Posted on 2013/07/26 18:02
  • Live Report
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Show opens with the theme from Star Wars. And it wasn’t until I saw lead singer Ryan’s full-sleeve tattoo on the big screen that it clicked. He has Darth Vader rocking the glowing red light saber! Wonder Woman (I think) guards the other arm.

Soon after the band starts, there is definitely a high jump competition of some kind going. By the time “Way Away” starts the mosh pit is in full swing. Among the more hardcore members in the pulsing mob are Kermit the frog and a huge rubber ducky. Seemed like the security guards didn’t like them too much.

Ryan has some trouble getting his vocal levels right, and actually has to go over to the board himself and turn up some knobs to get it right. By the third song they were all fixed and rocking though.

Their track “Always Summer” off the 2012 album Southern Air could very well be the pop punk crowds Fuji Rock anthem, as it rang true even in the high mountains of Niigata.

Within the performance of “Here I Am Alive” loomed Ryan’s quest to make everyone lose their voices singing along. And I must say, Yellowcard had some of the best crowd participation/instigation tactics I have heard.

Having played Fuji Rock 6 years ago, they knew the venue, and with Ryan in his Japan tank top and fiddler Sean with his awesome Rising Sun violin, the fans knew right off that bat they were loved. So the reciprocation of that, after every “Arigatou Gozaimasu” or “We all just wanna move to Japan,” were screams of ecstasy in agreement.  Sean even kept making cute little hand hearts to the dai-fans (big fans) in the front rows great joy.

What if Yellowcard actually DID move to Japan? Like, get a loft in Shibuya? Play a weekly gig at Club Quattro, etc.

They closed with their hit classic “Ocean Avenue,” almost 10 years ago today, and with a special announcement that an acoustic re-release of Ocean Avenue will be dropping on August 13th.

This being Yellowcard’s first tour date in over 5 months surprised me a little, as they seemed to be well and warmed up already. But I guess that is what you get from tenured performers, who know their stuff and how to work the crowd. I don’t know where that refinement fits into punk, as it were, but who really cares? Just jump up and down and get your feet off the ground, dude!