Music

Review: Yellowcard bid farewell at London’s O2 Empire

Yellowcard deliver a bittersweet celebration as they bid farewell following 20 years as a band.

It’s a night of heightened emotion as Yellowcard vocalist Ryan Key addresses the sold out London crowd. His tone is both celebratory and sad, as their 23 strong set marks the final chapter in their commendable career. He uses the opportunity to repeatedly thank his friends and fans, before inciting singalongs that dominate the four-tiered venue.

The band’s chosen songs represent their full history, with Key making an early nod to the importance of tonight’s closer, Ocean’s Avenue. Yet it’s the newer material that feels fitting for the grandiose atmosphere, mixed with the band’s understated repertoire of huge ballads. As the piano comes out, Key demonstrates his broad musical ability. A minimalist guitar and violin Empty Apartment stops the jubilant room in its tracks.

With them every step of the way, the audience hang on every moment. Violinist Sean Mackin takes a massive amount of joy in amping them up further, pitting the room against each other in song and delighting with his now iconic backflip. Yet its the songs that rule the roost, from the concentrated energy of opener Belief through to the incredibly poignant A Place We Set Afire.

“We don’t have to say goodbye,” they sing on the latter, “but we can’t get lost in time.” It’s the mantra of the evening, and indeed Yellowcard’s career. As they lay it all out in front of their dedicated fanbase, it’s clear just how much the Florida outfit have given over the last 20 years. And judging by tonight’s unparalleled electric atmosphere, there’s absolutely no danger of being forgotten.

Yellowcard are currently rounding up their farewell tour. Grab the final tickets on Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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