The Wonder Years’ tour with Motion City Soundtrack, State Champs and You Blew It! stopped in Cleveland on October 22 at the Agora Theatre. Before the show even started, there were a couple hundred kids outside waiting to start the massive sing-along the night would turn into.
First was Orlando, Florida’s emo quintet You Blew It! The band played seven songs with a guitar change in the middle of their set. You Blew It! performed well but it appeared the audience was too anxious for the other bands to use their energy. They were cheered on by the crowd who seemed to appreciate the band, but not enough to dance.
Next was pop-punk band State Champs. The Albany, New York, band—who has a large feature in Substream #48, out now—started the massive sing-alongs that would absorb the crowd throughout the night. It appeared everyone in the crowd had heard the band’s latest full-length, Around The World And Back. The quintet had extra time toward the end of their set and graced the audience with three more songs. State Champs also had the first of many crowd surfers for the night.
Current Substream cover stars Motion City Soundtrack played the trailer to Stars Wars: The Force Awakens as they walked onstage. Then the indie-rock band opened with “Everything Is Alright” and the crowd of more a thousand people was singing every word. The band played a mixture of new songs, old songs and how frontman Justin Pierre put it, “songs you’ve never even heard of before” in their 16-song set. The Minneapolis quintet ended with their 2003 hit “My Favorite Accident.” It wasn’t just a musical performance, it was also a light show. The lights highlighted the music and the emotion of each individual song throughout the band’s set.
The loudest crowd was had by the headliner, the Wonder Years. The band opened up with “Brothers &” with the audience screaming every word so loud that people outside were probably wondering if half the city was in the theatre. You wouldn’t have been able to what songs were old from what songs came off of the Wonder Years’ summer release No Closer To Heaven. Halfway through the set, Dan “Soupy” Campbell was completely out of breath, but it was amazing to hear him not falter for the rest of the band’s set. The Philly sextet played 16 songs in their initial set and two encore songs, which they made the crowd work for. The Wonder Years started their encore with “Cigarettes And Saints.” Campbell played guitar and Matt Brasch assisted with drums during the song. The band finally ended the night with a passionate performance of “Came Out Swinging.”