Pop-punk played a big role in a majority of millennials’ childhoods. From moshing at the Vans Warped Tour to staying dedicated to the fact that being “scene” or “emo” (or whatever else you want to call it) as a teenager was not a phase — bands like Blink-182, Fall Out Boy or New Found Glory probably filled some space in your life.
If any of this rings true for you, a little Floridian band called Yellowcard probably did too.
From the chunky palm-muted intro and crashing of cymbals to the frantic electric violin, Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue” is an instantly recognizable anthem for most past-life pop-punkers. But now, almost 20 years since their inception, Yellowcard is coming to an end — hitting Portland Oct. 25 during their final world tour.
In many ways Yellowcard’s disbanding is reflective of its genre’s fans who’ve tapered off as they’ve grown up and into other music. For the most part, the bands that paved the way for the heyday of the genre are now either broken up or have taken on a totally different, more mainstream sound to adapt with changing times (e.g. bands like Fall Out Boy and Paramore).
The bands that have stuck around for the long haul and are still steadily releasing music with their signature sound, like Yellowcard, have fallen off in terms of mainstream coverage and success.
Pop-punk itself has taken a turn to the more polished sounds of newer bands like Man Overboard and The Story So Far, leaving its predecessors in the dust.
In some ways, older pop-punk bands like Yellowcard have a novelty sense to them. Those bands have become the utmost stereotypes of the genre: a group of young adults, usually men, singing about lost or unrequited loves, hanging with their friends and wanting to get the hell out of their home towns.
To be frank, pop-punk from 2005 sounds like it’s stuck in 2005. And maybe that’s why it’s starting to fade away.
Regardless of its not-so-timeless nature, music from bands like Yellowcard will always be nostalgic for those who grew up with it. And needless to say, it’s likely the crowds attending Yellowcard’s last tour will mostly be at least college-aged — looking to stage dive and sing along to their favorite songs just one more time.
Catch Yellowcard on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Roseland Theater in Portland. $23. All-ages. 7:30 p.m.— Meerah Powell