Back in 2002, things were a little different. We had to download who knows what virus to illegally acquire music, you mostly paid cash for entry to shows at the door and you almost always found of your new favorite band because they were also playing a show with another band you actually went to see. I had just moved to Texas, just started college and rarely had any spare cash. What spare cash I had, I used it to go to a show, buy Taco Bell tacos for a buck (I still do that) and occasionally I'd have the wherewithal to save some. In the fall of 2002, I didn't save any cash. I blew it all. $12 of it went to see No Use For A Name, Yellowcard, Gob and The Eyeliners, if it was even that much. Me and some friends, we all piled in someone's car, I don't remember who drove but we were real Mexican about it, like a circus car entering the ring. Economically, it paid off, literally. We'd all chip in a couple of bucks and the gas tank was full, but we'd pull up to the venue and we'd get out of the car by what felt like the dozens, just one bad hair cut kid after another.
That night we had gone to see Yellowcard and I also wanted to catch The Eyeliners. I wanted to marry that lead singer. At that time, Yellowcard was supporting their "One For The Kids" album. I can't remember exactly when I first got into Yellowcard but I'm 92% sure it was from some kid in high school named Matt and he had Limewire. He burnt a ton of great records for me. Yellowcard's "One For The Kids", Midtown's "Save The World, Lose The Girl", AFI's "The Art of Drowning", I mean the list goes on and on. For as as long as I can remember, there was always that one thing about a show that made me remember that show and this one was no exception, except that there were several things I remembered. I remember buying the Gob CD, I remember the guitar player from The Eyeliners doing a guitar solo behind her head, I remember Ryan from Yellowcard wearing a sleeveless band shirt (The Starting Line) and the typography was in what looked spray paint and I remember being completely impressed by No Use For A Name (they would become one of my favorite bands, ever).
Over the years I would see Yellowcard numerous times. One time that I remember real well was in Austin at Emo's. They took some old friends out that I had just met, Acceptance, to open. It was cold, maybe the show was in October or November. The venue was partially outside. Acceptance just released their record "Phantoms" and Yellowcard was touring what would be their biggest record for them, "Ocean Avenue". Again, there's always that one thing that you remember, this time it was Yellowcard covering Weezer's "Say It Isn't So" and Ryan making some statement about breaking that unspoken rule about covering a song of a band that hasn't broken up yet...perfect segue (Note: I high fived myself for this)
A couple of days ago, on the first day of Warped Tour, Yellowcard did what any band would do when announcing their imminent disbanding, they posted something on Instagram. Side note, how did we ever hear of band break ups before social media? Magazines? We had to wait weeks for this kind of news before? How archaic. I digress, I just learned 5 days ago that a band that I'd been actively following for 16 years was breaking up. That's an odd feeling. I don't know these guys personally and they sure as hell don't know me from their pizza delivery guy but somehow through their music, through the connections they've forged sonically, I sit here legitimately bummed out. I'm actually listening to Craig's Brother as I write this, look them up if you haven't heard of them. Now I'm thinking of things like "well, yeah...no one can do any one thing forever" and then I go to things like "Tony Sly (No Use For A Name) passed away and now Yellowcard is breaking up, all the good ones are leaving in one way or another".
Technically I was out at Warped Tour to shoot with The Maine (stay tuned for that blog). Luckily for me Warped Tour is stacked with 251,712 bands and what feels like 15 minute sets and this Yellowcard set almost didn't happen in San Antonio. There was rain and wait for it, cue the lightning strike and the thunderclap, literally cue it, there was a storm. Ominous clouds, rain drops punching you in the eyes and the kind of humidity that really made you question the potential cruelty of the universe. One the sets that was in the balance of being cancelled was Yellowcard's but luckily the odds were in our favor and the show was not cut short. It's not that I'm that guy that says things like "meh, I've seen them a ton, I'll catch them next time" but I am that guy that says "meh, I've seen them a ton, I'll catch them next time" and talk about lessons learned. You never really know when the last time is that you'll catch that band that you treasure. They started off with a good one from "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes", the played "With You Around". Such a good jam. The set went one with classic songs, then on to newer songs and everything in between, of course they played Ocean Avenue. Of all my years in listening, writing and photographing music, there are a few bands that really feel like a rock in the scene, Yellowcard is one of them. They'll be missed dearly but they're not done just quite yet. They have all summer on Warped and then a farewell world tour. I can't wait to see them again and I'll be incredibly sad when it's their last set but I am grateful for those who can put themselves out there, record after record and show after show for us to enjoy. Cheers, guys. Thank you! I hope this post finds you soon.
Here are some pictures I took of Yellowcard on Warped Tour in San Antonio, Texas. Please enjoy. Thank you. All shot with my Nikon D610 and with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. Tap/click on a picture to enlarge.