Yellowcard and New Found Glory Throw It Back Proper

Brooklyn Bowl, Nov. 21

Yellowcard | Photo by Erik Kabik /

Yellowcard | Photo by Erik Kabik /

Near the middle of Yellowcard’s set, singer/guitarist Ryan Key paused in reflection, twiddled his low E string, and said. “If we would’ve done this tour in 2004, when [New Found Glory singer] Jordan Pundik was a star on TRL, we would’ve sold out the show for sure,” he said. “But we’re finally doing it in 2015, the show sold out, and it’s fucking amazing.”

The 35-year-old would later rock the house in a different way—on a turntable, playing pop-punk hits from the 2000s, in what the venue christened “Emo Night.” It was clear that the running theme of the evening was nostalgia, and the co-headliners provided the doses.

Yellowcard took the stage first. The pop-punk quintet from Jacksonville, Florida delivered a clean set full of palm muted sixteenth-notes and driving leads that were just as tight as the jet black t-shirts and skinny jeans each member wore onstage, if not tighter. With a grandiose stage production consisting of intricate light work and smoke machines, it was as if the band was performing in an alternate universe where they never left the spotlight and remained one of the biggest bands in the world.

Violinist Sean Mackin presented highlight reel-worthy stage presence—swinging his bow as if he were playing the opening notes of Beethoven’s Fifth during “Breathing,” or providing backing vocals during slow-burner “Only One.” (And when he wasn’t doing those things, he was doing backflips off the drum stand.) Key’s yelp-heavy vocals have remained unchanged since the band’s heyday in 2002. And yes, they took us to “Ocean Avenue,” where they used to sit and talk with us.

New Found Glory’s set, on the other hand, had a more strongly realized vision. After kicking off with the rambunctious “Resurrection,” the quartet celebrated 25 years as a band by playing some of its chart-topping crowd favorites, such as “Hit or Miss” and “All Downhill From Here.” Like antique pop punk/boy band action figures, its members appeared only slightly mature: singer Jordan Pundik still looks like a tattooed punk rock version of Morrissey, guitarist Chad Gilbert still looks like he could play in a tough-guy New York hardcore band, bassist Ian Grushka remains stocky and wacky (though he kept his Hawaiian shirt on for the entirety of the set) and drummer Cyrus Bolooki smacked the skins with furious virtuosity.

NFG’s performance was more of a throwback punk gig than Yellowcard’s over-the-top production, and fans crowdsurfed, stage-dived and formed mosh pits during quicker numbers “Truck Stop Blues” and “Understatement.” It wouldn’t be a Vegas NFG show if “Vegas” wasn’t on the setlist, and as the band launched into the chug-heavy song, Pundik handed off the mic to fans in true punk rock fashion, as if it were the city’s unofficial anthem.

During the latter half of its set, Gilbert picked out an audience member to select a song that wasn’t on the band’s setlist (“47”) , grabbed a microphone and handed it to said fan to sing the entire song onstage. “We all steal music, but the reason why we still record records is for you, and to share experiences at shows like these,” Gilbert said. It’s just one of the reasons why so many have formed everlasting connections to a timeless band. ★★★★✩

Photos by Erik Kabik /

Yellowcard Set List

Way Away
With You Around
Lights and Sounds
For You, and Your Denial
Lift a Sail
Light Up the Sky
Always Summer
Rough Landing, Holly
Crash the Gates
Make Me So
Empty Apartment
Only One
Ocean Avenue

New Found Glory Set List

Hit or Miss
All Downhill From Here
Truck Stop Blues
I’m Not the One
Ready & Willing
Failure’s Not Flattering
Dressed to Kill
Vicious Love
Truth of My Youth
Hold My Hand
Ballad for the Lost Romantics
The Story So Far
My Friends Over You