Yellowcard has proven to be one of the most resilient acts of this era. With 8 full-length albums (10 if you include the beginning of Yellowcard’s material), over a decade of touring, and more awards then one can count, it’s no wonder that fans came out in full force to sell out Tuesday night’s show at the Baltimore Soundstage. It was clear Yellowcard fans, young and old, came to bid the band farewell one last time after the June announcement that Yellowcard would be embarking on its final world tour.
Opening acts Dryjacket and LIKE TORCHES proved to be excellent openers, bringing much-needed energy to a crowd anxiously awaiting to see its potentially last Yellowcard show, but it wasn’t until the lights went off before Yellowcard’s set that anyone could fully comprehend just how excited the crowd was. Prior to the band entering the stage, a public service announcement was played requesting that all phones be put away during the show (a move that’s gaining popularity among musical acts), but it wasn’t long until the band stormed the stage and opened the set with “Believe.” From there, it was a night of music and memories.
Like most final tours, the set was filled with nostalgia. “We’ll be going all the way back to the beginning tonight,” announced vocalist Ryan Key (a promise the band fulfilled later in the night with its performance of “October Nights”). “We’ve gotten to share the stage with so many incredible bands,” he continued, alluding to all of Yellowcard’s previous tours while also thanking the night’s openers. Key also acknowledged the varying generations of Yellowcard fans in the crowd, thanking older fans who listened to Ocean Avenue during grade school, before playing “Rest in Peace” from the band’s final album.
Committed to giving the audience a memorable last show experience, Key took the time to explain the meaning and background behind a few of the songs performed on the set. Prior to performing “Sing for Me,” Key told the story of his aunt Stephanie, one of his earliest supporters. Following a cancer diagnosis, Key wrote the song in an attempt to capture the feelings behind what it would be like for her to say goodbye to her son. The band was fortunate enough to perform the song for her before her passing.
Key told a similar story behind the recording of the album Lift a Sail, which he explained was, “A very difficult time for the band as adults.” While hinting at recent political events (but insisting on not speaking directly about them), Key told the audience to, “[Look] forward to the future with strength, hope, and positivity,” before performing the title track of the album.
Returning to the stage for an encore set, Key discussed the thought process behind the band choosing to call it quits, stating that the members wanted to end, “On [their] own terms,” and planned the final tour to reach as many fans as possible. “You just gotta know it’s the right time, and we wanted to do this in a way everyone would know. Thank you to whoever burned a Yellowcard record for a friend or drove to see a show.” The night concluded with the band performing the 2003 smash hit, “Ocean Avenue,” leaving the band’s fans one last memory of that time they saw Yellowcard.