Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue Acoustic – A Show Review

Yellowcard, an American pop/punk band, came to the Music Farm this past Thursday, February 6, 2014, on their Ocean Avenue Acoustic tour, which ended the next day in Atlanta, GA. There was a band by the name of What’s Eating Gilbert which opened for Yellowcard, with a very mellow and fun set list.

Despite the fact that not a lot of people in the Music Farm at this point knew the words to the songs that What’s Eating Gilbert were playing, the band definitely knew how to get the crowd pumped up. Chad Gilbert, along with the rest of the band, was very down to earth and sociable, and he had no problem engaging the audience in order to give it a feeling of unity. The crowd even got to say happy birthday to the drummer, Mike “Mikey” Ambrose, who is also currently the drummer for Set Your Goals. They played a total of eleven songs, two of them being covers of “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison and “The Swoop Swoop Song” by Betty Everett, some slow, some fast, but mostly very empowering – during which Chad Gilbert requested once that the audience all put their middle fingers up in the air.

Once What’s Eating Gilbert was done playing, they changed the set, and Yellowcard came out. However, instead of their signature electric guitars, they had acoustics. Ryan Key, the lead singer of the band, had his parents there, and even dedicated one of their songs, “Life of a Salesman,” to his dad, who raised his hands in victory as the song ended. Even the violinist, Sean Mackin, seemed to keep looking appreciatively up towards Mr. Key in the balcony. They went through the entire Ocean Avenue CD with just acoustic guitars, which kept the crowd somewhat calm. However, during their encore, the band changed clothes, changed the set, and came back out with their electric guitars, which caused the crowd to go wild.

Their encore consisted of mainly new songs, but also had a couple of Ocean Avenue songs, not acoustic, to wrap the whole thing up. In the middle of the encore, Ryan Key requested that the crowd participate in a “good ole’ Charleston circle pit” in which the entire front part of the audience ran in a circle around the center of the room. Along with this, several people were crowd surfing, and almost everyone was jumping and singing along.

As they were wrapping up their songs, Key thanked the audience for sticking with them since the beginning and announced that after they finished the tour, they were going back into the studio to work on another record to release for their fans, which got deafening cheers in response. The drummer, Longineu W. Parsons III, stood on the edge of the stage, welcoming applause, and threw his drumsticks out to the crowd.

Overall, the combination of What’s Eating Gilbert and the Acoustic versions of the Ocean Avenue songs, along with the encore of their original sound, the Yellowcard concert at the Music Farm was a success. The whole place was filled with people of all different ages in an atmosphere that was rowdy and fun, the perfect match to the sound that Yellowcard has stuck with for almost seventeen years and will hopefully continue for years come.

Sarah Coombs and Katherine Benfield 

You can catch Sarah and Katie’s show, Good Music for Bad People, Thursdays at 9 PM, only on CisternYard Radio!

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