Yellowcard gets reacquainted with planes, trains, and automobiles

After seeing how Montrealers welcomed the Florida-native band at the Vans Warped Tour this summer, the announcement of Yellowcard’s show at the Metropolis on Jan. 16 is sure to please local fans.

Yellowcard plays Metropolis with All Time Low on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $31.70. Press photo

After a few years without touring on Canadian ground, the pop-punk band is beginning 2013 with a full Canadian tour, stopping by Montreal first.

The group of high school friends that is now Yellowcard met some 13 years ago while attending arts school. After giving collective songwriting and music-making a shot, they had no idea that they would one day make a living out of it. They released a few EPs here and there, but when they released their first major record, Ocean Avenue, in 2003, they were finally propelled into the spotlight.

“It’s a dream come true to be a musician and get to travel the world and hang out with people, listeners and bands that enjoy what we have created,” said Sean Mackin, the band’s violinist and backup vocalist.

Known for their unique sound characterized by the incorporation of the violin into their rock songs, mixed with lyrics that reach out to a very wide audience, Yellowcard has accumulated loyal fans since day one. With five studio albums released since 2003 — Ocean Avenue, Lights and Sounds, Paper Walls, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes and their latest, Southern Air, which came out last August — the band has a lot to be proud of.

“Whether it’s Ocean Avenue or Southern Air, we have a very positive charge in our music, we’re very hopeful, we’re all pretty motivated people and Ryan [Key] does a great job at sharing that in our music,” explained Mackin. “That’s very important for us. There’s a lot of challenge in everyone’s life, whether it be illness or just everyday things. Music to us is a celebration, and we hope that it’s a positive experience for people to listen to Yellowcard songs.”

Even after all these years, Mackin, lead vocalist and guitarist Key, drummer Longineu Parsons III, bassist Josh Portman and guitarist Ryan Mendez still love touring as much as they used to. But in between the releases of Paper Walls and When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, the band decided to step back for a while after being on tour non-stop for about eight years. They took a two-year break from touring and recording to re-evaluate their lives and spend time with family and friends.

But they soon got back on the train, aware that they were doing what they loved and had been missing it more than they would have thought. Ready to live the dream some more, they signed with a new label, Hopeless Records, and put out When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes in 2011, followed by a tour that brought them to more than 30 countries around the world. The fan response to this album was widely positive, and fueled the energy that the guys put into their current release, Southern Air.

Yellowcard has a lot going on for 2013, with their North American tour just beginning, followed by a European tour that will bring them to countries they have never visited before. With two albums released in only two years, the band will focus on touring and is not planning on recording; but worry not, they never stop writing new material.

After having been on tour together for what seems like forever, Yellowcard has yet to disappoint fans with each new release, and the band is still going strong.

“The great thing about Yellowcard is that our music and what we create together means more and is bigger than any of us individually,” said Mackin. “We understand the kind of presence that our songs have, and it’s hard to imagine having a greater opportunity than playing with Yellowcard.”


Yellowcard plays Metropolis with All Time Low on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $31.70.


It’s going to be a musical summer in Montreal

The season of flip flops, short shorts, fedoras and tank tops is upon us. Some of the best things are securely tied to the summer months in Canada, like patios, sangria and sun tans, and so too are some of the best music events in Montreal.
This year’s lineup for Osheaga Music and Arts Festival promises to be Montreal’s biggest music event. The city’s crowning festival glory has secured what has got to be the festival’s dopest musical lineup in recent memory, featuring S-n-double-o-p D-o-double-gee, Florence and the Machine, Sigur Rós, The Black Keys, Justice, Feist, and quite literally tons more. Weekend passes are available starting at $217, with day passes available later in the summer. The three-day-long festival will be rocking Jean-Drapeau Park from Aug. 3 to 5.
Montreal’s most famous musical event, however, has got to be Montreal Jazz Festival. In the 30 years that the festival has been bringing world-renowned musicians to the various festival venues scattered throughout downtown Montreal, it’s rare that the organizers have received a bad review. This year’s festival runs from June 28 to July 7. Performers include James Taylor, Montreal’s own The Barr Brothers, pop music icon Liza Minnelli, ‘90s R&B romantic Seal, Ontario folk project Timber Timbre, blues sweetheart Nora Jones and Roma-style indie rockers Beirut, among others.
If you want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo a few days early, treat yourself to a performance by the ‘80s and ‘90s princes of funky alt-rock: the Red Hot Chili Peppers. After announcing their split following the tail end of their Stadium Arcadium tour in 2007, fans weren’t sure if or when they should expect the L.A. outfit to make their comeback. In August 2011, they finally released their tenth studio album I’m With You and began planning their next tour. Although their tour was postponed due to frontman Anthony Kiedis’ foot surgery, it’ll be worth the wait.
As if that wasn’t enough good music to blow your brains out, Radiohead plans to make a stop at the Bell Centre on June 15 after thoroughly touring the U.S. and before jetting off to Europe for the remainder of their tour dates. Supporting their most recent album, The King of Limbs, it’s the band’s first full release and subsequent tour in four years.
If you long for some real nostalgia, The Beach Boys will be bringing a little slice of retro California sunshine to the Bell Centre on June 20, while Roger Waters will be performing The Wall live at the Bell Centre on June 26. Looking for something with a little more weight? Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper will take the Bell Centre stage on July 11, and don’t forget Vans Warped Tour on July 14, which will feature tons of heavy punk-rockers, including Lostprophets, Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, All Time Low, Anti-Flag and Senses Fail.
No matter what your musical taste, Montreal is where you’ll find great music practically every night this summer. Hundreds of bands, from jazz to rock to pop to country, will be making a stop in this lively summertime metropolis, so keep your ear to the ground for concert announcements and you won’t be disappointed.

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