“Welcome back to 2003,” said Chad Gilbert, lead guitarist for New Found Glory, as he introduced his band to the nearly sold-out Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park Tuesday night. The co-headlining tour consisted of New Found Glory and Yellowcard, with direct support Tigers Jaw.
The concert opened with Tigers Jaw, a mixture of indie-rock and pop-punk. Through the entire set, you could see the genuine joy on all the members’ faces, especially vocalist and keyboard player, Brianna Collins.
“This tour is an honor for us to be on,” said Ben Walsh, Tigers Jaw’s guitarist and vocalist. “We get to play in front of an entirely new audience which is really cool. We’ve had a lot of people come up to us and say, “Hey I’ve never heard you guys, but I really enjoyed the set,” so that’s really exciting for us. We’ve been having a lot of fun.” said Walsh. Though the soft sound of the group didn’t entirely energize the audience for Yellowcard, the band still put on a good performance. “This venue is awesome, the crowd is really nice, and we’re enjoying the show.” said Walsh.
Yellowcard has been around since 1997, and there were fans of all ages that had been waiting years to see them live. “I’ve been waiting to see Yellowcard since they started,” said fan April Bartlett. Bartlett was one of many fans who had been waiting since ‘97 to see Yellowcard, and finally saw them for the first time that night.
As soon as Yellowcard stepped on stage, the atmosphere and feeling in the room changed. Within seconds of being on stage, frontman Ryan Key was ordering fans to get their bodies moving. With the majority of fans attending the show to watch Yellowcard perform, the venue was filled with intense energy before they even started their first song. When they opened their set with the popular 2003 hit, “Breathing”, people were moving in droves to the front of the stage.
“Nobody is too fucking cool to get their feet off the ground, right?” said Key as he invites the crowd to join in with their energy on stage. The most inviting thing about Yellowcard’s performance is their utter joy for the show they put on. Violinist and vocalist Sean Mackin was side by side with Key the entire set, constantly engaging with fans. Whether it was giving high fives, letting fans sing into the microphone, or jumping into the crowd itself, the energy given off by Yellowcard’s live performance was something felt by all people inside the venue.
What makes Yellowcard stand out live is how much better they sound in concert, as opposed to on a recording. The energy they give off, their vocals, the way the instruments are played, and all of the groups components, make up for the band standing out as sounding better live.
When New Found Glory takes the stage, you feel an immediate sense of excitement, with a splash of fear for what is going to happen during their set.
The energy and crowd activity during New Found Glory was utter madness with constant movement, and crowd surfers in the audience. During their opening song, “Resurrection”, within moments of being on stage, vocalist Jordan Pundik was sharing his microphone with numerous fans who had crowd surfed to the front of the venue. The energy continued at this level the entirety of their set, but none of the madness compared to that of their closing song, the popular early 2000’s hit, “My Friends Over You.” There was not a minute to be had without fans forcing themselves up into the air, crawling to the front of the stage, and moving around in the pit.
New Found glory have proved themselves to be one of the most humble bands in the music scene, and all attendants at the show can attest to it. Gilbert and Pundik brought up a New Found Glory enthusiast, which they referred to as a “superfan”, to come on stage that evening. The fan, named Craig, was then told by Pundik to choose any New Found Glory song that was not on their setlist, and that he would be able to perform that song with them on stage. The song that was chosen was “Radio Adelaide”, from the 2004 release, Catalyst. Apparently, the song had not been done for years, which was noted by Pundik requesting a fan to look up the lyrics to the song for him to use on stage.
The combination of Yellowcard and New Found Glory led to this being one of the most highly anticipated pop-punk shows in the capital region. Should either band, especially together, come to a venue near you, it is not a show to miss out on.