Yellowcard | The Observatory, Santa Ana

Backflips on stage, flying drumsticks, a violinist in a suit and a circle pit? Yep, that’s a Yellowcard show. The rockers hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, are on the road again for an acoustic tour for the 10-year anniversary of their 2003 album Ocean Avenue. They toured last fall for the same occasion, but decided to hit the road and catch some cities they missed the first time around.

Yellowcard | 01.17.14

Friday was the second night of this three-week tour, after it kicked off in Santa Cruz, and was at the Observatory in Santa Ana. Frontman Ryan Key raved about how stoked he was to be playing a sold out show in Orange County, having played their first sold out show at the Chain Reaction in Anaheim. This was also their first show in Santa Ana.

The night started out with opener What’s Eating Gilbert, which is fronted by New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert. They played original music and several cover songs, including 60s Motown hit, “It’s in His Kiss.”

Ryan Key of Yellowcard | 01.17.14

Josh Portman of Yellowcard | 01.17.14

Yellowcard played two separate sets, the first of which was an acoustic set of the album Ocean Avenue in it’s entirety, starting with “Way Away” and closing with “Back Home.” The stage lights were accompanied by lights on stands, and the band’s usual high energy was replaced with a more emotional vibe. Fan favorites were clearly the single “Ocean Avenue” and “Only One.” “Inside Out” was another key moment in the set, and Ryan and violinist Sean Mackin mentioned how they really enjoy that song and used to open sets with it often.

When they returned on stage, the lights were set to the back of the stage, alongside giant lit up YC letters. This was the start of a Yellowcard show that most of the attendees were used to. They walked back onto the stage and broke into the 2006 single “Paper Walls” from their album of the same name.

They went on to play nine more songs, including “Five Becomes Four,” which brought a circle pit onto the floor, as always. Another memorable moment was “Surface of the Sun” from their 2012 release “Southern Air,” which was prefaced by Ryan expressing gratitude toward California and how they had moved to the state 14 years ago to follow their dreams. 

Sean Mackin and Ryan Key of Yellowcard | 01.17.14

Sean Mackin of Yellowcard | 01.17.14

Stage banter included jokes about twerking, resulting in the crowd chanting for Sean to “take off his jacket and twerk” (to their dismay, he did not); Ryan’s enjoyment of a girl who “took a selfie” during one of the songs, and how selfie is now recognized as a word in the Oxford Dictionary; and Ryan joking about how he, of course, had to get sick when the tour began. 

Ryan expressed his appreciation for every fan there – even the ones who never heard an album after Ocean Avenue. He went on to explain how inspiring it is for him to see fans singing along to the newer songs and knowing they had been supporting the band for so many years. He spoke about how fortunate they were to have visited six continents on tour last year, and was happy to say that they are going into the studio soon to record an album. Yellowcard said that they have another exciting announcement on the way, but are not able to disclose it to the public yet.

Longineu Parsons of Yellowcard | 01.17.14

Longineu Parsons of Yellowcard | 01.17.14

They closed out the night with hit single, “Lights and Sounds,” followed by a solo by drummer Longineu Parsons. The solo morphed into a closing of “Ocean Avenue,” with the crowd screaming along to “I remember the look in your eyes” for the second time that night. 

Be sure to catch Yellowcard on this tour – it’s a fantastic mix of old and new, and a great chance to see your favorite album of theirs played acoustic. Click here to check out their tour dates! 

Follow this link to view more photos from their set.