Two days before I turned sixteen I found myself standing in the snow in front of a small-ish bar/music venue, about to see Mayday Parade, a band I'd been attached to nearly since it's inception. It was my first time in a place like that. It was the first time I was in the middle of a crowd of people all jumping and falling and singing and screaming.
I saw Yellowcard at the Vans Warped Tour that year. I walked through the crowds of people holding my bottle of vitamin water over my head and singing along.
That fall, I went to Cape Cod with my mom where we stayed in a cabin near the ocean. One day she woke up early and went out exploring the town. She sent me a picture of a street sign right down the road from our cabin.
In November I went to the House of Blues for the first time and watched Yellowcard from the bar balcony. At the end of the show, they geared up to play their last song. We got up and, in spite of the strange looks from the bartender, we danced. We held hands and jumped and spun straight through Ocean Avenue.
For ten years this song, this record, and this band have been blasting through my speakers. Live shows, road trips, grandma's stereo when it was my turn to pick the music, good times and bad, it's been there and I know it always will be.
I know this is much more personal than my regular posts, but in honor of the tenth anniversary of this album, I wanted to say something about how important it's been to me these last ten years. Yellowcard led me into the world as I know it. The bands I love, the friends I have, the industry I work in would probably not be without Ocean Avenue's influence.
So, happy anniversary to one of my favorite records. I can't wait for the release of the acoustic version. And congratulations to the gents in Yellowcard; you've done fine work.
On another note, while we're on the subject, I'd like to mention that Ryan Key and his beautiful new wife Alyona Alekhina have been facing some hard times. Send him some kind words on twitter (@williamryankey) if you get a chance and let him know everything is gonna be all right.
Be strong, believe.