William Ryan Key might be better known to you as frontman from Florida pop punk band Yellowcard, and in case you were unaware Yellowcard has called it a day and last year played a farewell tour (read our review). Not ready to fade away, Ryan decided to use his full name William Ryan Key to write and perform new music. He recently finished up a U.S tour with New Found Glory and headed straight over to our sunny shores to give us a display of this new musical direction.

It’s a packed-in crowd inside the OAF as we all patiently listen to the pre-tracks playing on the speakers, a smooth soft collection of songs setting the tone of what’s to come. When Key walks out he isn’t alone, with him is his best friend Josh Portman who played in Yellowcard and is now part of this new sonic direction Key is headed in.

He seems a little nervous up there and after a false start we kick things off with Vultures, taken off his Ep Thirteen. This is the biggest track off the Ep and the crowd seems to recognise it straight away and begin to sing. With each new track, we get some insight into how it came to life and what he was feeling at the time. New single The Bowery went over well and I found the Great Unknown was where Keys showed great vulnerability and was truly captivating. After sitting through the new stuff, he rewarded us with a huge sing-along moment with Only One and we the audience rewarded him right back by screaming our lungs out.

If you have seen a Yellowcard set in your life time then you know Key is a great guitarist and tonight was no different, but what sets this show apart is the guitar work from his fellow stage mate Josh whose electric element really adds something surreal to each of the tracks played past and present. This is especially evident on the song Form Figure which has this ethereal sound to it, fitting given that song is about a Ghost Key shares his house with one of those special track insights given to us.

You can tell with each show Key is still finding his flow, no doubt Yellowcard fans enjoyed hearing the new reimagined versions of the bands most classic anthems such as set closer Ocean Avenue and personal favourite Empty Apartment, but that which makes tonight’s performance was in the new songs. The sound might be different but the heartfelt lyrics remain just as sincere as ever and when delivered in such an up-close personal venue like the OAF you can’t help but feel something inside. I walked into tonight’s show a Yellowcard fan and walked out a huge William Ryan Key fan, a special start to what I think will be an incredible musical journey.

Review – Chad

Photo Gallery – Christian Ross



Sep 24, 2018 Crowbar, Brisbane – 18+  
Sep 26, 2018 Oxford Art Factory, Sydney – 18+  
Sep 28, 2018 Northcote Social Club, Melbourne – 18


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