Live Review: Yellowcard + Toyboats - Enmore Theatre, Sydney (26.10.13)


If you ever wanted to know the difference between punk and pop punk, pop punk fans come out early to shows, are less drunk... and as it turns out, are more involved, helping create one of the best shows I've seen at the Enmore in a long time.

Toyboats is just one man and a guitar. In a similar vein to City & Colour, with soft ballads and beautiful music. He serenaded the crowd with a brief set before Yellowcard set up for the first of two sets tonight. 

The first set was an acoustic rendition of their acclaimed 2003 record Ocean Avenue, which the band rereleased acoustically a few months back. The stage was tastefully lit with soft light bulbs creating an intimate atmosphere. However a crowd so eager to see the band play and with the energy in the room the acoustic performance was more of a typical Yellowcard rock show as the band matched the enthusiasm and gave one hell of a rendition of Ocean Avenue. Playing the record from start to finish, the crowd sang along to every word and put as much heart into it as any audience I've seen in a while. Just the ovation for Sean's violin solo alone was enough to give you chills. The crowd were hot and right into this show. Even Ryan made the comment that this could well be their best show of the year. 

The songs themselves really do lend themselves to acoustic interpretation. Tracks like the title track 'Ocean Avenue', 'Way Away' and the albums closer 'Back Home' work perfectly and in terms of 'Back Home' I think works better as an acoustic track. The set alone would have been enough to keep any Yellowcard fan happy, but not content with just a hour slot, the band returned after fifteen minutes to knock out an electric set of tracks mostly from the last two albums, Southern Air and When Your Through Thinking, Say Yes.

Now, you would be excused to think Yellowcard could take the foot of the intensity pedal given the energy of the first set, but the guys absolutely ripped it up with the second set. All members bounced around the stage like they had been downing red bull in the break back stage and riding a sugar high. Sean did a back flip off the drum riser, birthday boy Josh bounded around the stage and Ryan, was near maniacal in his stage presence. Another forty minutes flew by before we knew it and the show was over. The electricity in the room was still alive as we filed out onto King Road, all amazed and content with one of the best shows I've seen for the year.