Once known for their raucously anti-suburban anthems and untamed, feverish post-collegiate angst, The Wonder Years have proven time and time again to be a band that grows with its audience, maturing alongside fans while keeping alive the ember of heart-wrenching honesty and candidness that make their sound so deeply personal and raw.
This past September, the band released Burst and Decay, an acoustic reimagining of selections from their discography, from Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing’s “Coffee Eyes” to No Closer to Heaven’s “Cardinals”. Alongside this release, they also announced a fifteen date tour, playing an entirely acoustic set at various intimate venues across the United States. On October 8th, 2017, they played not one but two shows at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, NY.
The show I attended was entirely new territory for me: a pop-punk matinee.
Continue reading Live Review: The Wonder Years at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, NY
Boston’s Brighton Music Hall was packed to the brim and buzzing with energy, even for a Friday night in the middle of summer. The venue is known for its notorious indie and punk shows hosted in an intimate space with no barrier between the crowd and the stage. But from the moment fans walked in, it was clear they were celebrating.
In fact, for weeks, fans across the country had been celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Rocket Summer’s album that started it all: Do You Feel. The master mind behind The Rocket Summer, Bryce Avary, took a full band on tour to play the album start to finish to celebrate the album’s legacy and how far the music has come since. This was definitely an older crowd than I’m used to seeing at Brighton. Despite overhearing some thirty-something punk bro warn his other thirty-something punk bro to “look out for the 12 year olds” as they made their way through the crowd, I’d say the average attendee was probably in their late twenties. It was a 10th anniversary show, after all. Parents, teens, and college-age twenty-somethings came together sporting apparel from bands from all over the emo/indie/pop-punk spectrum, from Kings of Lean to All Time Low to Blink 182. Because the crowd was so diverse, the show had an awesome dynamic from the get-go. Continue reading Show Review: The Rocket Summer – ‘Do You Feel’ 10th Anniversary Tour
Two thousand live shows is no easy feat by any means. And Thursday night, Frank Turner, one of Britain’s hardest working musicians had his turn to celebrate the milestone. Backed by his band, The Sleeping Souls and bringing along friends from the beginning of his solo career, Beans on Toast and The Tailors. For the latter’s first show in six years. Continue reading Live Review: Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls Show #2000 – Nottingham, Rock City
On August 23, AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) played in Camarillo, California as part of “The Bible 2’r”, a string of shows in the Southwest celebrating the release of their new album, The Bible 2. They brought with them ROAR and John Congleton and the Nighty Nite, two supports quite fitting for the occasion. The venue, Rock City Studios, which is located in a strip mall two doors down from a Baptist church, was intimate and filled with plenty of fake fog and purple lights, creating an eerie vibe that complimented the music being played.
ROAR, a band from AJJ’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, took the stage first, although if you’d missed the poster at the door you may not have realized it, as they never actually introduced themselves. They kept chatter at a minimum through their set, though stopping to thank AJJ and John Congleton for a great tour and mentioning that they had merch to sell in the back of the venue. The band’s sound is a pleasant mixture of oldies and emo pop, pairing bright guitar sounds and easy riffs with deeper lyrics. They weren’t the most entertaining to watch, but definitely great to listen to. Continue reading Live Review: AJJ at Rock City Studios in Camarillo, CA
Swedish skate punks Millencolin returned to the UK for their first non festival date since September 2008. With a three date jaunt across England. Though with only two bands on the bill, the venue took its time to fill after the hour and a half wait for Birmingham’s punk rock three piece Templeton Pek to take to the stage. Continue reading Live Review: Millencolin – 02 Ritz Manchester