Yellowcard at the Varsity, 10/18/2011

Yellowcard with Every Avenue, Go Radio, Small Town Hope
October 18, 2011
The Varsity Theater, Minneapolis

"You guys stay right there -- we're going to play some rock and roll songs for you," Ryan Key of Yellowcard states to a crowd that is old enough to drive, yet not old enough to drink. 

Someone once asked me to describe a band to make them want to listen to their music and words failed me. All I could think was that to see the band was to love them. I give you Yellowcard, a band that produces excellent albums and a wonderful sound, but their live show is what keeps the kids coming back for more.

When it comes to such a saturated music industry where every band is vying for the attention of a new fan, Yellowcard is pretty standard -- save for the violinist. But to see the band and listen to the harmonies and riffs and share in the energy the band brings is something extraordinary.

Go Radio
Go Radio
Every Avenue
Every Avenue
Youa Vang

The band had been on hiatus living life and eventually recording for a few years, recently releasing When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes this previous May. Ryan shared, "When recording, we thought about what you wanted to hear and we'll be forever young," on the inspiration for "Be The Young" -- a thank you letter to their fans -- and that song described the crowd to a T. The band may have aged, but their fan-base seems to have been stuck in a teenage time capsule. They promised the group that they are not going away again, and tonight was the first night of starting over.

Youa Vang

The set included many old hits like "Light Up the Sky" and "Lights and Sounds" interspersed with pieces from the new album including "The Sound of You and Me," the rocking "Soundtrack," and a dread-flying drum solo from LP. During "Breathing," The crowd was encouraged to form a mosh pit, and although it is cut from the same cloth as the Warped Tour audience, I felt the crowd was a little tamer than said audience. The new material blended well with the older pieces in that while Yellowcard may have evolved when writing, each new song still maintained its core sound, reminding you that it's still a Yellowcard song.

The encore commenced with Ryan Key explaining the significance of "Sing For Me," which is a song written for his aunt who supported his decision to quit school and pursue music full time -- the only person who backed him in this choice at the time -- leading to how she currently is battling brain cancer.  Poignant and moving, Ryan played the piece solo under a simple spotlight.

It's not often that a band stays together as long as Yellowcard has. Just because a band can create exceptional music does not signify the successes they can accomplish; it takes a lot more than talent to get to the next level, it also takes maturity and hard work. All of which Yellowcard has. Ryan asked the audience when they leave to "Tell everyone that Yellowcard is back." They sure are.

Critic's bias: I haven't been wowed by a live show in a long time, although I was hoping they would play one of my favorites "How I Go." 
The crowd: Young teens mixed with twenty-something diehard Yellowcard fans.
Overheard in the crowd: "I fucking hate groupies."
Random notebook dump: The two girls in front of me had to confer with each other on how to make devil's horns.


The Sound of You and Me
For You, and Your Denial
Rough Landing, Holly
Five Becomes Four
With You Around
Light Up the Sky
Holly Wood Died
LP drum solo
Way Away
Cut Me, Mick
Be the Young
Hang You Up
Lights and Sounds
Only One


Sing For Me
Empty Apartment
October Nights
Ocean Avenue

"Like" Gimme Noise on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @gimme_noise.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >