After multiple stops, pop punk staple Yellowcard is reveling in fans' revived interest

click to enlarge After multiple stops, pop punk staple Yellowcard is reveling in fans' revived interest
Acacia Evans photo
There's nothing foul about Yellowcard.

There was a time when you couldn't go more than a few minutes without hearing a catchy violin-laden pop punk song from Yellowcard's fourth album Ocean Avenue. Or at least it felt that way.

The title track was a mainstay on the radio airwaves after its release in 2003, peaking in the top 40 of multiple Billboard charts. The music video, featuring singer Ryan Key trying to escape a time-loop that starts with him sprawled on the sidewalk covered in broken glass, reached #3 on MTV's Total Request Live (remember TRL?) and received the MTV2 Award at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. The albums other singles — "Way Away" and "Only One" — also made waves on the charts.

The Florida-born and California-raised band followed Ocean Avenue with the more alt-rock-leaning Lights and Sounds in 2006 and Paper Walls in 2007 before deciding to take an indefinite hiatus.

"In 2008 the band decided that we were going to take some time off the road and get away from making records and touring for a while just to recharge the batteries and recalibrate, I guess," Key said in a 2016 interview with Alternative Press. "We didn't really know what the future held or when we would get back together to make music again. We weren't necessarily breaking up the band, we didn't really know what was going to come next."

What came next, after the band's 2010 reformation, were three more albums. First 2011's When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes, then Southern Air and Lift a Sail. But the band ended up in the same place. In 2016, Yellowcard announced it would break up after putting out a final album, Yellowcard, and doing one last tour.

"We realized that this was the right time to step away and preserve the legacy and integrity of the band...," the group wrote in a statement. "We wanted to push ourselves to create a lasting finale for this incredible story on our own. It is also why we chose to self-title the album... We've made one of the strongest records of our career and a fitting final creative piece."

Spoiler alert: This end point didn't take either.

When Yellowcard received an offer to perform at the Chicago punk rock festival Riot Fest in 2022, the guys felt it was too good to turn down.

"That phone call came in and changed our lives forever," Key told Entertainment Weekly. "You don't want to talk about money, right? But that's what got us on the phone. Some of us in the band hadn't spoken in six years at that point — no communication whatsoever."

At Riot Fest, the band performed Ocean Avenue in full. Performances at the 2023 Slam Dunk Festival in the UK and the When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas followed, as did a U.S. tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of Ocean Avenue.

"Yellowcard's return was fueled by a reunion show to celebrate Ocean Avenue for Riot Fest, and that enthusiastic welcome fueled a full tour and an uncertain future for our band," violinist Sean Mackin told Get Some magazine. "We never imagined we would have the opportunity to write new music or play any shows of this magnitude, so this has been a very shocking and lovely surprise."

Yellowcard's brand new EP, Childhood Eyes is a blazing collection of five tunes. It simultaneously sounds like the old Yellowcard fans know and love, while showcasing a refreshed, revitalized version of the band.

"It's so well-rounded as far as the different types of songs that you have heard from Yellowcard throughout the decades," Key told Alternative Press. "There's one of each on the EP."

The Yellowcard resurgence brings the band to Northern Quest Resort and Casino on Saturday where the group will open for Third Eye Blind.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Key says he doesn't quite know how to explain the renewed interest in the band, rattling off explanations he's heard such as older fans introducing the band's music to their children or the resurgence of pop punk in general. Explanation aside, the band seems eager to make the most of its next chapter.

"I'm excited to see what's next, because I just have no idea," Key said. "Every phone call we get is more shocking and exciting than the last one, so I think the next few years are going to be really incredible." ♦

Third Eye Blind, Yellowcard, Arizona • Sat, June 8 at 6:30 pm • $40-$1,042 • All ages • Northern Quest Resort and Casino • 100 N. Hayford Rd., Airway Heights • northernquest.com

Chali 2na with DJ Shub @ The District Bar

Fri., June 14, 9 p.m.
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