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Yellowcard Celebrates 20 Years of "OCEAN AVENUE"!

Featuring: Yellowcard, Mayday Parade, Anberlin and This Wild Life

Photos by: Samantha Madnick

Words by: Rudy Flores

The evening began with a 5 song set by Long Beach, Ca's, This Wild Life. Kevin and Anthony jumped right in, getting everyone in that "emo state of mind" by prominently displaying a large Hot Topic logo on the screens behind them... with a twist though, "Hot Topic Mumford & Sons" (and in tiny print) a.k.a. This Wild Life", is what the screens actually said. Hilarious! They started off with their newly released track from 2023, titled "No More Waiting," and followed it up with a handful of their own original songs. They also performed a crowd-favorite cover of Blink-182's hit song "I Miss You."

Even though the set was short, it was nothing short of amazing!

"Tom DeLong was right after all! Those mother-"effers" are real!"- This Wild Life.

Writer's Note: Ahem... can't drop the BIG "F" right away... it's un-lady-like... then again, I'm not a lady! So... THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS ARE REAL!! See? It was better that I made you wait for it huh? I thought so... MOVING ON!

Anberlin hit the stage looking like "America's Sexiest Paint Company" as lead singer, Stephen Christian, would later say. The energy on stage was intense as he ran back and forth, jumping off the benches at the front of the stage to cheers each time. During a brief song break, Stephen acknowledged not only the fans in the crowd but some outside the park as well. He gave a big shout out to the 4 people riding workout bikes in the balcony of the Bally's Fitness, noting how crazy it was to see people sweating more than he was during his performance. To that effect, by the end of their set, the once crispy white outfits (hence the "America's Sexiest Painters" joke") were now almost see through. Just the shirts... relax people... it was an all ages show .

As the sun finally started it's descent, giving the crowd a much needed break from the scorching hot day, it was time for Mayday Parade to bring down the house. Derek Sanders, the lead vocalist, hopped onto the stage, and the fans went nuts as he sang the opening lines of "Oh Well, Oh Well." The eight song setlist seemed somewhat short for the fans, but overall felt like a pretty decent balance of some of their older tracks and a few of their newer ones. The performance included both songs from the 2023 album "Got Me All Wrong," as well as emo classics from the mid-2000s like "Miserable at Best" and "Jersey." The set culminated on a high note with the band's widely adored track "Jamie All Over."

I wonder if Uncle Roger has heard of this track (if you know you know ).

As the stage grew dim, the fans erupted in anticipation. Yellowcard, the headliner, took their place on the stage to a now completely packed GallagherSquare and as the opening chords of "Way Away," (the first track from their iconic album "Ocean Avenue") rang through, it set everyone off and totally set the tone for what was to be an amazing set!

A little about Yellowcard's album "Ocean Avenue"...

Released in 2003, it marked a significant breakthrough in the realm of punk rock. The album burst onto the scene, debuting at an impressive number 23 on the US Billboard 200 chart and eventually going platinum. With standout singles like "Ocean Avenue," "Only One," and "Way Away," the album really took hold of listeners with its great lyrics and standout musicianship. "Ocean Avenue" made an immense impact on punk rock, inspiring numerous musicians and bands throughout the years. Not only that, but when Yellowcard joined the renowned Vans Warped Tour in the same year they cemented their status as one of the new punk rock's greats back in the early 2000s.

In commemoration of the album's anniversary, Yellowcard treated the audience to a near-complete performance of "Ocean Avenue", playing 9 tracks from the nostalgic album. The setlist included cherished favorites like "Life of a Salesman" and "Only One," as well as lesser-known gems such as "One Year, Six Months," which according to the internet had not been played for almost 5 years, up until their recent appearance at Riot Fest. The audience's enthusiasm was unwavering, even for the band's newest tracks like "Childhood Eyes" off their EP of the same name that was realeased just a few days prior on July 21st. The loud cheers and sing-alongs could be heard echoing throughout the venue and out. However, when the unmistakable chords of "Ocean Avenue" filled Gallagher Square it intensified to another level.

For the encore, the title track of "Oceanside Avenue" was played and sung not only by Lead Singer Ryan Key, but by the entire crowd. Each person belting it out as if they were the headliners and on stage themselves! It's safe to say that everyone had an absolutely incredible evening filled with nostalgic tracks and tons of new memories to look back on!


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