Yellowcard

It’s been over five years since Yellowcard last headlined in the UK, and this short tour – just four dates across England and Scotland – marks a welcome return since the band reformed in late 2010.

The Wonder YearsThe Wonder Years

Despite such a long absence, their fans clearly haven’t forgotten about them, and the small Library venue was packed to the rafters.

The Wonder Years

Accompanying Yellowcard as co-headliners were Saves The Day, a power pop foursome from New Jersey. Both bands have been writing and touring since the mid-90s and were there to promote their seventh studio albums.

The Wonder Years

Support was provided by Philadelphia rockers The Wonder Years who, despite having around 10 years less touring under their belt than the main acts, have already made a name for themselves.

Saves The Day

With three hours of music to look forward to it promised to be an exciting evening.

Saves The Day

The Wonder Years kicked things off with a brief but energetic set. They had strong support – a sizeable portion of the crowd had clearly come especially to see them, which only added to the atmosphere.

Saves The DaySaves The Day

They played a mixture of songs from their two most recent albums, The Upsides and Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing. Being such a short set they were able to focus on favourite tracks such as Melrose Diner, Logan Circle, and My Last Semester.

Saves The DaySaves The Day

Lead singer Dan “Soupy” Campbell had some issues with “the smallest, sketchiest stage we’ve ever played on”, almost falling off twice while leaping around. He solved the problem by diving into the crowd and performing two songs surrounded by dancing, singing fans – a definite highlight of an excellent set.

Yellowcard

Saves The Day seemed to be the odd-band-out of the night. Although they were co-headliners and have a large fanbase in their own right, it seemed that not many of them had turned up to see them play. Only about three people really got into the set, with everyone else standing around politely waiting for Yellowcard.

Yellowcard

Sadly this drained the mood in the room, and the band themselves did little to help matters – there was only minimal talking between songs, and they made very little effort to engage the audience.

Yellowcard

Their set focused on their latest album, Daybreak, but also included a good selection of older songs like Nightingale, Firefly, and At Your Funeral.

Yellowcard

They played with enthusiasm but after a while all the overly-poppy songs began to blend into one, and Chris Conley’s love-it-or-hate-it voice grated more and more. All in all it was a disappointing set, and most in the room seemed quite relieved when it was over.

If Saves The Day had left everyone feeling rather subdued, it didn’t take Yellowcard very long to liven them up again. They opened with For You, and Your Denial, the first single from their latest album, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes.

YellowcardYellowcard

From the moment Sean Mackin’s violin riff exploded from the speakers the fans were hooked and going crazy, creating an electric atmosphere and setting the bar for the rest of the night.

Although the tour was aimed at plugging this newest release, as well as the more recent acoustic version, Yellowcard were sure to include plenty of old favourites like Way Away and Believe.

YellowcardYellowcard

The pace didn’t let up, with the Florida pop punkers belting out great song after great song, and interspersing things with amusing chats to hook the crowd further.

About three-quarters of the way through their set, all band members except lead singer Ryan Key left the stage while he performed a moving acoustic version of Sing For Me.

Yellowcard

Written from the perspective of his terminally-ill aunt Steph, who sadly recently died of brain cancer, it was clearly an emotional song for Key and a poignant moment amid all the mayhem.

Rather than finish the night on a sad note, the band closed with three real crowd-pleasers – Lights and Sounds, Only One, and the obligatory Ocean Avenue. The fans were left buzzing and wanting more, which bodes well for their planned return to the UK next year – here’s hoping they come back sooner rather than later.

Yellowcard

Yellowcard Gig Review by Pete Williams
Yellowcard Gig Photos by Helen Williams

2 Responses to “Yellowcard + Saves The Day + The Wonder Years @ HMV Institute, Birmingham, UK – 29 November 2011”

  1. Wayne Fox Says:

    Loving the hairy drummer RAWK!

  2. Rob Taylor Says:

    Saves The Day are playing a special last minute intimate show at The Asylum 2 in Birmingham on Tuesday (28th August). Make sure you get down! Ticket link above!

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