Words & photos by Joe Calixto
It’s that time of the year again where our clocks go back an hour giving us a much needed extra hour of sleep from partying too much the day before. But more importantly, it’s that time of the year when everyone’s favorite pop punk rockers The Wonder Years hits us with another amazing tour. It just seems like these guys don’t wanna stop touring. (Totally not complaining)
After the success of their latest record, No Closer To Heaven, the Philly sextet hit the road again taking with them some of the scene’s top hitters. Almost midway through the full U.S. tour, this rodeo stopped by the Fonda Theatre in the heart of Hollywood.
The First band on this crazy ass tour is Canada’s very own Seaway. As the crowd was slowly filtering through the doors of the Fonda, the band hops on stage and right off the bat setting the night off with a straight up, energy filled performance that would definitely set the tone for the night.
Second up, was the boys from across the pond, Moose Blood. Compared to the rest of the bands on this bill, these guys would be considered mellow to many but the crowd reaction is the exact opposite. Starting their set with their hit song “Bukowski” the pit was immediately filled with crowd surfers and a sea of fans singing a long. That was totally nuts!
Next on stage was Knuckle Puck. A personal favorite of mine, the Chicago band definitely knows how to work a crowd. I think this is the biggest stage I’ve seen them play. With their mix of fast paced songs and lyrics that hit close to home, Knuckle Puck got the entire floor jumping on their feet. Oh, by the way… GO CUBS! #FLYTHEW
Another definite crowd favorite was the next band, Real Friends. Also from Illinois, the band didn’t waste any time to play the deep cuts. I was watching from the balcony after shooting and I could not see any open floor space. People sure do love this band and I don’t see why not. At the end of their set, the singer Dan Lambton had a few words to the crowd about making shows a safe space for everyone and being open to conversation to people you think needs someone. Ending on a positive note is always very good.
Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for (including me). The Wonder Years got on stage with a very very climactic intro and proceeded to opening their set with a very mellow acoustic song. Which I thought was absolutely genius. They followed it up with a fan fave, “Local Man Ruins Everything,” which just made the crowd go in-fucking-sane. Singer, Dan Campbell, mentioned that they wish they can fit in all the deep cut songs in their set but I absolutely thought their set was an A++ in the setlist report card. It was a good blend of new and old and The Greatest Generation.
I would love to give a mad mad maaaaaaaaad shoutout to Dave Summers, who worked the lights for Real Friends and The Wonder Years. Holy shit! That was one hell of a light show. Thank you my dude!
So after a night of khaki shorts, vans shoes, arched words on shirts, a lot of Brand New and The Story So Far shirts, crowd surfing, finger pointing, and very expensive cheap beer, this stop of the tour came to an end, but I am very sure that the memory of this show will be long stuck in the memory of everyone there. Let’s just say… It was LIT FAM!
Check out the photos from the show below. Enjoy!
The Wonder Years
Click here to see all the photos.
I really think I’m not sad anymore.