The Band: The Wonder Years

The Song: Passing Through A Screen Door

The Lyrics That Hit Me Right Where It Counts:

“Jesus Christ. I’m 26.
All the people I graduated with,
All have kids,
All have wives,
All have people who care if they come home at night.

Well, Jesus Christ, did I fuck up?”

After spending majority of my weekend in Green Bay, WI for a friend’s wedding, those words fit my life all too perfectly right now. Sometimes you hear a song when the lyrics fit what you’re going through too well. It’s almost like the band wrote the song just for you. Last night, I got to hear that song live and it was just what I needed in my life.

The Wonder Years is a pop-punk band from Pennsylvania. Although they’ve been around since 2005/2006, they are just now really getting the attention they deserve. I saw these guys over the summer at Warped Tour but it was too busy at their stage for me to really “see” anything so I left after a few songs. Last night, I got my perfect “hidden” spot under the stairs at First Avenue and got to watch their whole set from the front. It blew me away.

Although singer, Dan “Soupy” Campbell, was sick as a dog, their set didn’t lack energy or talent. All of the members had a positive vibe about them that really got the crowd going. I don’t remember the last time I saw a crowd get that rowdy for an opening band. The second The Wonder Years started the crowd went off and the near sold out crowd turned into a sweaty mess. They only play for about fifty minutes (I realize this is long for an opener but I wanted more) and played a great mix of old songs and some songs off their newest release No Closer To Heaven which came out in September of this year.

The last time I saw Motion City Soundtrack was back on Wednesday, April 19th, 2006. I was a junior in high school with not a care in the world. I remember my dad dropped my little brother and I off at the Knapp Center at Drake University in Des Moines three or four hours before the show so we could get in line and make sure we had a great spot. I remember being super excited to see Motion City Soundtrack, Hellogoodbye, and Straylight Run all in the same night. I still have the red backpack that I got from Forrest of Hellogoodbye.

Although last night was part of The Wonder Years’ headlining tour, they let Motion City Soundtrack headline for their hometown. This definitely worked to The Wonder Years’ advantage being how sick Campbell was (he literally bolted off the stage before the last song even ended). It also worked to Motion City Soundtrack’s advantage. The crowd didn’t move much between the sets and got just as excited to see Motion City as they were to see The Wonder Years.

Motion City Soundtrack came out and played an awesome show to an awesome hometown crowd. They did an awesome mix of new and old songs and played some songs I never thought I would see them play live again including, my favorite, Capital H from their 2002 release I am the Movie.

It was so nice to hear them play some of the old songs I grew up listening to even though they had just released their newest album Panic Stations last month. With six full studio albums out, they have more than enough songs to fill up multiple hours. It must have been tough for them to pick what to play being that every single one of their songs is catchy but they did a great job of picking what people wanted to hear. The crowd was singing along and jumping to every song whether it was new or old.

Last night gave me a glimmer of hope. I may feel like I’m falling behind in life at age 26, but I’m not… I’m just going down a different path and that path has been nothing short of an amazing journey.

Line Up:

You Blew It!

State Champs

The Wonder Years

Motion City Soundtrack

Venue- First Avenue

Sausage Fest Meter-  5 out of 10

Broken Bones/ Injuries- None

Average Age- 16

Crowd Surfers- 15 during The Wonder Years.. I lost count during Motion City