Thursday, 14 November 2013

LIVE: The Wonder Years

Whenever The Wonder Years announce a tour I'm always ready to jump on it; unfortunately due to the lack of a Birmingham date, and London being part of Warped Tour, it was a bit more difficult so instead I travelled to my favourite city of England, Manchester, instead.  Then, when the support was announced, I got excited all over again. Bringing over Handguns and - one of my favourite bands of the moment - Real Friends over from the States, plus the UK's own Neck Deep.

After travelling up and dumping all my stuff in the handy Salford Quay's Ibis Budget (which comes highly recommended for anybody looking for cheap hotels in Manchester)  it was a rush back into Manchester to meet Megan (who got in too early and caused me to rush my Burger King) before she forced me to rush to Academy 2, arriving half an hour early. I'm not the kind of person who enjoys queuing before gigs, if you do then that's absolutely fine and I respect your decision but I just don't understand why unless you're 4ft 0. (Which, to be fair, Megan is.)

Anyway, the inside of Manchester's University's Student Union - which houses Academy 2 - is pretty nice. The bar there even accepts University of Birmingham ID and I am eternally grateful for after I left my passport at home. Also, where else are you going to find pints for £2.40 'in' a gig venue?  We made it upstairs to catch the latter two-thirds of Handguns who are always pretty solid. The reaction for Neck Deep though is something else, pop-punk kids are really on their game when it comes to new music now-a-days. Not being a massive fan of the TSSF-tribute-band it was time for another trip to the bar before the latter two bands took to the stage.

I wasn't sure how active the crowd would be for Real Friends, they're still relatively new on the scene, only having been around for a year or so but any reservations I had were dispelled immediately, as they should've been after the reaction to Neck Deep. 'I've Given Up On You' was incredible, as was 'Floorboards' and despite their boney knees and sleepy eyes (there's a joke that's never been made) they put on one hell of a show. Vocalist Dan Lambton looked visibly moved by the reaction of the crowd. Here's to hoping they come back over here again soon. The Story So Far started with a support slot for Man Overboard and look where they are now...

Finally we get to The Wonder Years, kicking things off with 'Passing Through a Screen Door' it's obvious that tonight's going to be pretty excellent. The crowd are most definitely in the mood to party and they're rewarded with a bit of a treat, the sparsely played 'Coffee Eyes'.

There's nothing with more energy than a TWY live performance. It's a little bit ridiculous how they don't seem to stop for breath through the entire show. The sing-a-longs, especially for tracks off the new album like 'Dismantling Summer' and 'The Bastards, The Vultures, The Wolves' are huge. Finishing off the main set with 'All My Friends Are In Bar Bands' feels a little odd as it feels like a step backward but then again I don't think I've ever really felt that it translates as well to a live setting, and works much better as an album-closer.  The encore however is magical. The entire room helps out with 'Living Room Song' before 'Came Out Swinging' makes the place erupt.

The Wonder Years have always been a special band to me, helping me through my tough middle-class-white-boy problems, and their live show has always blown me away every single time. I'm so thankful that they exist and I really, really hope they continue to exist for a long time. 10/10, thanks Wonder Years.

Side-note: The entire crowd singing along to Total Eclipse of the Heart after the show was spectacular and should be recreated at every gig.

No comments:

Post a comment