New Found Glory, William Ryan Key Rock the PlayStation Theater on SICK Tour
By Lauren Johnson
In the early evening on one of those first sweltering NYC summer days, New Yorkers found their respite from the heat, surprisingly, right in the middle of Times Square at the PlayStation Theater. Headlining the show that night were New Found Glory, accompanied by Bayside, The Movielife, and former Yellowcard guitarist/vocalist William Ryan Key.
William Ryan Key opened the night with 5 songs from his new EP, Thirteen, released on May 25. Thirteen is Key’s first work as a solo artist since the breakup of Yellowcard back in 2017, and can best be described (in Key’s words) as an “ambient acoustic” set.
Key was ever the charmer, both on stage (with his glass of red wine in hand, naturally) and in person, and certainly knew how to work the crowd. While fans were ultimately there for a punk rock concert, the positive reaction to Key’s latest work is proof not only that he’ll have an exceptional career as a solo artist creating newer, softer sounds, but also that he will most likely carry over a large number of rock/Yellowcard fans on his latest venture.
After rounding out his set in front of a packed house with the acoustic version of Yellowcard’s most popular song, “Ocean Avenue,” William Ryan Key handed over the stage to Long Island’s The Movielife, a pop punk/Emo band that took an 11-year hiatus back in 2003 and reformed in 2014. Playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd (and responsible for inspiring the crowd-surfing mosh pit that formed shortly after the start of their set), The Movielife were followed by fellow New York local band from Bayside, named for the eponymous part of Queens from which they hail . Bayside played an exceptional set, with their song “Sick, Sick, Sick” (aptly chosen in light of the name of the Sick tour) bringing the energy of the crowd to an all-time high.
Well-prepared for their much-anticipated headliners, fans went absolutely nuts when New Found Glory came out and played a powerhouse rock and roll set, running around the stage with what seemed like boundless energy. Jordan Pudnik on lead vocals worked the crowd…
…while fan-favorite Ian Grushka on bass guitar made sure to give plenty of love via his signature tongue-out expression and high-energy moves around the stage.
Chad Gilbert brought the momentum on lead guitar and backing vocals…
…and of course we know that a punk rock concert isn’t possible without a killer drum beat, courtesy of Cyrus Bolooki.
They were also accompanied by William Ryan Key, who reappeared on stage with his keyboard, second guitar, and laptop to jam with the band. Playing some of their oldest hits (the band has been around for over 20 years!) to current songs off of their latest album, Makes Me Sick, New Found Glory brought the house down with an amped up set that kept fans dancing until the wee hours of the night.
Some particularly memorable moments from the show included William Ryan Key toasting the crowd with a glass of red wine – and laughingly responding with “I don’t know, it was just there” when a fan asked him what kind it was; and New Found Glory bringing a girl who has been listening to them since she was eight years old up on stage to sing with them – she was good enough to warrant herself a spot on the tour! With bands who remained highly engaged with their fans, and a crowd that was particularly loyal to their favorite artists, it was a night that certainly won’t be forgotten any time soon.
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