My worlds collided on Wednesday night at The Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis. In one room, you had the legendary Cannibal Corpse– a band that has been speaking to me lately just due to my current level of stress and exhaustion. In the other room– The Wonder Years– a band that speaks to my pop-punk loving heart and soul. Honestly, it was a hard choice but a choice had to be made so I went with The Wonder Years. I honestly don’t know if that was the right choice but I’m one of those cheesy “follow your heart” types and my heart was telling me that I was supposed to be at The Wonder Years.
New Jersey-based Save Face got things started off in an amazing way. I had never heard of this band prior to catching them on Wednesday evening but they definitely made an impression on me. Although the entire band was super fun to watch throughout their quick thirty-minute opening set, it was vocalist Tyler Povanda that had my attention throughout. His energy and movements were giving me slight Jason Alexander Butler (Letlive./ Fever 333) vibes but with this almost nostalgic pop-punk twist. I don’t think there was a single moment that Tyler was standing still throughout the set leading to blurry pictures and a second wind that I was in desperate need of. Tyler mentioned that the band had gone on a pretty epic 60+ day tour and regularly played to just a handful of kids. I think those days are behind them. Save Face’s live show is something that just needs to be seen and felt and I can’t wait to track these guys and see them blow up in the way that they so clearly deserve.
The Wonder Years wasted no time jumping right into their playthrough of ‘Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing’ which starts off with a personal favorite of mine, “Came Out Swinging”. Honestly, I found myself completely lost in a cloud of nostalgia throughout their set. Although they played through two entire albums and then some, it felt like they only played a few songs before they left the stage. It was song after song of the audience screaming along to every word as if their life depended on it and, for some, I’m sure it did in a way. The Wonder Years is one of those bands that have such a connection with their listeners that it’s next to impossible to put into words. This is one of those bands that can pick you up on a bad day yet level you out when you’re feeling a bit scattered.
Just like the audience was giving their all, the band was doing the same. Each of the band members had their own way of interacting with each other and the audience. Whether it was a slight nod towards someone in the front that was screaming along to the words or just a slight smile between notes– there was just this unspoken constant flow of admiration that I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and feeling. Usually, when seeing The Wonder Years (I’ve been lucky enough to have many chances to catch this band live), I can be found in the middle of the sweaty mess of people screaming along to the words but I decided to hold back on Wednesday and just watch it all unfold in front fo me. Although I missed the interactions you get in the “pit” at a show like this, being able to just feel everything and process it truly made the night something special for me.
I won’t lie, I did sneak up to the Cannibal Corpse show and caught a couple of songs from them before heading home for the night. It was intense, packed, and amazing for the few tracks that I caught but I knew, as I stood in the back and took in the vibe of the room, that I had picked the right show to spend my Wednesday night at.