Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Yellowcard at Irving Plaza

Yellowcard formed as a hardcore punk band in 1997 in Jacksonville, Florida. The members took the band name from a phrase they used while in high school. Whenever somebody did something stupid at a party, such as spill beer on a carpet, they enforced soccer rules and gave them a “yellow card” for committing a “party foul.” Yellowcard relocated to Los Angeles in 2000, became a successful pop band, went on hiatus in 2008 and then reformed in August 2010. The latest album is Ocean Avenue Acoustic, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of its breakthrough platinum album, Ocean Avenue. After many lineup changes, Yellowcard presently consists of original members Sean Mackin on violin and Longineu Parsons III on drums, plus Ryan Key on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Ryan Mendez on lead guitar and Josh Portman on bass.

At Irving Plaza tonight on the second of two headlining nights, Yellowcard performed two sets. The opening set was an acoustic rendering of the 13 songs from its pivotal album, track by track. The second set was comprised of songs from other albums, culminating with one of the band’s biggest hits, “Lights and Sounds.” The overall sound was exactly what one would expect from a group that achieved success largely through MTV’s Total Request Live show. This was a high energy but totally predictable pop rock concert. The band is unusual in that it uses a violin in every song, but the constant violin sound even grew annoying sometimes. During the electric set, the song “Here I Am Alive” featured a chorus where Key sang “They say you don't grow up, you just grow old.” These lyrics could explain why these maturing adults have not outgrown their own music and continue to write and perform songs that appeal to teens.

Visit Yellowcard at http://yellowcardrock.com.