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Yellowcard Live In San Francisco: Celebrating 20 Years Of 'Ocean Avenue'

Brandy Tanaka Aug 23, 2023

It's been 20 years since Yellowcard released their hit album Ocean Avenue, which includes hit songs "Way Away," "Only One," and the chart topping "Ocean Avenue." The exciting part is that we are still able to experience them live years later, resulting in a truly a surreal moment for many.

I don't think anyone could have anticipated the enormous amount of people that arrived to this show – it was one of the fullest pits I have seen for a venue of its size. Everyone there was amped and ready to party. One contributing factor to the energy was the opener Emo Night Brooklyn; a DJ dance party that plays strictly emo favorites from the 'glory days'. This really kept the crowd excited and ready for the show ahead of them.

After Emo Night Brooklyn came This Wild Life – a Long Beach-based acoustic-rock duo, who amazingly performed songs such as "No More Waiting," and even a Blink-182 cover of "I Miss You." We heard some great vocals from lead singer Kevin Jordan, as well as very smooth and entrancing acoustic guitar by Anthony Del Grosso.

We next had Anberlin, a band that first formed in the early 2000's and quickly grew to be well-known and loved by many. It was clear that many in the crowd were over the moon to hear them play hits like "Paper Thin Hymn" and "The Feel Good Drag," as well as a newly released song "Convinced."

Before our headliner came the one and only, Mayday Parade. When I tell you the crowd nearly blew my eardrums out from just seeing them enter the stage... it truly put everything into perspective of how loved this band was/is for so many.  They began their set with the hit "Oh Well, Oh Well," and followed it with my personal favorite "Anywhere But Here," which sent the crowd-surfing into full effect. It was truly an amazing set from Mayday Parade, and my only complaint is that the set wasn't long enough.

Finally it was time for our headliner. Yellowcard entering the dark stage caused a large roaring from the crowd. They began with their song "Way Away," the focal light shining directly on lead singer Ryan Key. He looked and sounded exactly like he did when Ocean Avenue first came out, possibly sounding even better. It felt completely surreal to see a band that I remember listening to for hours on end as a teenager, 20 years later. The high-energy came not only from the band, but also from the crowd. It was clear that many felt the exact same way as me, and could not wait for more. After playing a variety of their popular songs such as "Lights and Sounds" and "Breathing," we were able to experience Derek Sanders – lead vocalist from Mayday Parade – join Ryan Key for a duet version of "Hang You Up," which was an unexpected yet memorable moment.

The last song of the night was "Ocean Avenue." To summarize how it was performed – it was exactly how I imagined it'd be. The crowd completely lost their mind, making it nearly impossible to hear in front of you. For many this was their first time experiencing Yellowcard live, and for others it defintely was not. But either way, we were all able to enjoy it together. It was an iconic end to an iconic night.

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