Yellowcard brings violin to House of Blues
Even without an encore, Yellowcard brings the heat. They may be a bit older than most pop-punk bands — they’ve been around since 1997 — but the House of Blues didn’t seem to notice. It was packed full of screaming fans of all ages, from 50-year-olds to kids just hitting puberty. And even though it was only a 9-song setlist, fans still screamed like it was a day-long show.
They started the show off strong with the title track off of “Lights and Sounds,” and the audience immediately responded. Ryan Key knows how to work a crowd — his fist-pumping was quickly emulated and held strong the whole night.
Yellowcard only played two songs off of their new album “When you’re through thinking, say yes,” and it was the low point of the night. “Hang me up” isn’t a bad song, but the crowd didn’t know the words, and a few people left by the time the band was done with it. “For you, and your denial” was the same way; Yellowcard’s strong suit is their catalogue of hits — the new material just isn’t in the same league.
The band seems to know this, too, as most of the setlist was from 2003’s blockbuster hit “Ocean’s Avenue.” When violin player Sean Macklin started the intro riff to “Believe,” everyone in the House of Blues started cheering. It may be an old record, but Yellowcard knows it’s still their biggest draw; they played “Ocean Avenue,” “Only One,” “Way Away” and “Breathing” in addition to “Believe,” making up the meat of the show.
At the best times, the concert felt like being in middle school again. Key hasn’t lost any of his vocal talent, and the rest of the band knows how to perform for a live audience; there was plenty of jumping, shouting and audience baiting Thursday night.
Key said that it had been about 3 years since Yellowcard had been in Houston, and he promised it wouldn’t be that long until they returned. Houston seemed to hope that was the case.