Yellowcard with support from Kenneths & Normandie 12/12/16 @ ABC Glasgow
Megan Ansdell @wildandkindstudio @roamingearthling
O2 ABC Glasgow – an ideal setting to bid farewell to one of pop punk’s legends YELLOWCARD!
With their presence in the alternative scene spanning almost 20 years & including 10 albums they have set themselves apart by creating honest catchy classics, emo ballads and acoustic wonders with their signature sound featuring violin as more of a lead instrument as opposed to the typical backing track or occasional fill.
The crowd’s collective reminiscing of previous sweat fests has everyone quietly anticipating a memorable night. This brings the sense of community & belonging that many of us experience at shows & can be a super strong beautiful thing, especially here in Glasgow.
Tonight’s warm up begins with the PUNK ROCK trio from London - Kenneths. They rocked hard despite a stubborn start from the audience. Bassist Lewis Maynard, drummer Aicha Dijidjelli & Vocalist Josh Weller were unphased by the lack of participation & Josh proceeded to crowd surf & at one point had someone at the front hold his mike as he played, love it! It was awesome to see a woman behind the kit & the crowd loudly echoed that appreciation as Josh commented “More women in music please! “This is important for girls of all ages to hear at a still male dominated event. The impact these words may have on someone questioning learning an instrument or finding a band to jam with is a powerful thing which we would of course like to see more of. Bravo! It was fast, it was fun – for fans of Greenday/ Descendents.
Next up is Normandie with some Swedish Alternative Pop Rock Emo! The backing track, samples, and layered effects on Phillip Strand’s vocals were unfortunately overwhelming and distracting which made it hard to get into the set. I think it may translate better in a bigger venue & I enjoyed listening to them later online. There’s no taking away from that angelic voice mind! Hitting high notes with a touch of growling is always a treat! The heavier songs were best received & the crowd had warmed by the end. If you are into You Me At Six/ 30 Seconds to Mars check them out!
Finally, all six of us photographers make our way in front of the barrier exchanging nods and smiles with security as we brace ourselves for the first three songs. With a now positively buzzing fan base behind us, this space is magic.
Before the band emerge on stage we are treated to a recording politely(ish) requesting that we refrain from watching the show through a mobile phone instead of “The miracle that is the human eye ball “ Many a band will come on and say something similar at the beginning of a set but to announce before the musicians have set foot on stage really built up the hype & set the tone for a more intimate gig.
Opening with the mighty ‘Believe’ Yellowcard immediately matched the crowd’s thrilled energy & you can tell they are having such a good time which is infectious & exciting to be a part of.
Violinist Sean Mackin ensured stage shenanigans galore all night with a backflip from the drum platform to rolling around the stage on a roadie case & jumping about with lead guitarist Ryan Mendez & Bassist Josh Portman.
Mendez’s first solo of the evening during ‘Rest In Peace’ is a definite highlight alongside Sean’s captivating solo in ‘Lift A Sail’
This is a super tight seasoned band having an absolute blast & it was the roller-coaster of emotions I believe we were all expecting.
Frontman Ryan Key took a touching moment to dedicate ‘Sing for Me’ to his Aunt who passed away after battling Cancer. He tells us the song is written for her and the band had the honour of playing it for her. Ryan goes on to say let’s sing this together for our loved ones loud enough so they can hear us. Beginning the song on keys and is then joined by Sean in a beautiful performance loudly accompanied by the swaying, singing audience.
Sean & Ryan key’s acoustic ‘Empty Apartment’ from ‘Ocean Avenue’ is totally enchanting. They smoothly sail from fast paced to gentle dynamics flawlessly throughout the show & the we are all in.
Here we, here we, here we f****** go! After leaving the stage Yellowcard are welcomed back by our classic Scottish chant. Starting with ‘Only One’ it feels like everyone is joining in & not ready to end the night.
‘Ocean Avenue’ the bands biggest hit is saved for last & the anticipation is ridiculous! Ryan first delivered a moving, emotional thank you to all the other bands & fans for 20 years’ worth of love & support.
Shout out to the guys for acknowledging the ladies in the pit “ I see you “ means a lot more than those simple words. Stating recognition that this is a space for everyone as it should be shows respect & isn’t often mentioned.
Like most of us I’m sure, I was transported back in time to teenage memories of first getting into this song, being in the moment and singing with all my heart. Grateful to experience this one last time I venture into the crowd to really let go & find myself in the perfect space where a girl next to me decided to put her arm around me as she did her friend and we swayed and sang together. There was no hesitation or awkwardness, just a stranger including another person because we are all in this together and it is the perfect example of the accepting family the live music culture can be.
Yellowcard put on an amazing show – For fans of Jimmy Eat World, Motion City Soundtrack, Taking Back Sunday. Ryan also thanks the band ‘Like Torches’ for lending them their super rad drummer Jimmy Brunkvist Who by the way are emotastic! For fans of Saosin/ The Used…
One last thing … Wearing ear plugs to protect your ears is important & COOL. Tinnitus sucks & in case you weren’t aware you can always ask for free ear plugs from bar staff at gigs!