:

Believe
Lights and Sounds
Way Away
Always Summer
Five Becomes Four
Rest in Peace
What Appears
Rough Landing Holly
Awakening
Light Up The Sky
Sing For Me
Lift A Sail
A Place We Set Afire
With You Around
Cut Me, Mick
Breathing
Empty Apartment (acoustic)
Hang You Up
Be The Young
Hollywood Died

Only One
Ocean Avenue

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Britt Andrews

Writer, photographer, gamer, dog petter, serial sleeper. Can often be found in large, dark rooms, being sweated on by strangers. At other times, can be found playing video games on easy and complaining that they are still too hard.
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