Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Concerts: Yellowcard, Every Avenue and Go Radio

I have to say, the weirdest thing about being at the Yellowcard show was the size of it. I think the last 'big' show I went to this year was The Maine, which was a while ago. It seems like since then it was all small bands in small bars or houses and the idea of being in a real venue was a bit odd. And to not see the same fifteen people.

Still, going to Yellowcard, Every Avenue and Go Radio had been a goal all summer, I just hadn't gotten around to buying tickets until the last minute. Work's been up in the air lately and there wasn't an guarantee that I'd be around plus every time I thought of it, I didn't have the cash for two tickets. (Got to bring Champ to this one since it was in town.) I really love Yellowcard, saw them once in college with All American Rejects (yes that long ago I was in college) and I'd picked up the new album When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes earlier in the summer because it came high recommend. I have to admit that I wasn't even sure they still existed let alone had new music out, but the album was great.

The real draw of the show was seeing Go Radio, because due to Rana's influence I've fallen in love with them. It went from one song to ALL of their songs overnight. I would have paid the cost of the tickets to get in to see just them, and Yellowcard was like an added bonus.

I need to stop doubting Yellowcard. I always do that. It's a stupid idea.

The Masquerade wasn't even half full when we walked in 20 minutes before Go Radio went on. I was surprised to see that but at the same time, maybe not. I don't think it got much promotion here in Atlanta, but that tends to happen. It's not a big music city but at the same time is? I'm not entirely sure what happens here and why it's such a black hole for concerts.

Still we were able to get great spots for Go Radio and were completely pumped. I'm not kidding, they totally rocked the house. They had a great amount of energy, full of spunk. Even if you didn't know their music it was easy to get into it and Alex (their guitarist) made a big show of trying to get the crowd involved. They played quite a bit off the new album, Lucky Street, including "Redemption In The Verse" which surprised me. I wouldn't think that would be a good show tune, but it was pretty great. Though the crowd seemed to be in the dark about who they were, they joined in for "Good Night Moon" of course, which sort of made my heart melt. That song is killer every time I hear it. They won the crowd over before closing with "Any Other Heart" by playing their cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" (which you can grab off iTunes or on the deluxe edition of Lucky Street). That had the crowd jumping up and down to the music which was great fun to be in the middle of. And the cover is epic.

We moved back a ways for Every Avenue who took forever to set up. Another sign that I am yet again, starting to get used to small shows. I had time to go to the bathroom, look over merch, buy some water and still loiter around for a while before they went on stage. I had to admit I know nothing about Every Avenue other than the fact that their lead singer's name is Dave and he has interesting tattoos if he doesn't have his shirt on. That was where it ended. Their guitarist turned out to look familiar from tumblr or something similar, but still not someone I could tell you the name of. Overall I wasn't really impressed? They had some energy and people seemed to know their music but it wasn't that kind that sucks you in even if you don't know it. I didn't walk away from the show thinking "I need that album" because I didn't. I was waiting for them to finish so I could go meet the guys from Go Radio and Yellowcard would go on.

I did get to meet the guys from Go Radio after their set which was fun. Jason said he liked the shirt that I'd picked out, that it was one of his favorites they had, and he and the other guys signed it for me. They were super sweet and Alex gave me a high five after I said I went from nothing by them to everything. Even Champ was impressed by how nice they were.

Again I got annoyed by how long I had to wait for a show to start, but eventually Yellowcard came on. I need to stop doubting this band. I don't know what's wrong with me. I was obsessed with them in college and let it go and now here I was hoping they gave us a good show. I was so far from wrong. Good doesn't even cover it. The show was great. Great doesn't even cover it. It's an experience to see them, to feel their music move through you. They played most of the new album, including "With You Around" which Champ and I have decided is one of our new songs (awww) and "See Me Smiling" (which gets me all teary). I was shocked when they played "Believe" not sure that that one would make the cut for songs. I was beyond pleased and just like in college when my friend told me to close my eyes and just love it I did and it was another moment. I don't usually do that, but there's something about that music, that song that brings out that feeling, like it is so much more than that music and you are so much more than just one person.

They played "Be The Young" introing with talking about the first show they played in Atlanta being on Georgia Tech's campus at "Under the Couch" which was a shady half a venue in the basement of the the Couch Building (which was across the street from my dorm freshman year at Tech). I love the stupid place for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one would be going to see my friend Ben play a show there not long before graduation. Really, really cool. I love this song though, more than anything. The lyrics speak to my generation, the mid to late 20 somethings who are stuck in a world where growing up seems too damn depressing and being young would be awful. A lot of us are unemployed, or working jobs we hate because there isn't much else. We were the young who paved this great way of music and technology and we will always be those kids at heart.

This is loud / This is cold
This is endless and I know
Growing up has just begun

But there's a place
We could find
Where this pain is useless
And we'll forever be the young

The encore started with just Ryan Key (the lead singer) who came out with his guitar and answered the "one more song" chant with "Well how about a few more songs?" The crowd of course ate that up. He told us a story about his Aunt who had supported him when he made the decision to drop out of school and pursue music. How she drove cross country with him, talking about life and music and living. The same Aunt had died from brain cancer just a few weeks before. I knew what song he was going to sing before he said what it was. "Sing for Me" was a gut wrenching song without knowing what it was. Hearing what it was really about of course had me in tears as soon as it started. Ryan sang it alone with just the crowd.

He followed that up with "Empty Apartment" which was a theme for a good year in college for me (probably the top played song on my iTunes for a good 2 years) and then the rest of the band came back on to finish out the night. They tossed in "Avondale" as an old good one and that freaked me out but I was more than excited because yeah I love that song too. The night ended up with "Ocean Avenue" of course but that song is still as much fun as it always was. Everyone wants it to be true. We want it be like it was before "sleeping all day, staying up all night". It's a sad song really, but it's too much fun and too nostalgic to not love it.

If you haven't grabbed the new album, get it now and while you're at it grab the acoustic version as well. It's just as good (minus a feature of Cassadee Pope who just doesn't quite cut it), in some cases better. Spread the word about Yellowcard again, Ryan promised another album in works this winter and another tour next summer. The boys are back and I couldn't be happier.


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