The Wonder Years Show Their Power With Back To Back Album Playthrough at Skyway


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.

Duo Origami Angel from Washington D.C. was the second act to grace the stage at The Skyway Theatre on Wednesday. Much like Save Face, these guys instantly caught my attention but not for the same reasons. Clearly, being just a duo, the movement on stage was a bit more restrained than during Save Face but the music that Origami Angel was giving me was absolutely perfect. If you’re not aware, there’s this whole new wave of emo/ pop-punk music hitting the scene and these guys fit that perfectly. With heart-felt lyrics and powerful yet understated instrumentation, I was falling in love with this duo more and more with every passing note. Although this band was brand new to me, they were not to some in the crowd, and watching the crowd scream along to the words with all of the power in their hearts was just the icing on the cake.

The last time I saw Spanish Love Songs was back in May of 2019. They hit me hard then and I was super excited to catch them again on Wednesday night. Although their live show is definitely a bit calmer than that of Save Face and what was to come from the headliners, Spanish Love Songs’ music still hits me hard just like it did that first time their music was brought to my attention in 2019. Lyrically, their words just speak to my soul and the delivery of said words is just beyond perfect. I was a bit surprised that there had been more people singing along to Origami Angel than Spanish Love Songs but that didn’t stop me from feeling every single word deep in my soul. Their nine-song set seemed to fly by but ended on a powerful note as the band left the stage and left just vocalist Dylan Slocum singing the final words of “Brave Faces, Everyone”. “We don’t have to fix everything at once. We were never broken, life’s just very long. Brave faces, everyone!” Honestly, what a stunning way to end a flawless track.

Between all three opening acts absolutely killing it and just the amount of excitement that could be felt throughout the crowd, I had completely forgotten that there was another epic show happening under the same roof and found myself just absolutely lost in anticipation as the stage was turned over for the headliners of the night, The Wonder Years. Although the audience and I knew exactly what we were going to get as the band is playing through their 2010 album ‘The Upsides’ and their 2011 album ‘Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing’ on this tour, there was still no way to ignore the excitement in the air and the way it exploded into a sweaty mess as the band took the stage.

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.