Ten Years of Ocean Avenue: Yellowcard at the House of Blues Sunset Strip

Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue album came out in the summer of 2003. I had just graduated from middle school and was heading into my first year of high school. I’m not sure when I got the CD or how exactly, but it was a big part of my angsty teenage years and when I found out that Yellowcard was doing an acoustic tour to celebrate Ocean Avenue’s tenth anniversary, I had to go.

I went to the concert at the Sunset Strip House of Blues. Parking was ridiculous, but I found a $12 lot which was cheaper than the other $15 and $14 lots in the area. After picking up my ticket, I went to the concert room and found a nice spot behind the light and sound control box. The opening act was Geoff Rickly from Thursday and, at about 9, Yellowcard took the stage and I got hit with a wave of nostalgia. Los Angeles was the penultimate stop on the Ocean Avenue acoustic tour, before the band ends in Anaheim, and I thought it was cool how the band noted that the two Southern California shows were the only ones that sold out before the actual show date.


They proceeded to play through all thirteen songs in order from the Ocean Avenue album and everyone was singing along. Ocean Avenue, which is probably the most popular single that the band has released, is actually third on the track listing for the CD, and the band admitted that it was still weird playing that song third during the tour instead of last like they normally do. Man, this CD though. Back when I hadn’t had my first iPod yet, I had a CD player and that kinda helped you actually listen and know all the lyrics to an album.




My three favorite songs from Ocean Avenue are Empty Apartment, Only One, and View From Heaven. Here’s the music video for Only One:

After finishing the last song on the Ocean Avenue CD, the band left the stage for a bit while the crew changed the set a bit. Yellowcard came back out and proceeded to do a second set featuring ten songs from their other albums. Yes, Yellowcard played twenty-three songs that night. This time, they brought out their electric guitars and there were people jumping around and crowd surfing. I actually did not expect a second set and assumed that they might play two or three songs as an encore, but this was a cool surprise. The last song was a combination of Lights and Sounds and a reprise of Ocean Avenue which I was hoping for, so I am glad they brought it back for the finale.



Being by the area where they control the lights and sound, I noticed that they had a set list during the concert so I asked if I could have it once the show was over. People think that the only set lists are up on the stage where the band is, but sound and light people need to make sure they know the order too! So yes, I played it off pretty cool but inside I was really excited that I got a souvenir of the night (besides my ticket, which is stashed away with ones from other concerts). I also bought the Ocean Avenue acoustic CD since I am old school and still like having a physical CD rather than buying it all electronically.



I didn’t listen to it going back home though. Well, I didn’t listen to any music going back home. Back when I saw my first concert, my friend who drove told me about how she doesn’t listen to anything after concerts so that she can just soak in all the music she just heard. I guess I took that tradition on for myself and it is really helpful since I couldn’t think of anything other than the concert for a good while after it was over.

When I was younger, I thought it was so cool to see a punk band with a violin singing songs that I felt represented me (like I said, I was an angsty teenager). I think I am a little less angsty, and I am definitely not a teenager anymore, but this CD and this band will always be a part of me.


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