Yellowcard - HMV Forum
Live Review

Yellowcard – HMV Forum, London

The Wonder Years, the underground pop-punk band with so much hype it would be difficult to live up to this live, but having said that, being on ten minutes after doors opened did not give them the chance to prove their worth to many people. They sounded good, had the stereotypical jumps and lunges, and were surprisingly tight, but lacked the certain je ne sais quoi to really impress those that had got there early and queued in the rain, or those cynics like me that cant really see what the fuss is about.

Saves The Day on the other hand were a real addition to this pop-punk buy-one-get-one-free extravaganza. The most disappointing part of their set was the crowd, as dead as a dodo for want of a better cliché, but so hard to feel the atmosphere from a packed out show. It almost seemed as though they didn’t want to be there when they took to the stage without a moment to talk to the crowd and bust straight out with ‘See You’. In hindsight this lack of interaction was merely so they could fit as many hits and new songs in as possible, and the people around me seemed to appreciate this no end. Frontman Chris Conley does have a voice like Marmite, but the new songs, infected with an indie, somewhat killers-esque twinge seemed to loosen up the audience somewhat. Finishing off with killer ‘At Your Funeral’ it was immediately evident that the crowd had woken up. Even then at the end of the set, the crowd started chanting “one more, one more” and everyone seemed somewhat relieved. They continued their punky vibe by inviting everyone along to their acoustic set after the show (which on another point was INCREDIBLE), and encouraged them to join in and get “totally weird”. It was the set of a Saves The Day super-fan’s dream, heck, even I enjoyed it massively, it made me relive the days of being 14 and careless and crossed off the must see set from my list.
I felt somewhat guilty enjoying Yellowcard as much as I did, due to how lame the crowd were for the previous bands, but I just couldn’t help it. They are unique in their own way, what with having a violin as a part of the band, and it having a huge influence in their punk sound. The new line-up seems to have had a great impression on the band, and has made their sound somewhat more three-dimensional. They kicked off their session with two crowd pleasers from their first album, so by the third song the crowd were literally eating out of their hands. Add in some fantastically tight musicianship and even some Story Of The Year worthy gymnastics and you have yourself their perfectly created recipe for success. The atmosphere was definitely one of reminiscing, and I must admit that I joined in with the memories of 13-year old pop-punk glory days, but this was what made Yellowcard’s set so strong. If they had come out with just their new album it would have left an empty hole and a feeling of failure all round, however their combination of past and present- like Saves The Day – delivered a perfect setlist. No excess, only hits and a real sense of re-lived youth.

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