First on the stage at a very early 6:30pm (considering the entire gig was marketed at 7-10pm) were the UK’s very own The Kenneths, who seemed a little confused about where they were, first greeting Nottingham as Leeds, and then later on as Sheffield and even Great Yarmouth. However respect had to be given to the drummer, Aicha, who had broken her foot in the last few days, but was still drumming like nothing was wrong.
The Kenneths have been touring in support of their EP Double N which was released at the end of September. The punk trio was a great choice to support Yellowcard, as their obvious stage presence and energetic punk songs helped to pump up the audience in anticipation. Their music progressed through the set to show that they were not just a typical punk band.
Next up were Swedish group Normandie, who seemed to have a few fans in the crowd. Their songs were heavier than a typical Yellowcard crowd called for, however it appeared that all sorts of fans were in the audience. The crowd was jumping, the group were having great fun on the stage and the singer’s charisma really helped sell Normandie to those who weren’t previously fans.
Normandie had an entirely heavy rock set list that really showed off the individual musicians talents to the crowd. It seemed that they were continuing in the same vein as The Kenneths, helping get the crowd warmed up for Yellowcard. They were also chatting to the audience in between songs, and they seemed like a down to earth group who were stoked to be performing in a new city.
Finally, at 8pm, the crowd were more than ready for Yellowcard. The sound guys were pumping tunes like Sugar We’re Goin’ Down and All The Small Things over the PA, and the audience were singing along. Eventually the lights went dim and an announcement about mobile phones was played… and then out they came. Launching straight into Believe and then Lights And Sounds, the guys looked at home on the stage and really happy to be playing. Violinist Sean Mackin was constantly jumping up and down and moving around in excitement, something which is difficult while playing a violin!
In between songs vocalist Ryan Key chatted to the audience, announcing a proposal that had occurred (to audience cheers), and talking about the fact that this was going to be their final tour (aptly named The Final World Tour) after 20 years of Yellowcard. The group had great presence on the stage and were obviously having a lot of fun. There was no bitterness about this being their final tour, or their final gig at Rock City. They were also incredibly supportive of their The Kenneths and Normandie, several times mentioning how great they thought they were.
There was a great variety of music varying from Yellowcard‘s very early songs, to songs off their most recent album, The Final Record. Different genres within the Yellowcard bracket were played too, all the way from Lights And Sounds to the acoustic Hang You Up.
The final track before the encore was Hollywood Died, and then after very short break, Yellowcard reappeared to play Only One and Ocean Avenue. It was a real goodbye, and there will be a hole in the music industry where a cheery rock band with a violin should be.