Pop-punk plays the Phoenix

Hundreds of fans flocked to Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre to enjoy a concert experience given by one of the biggest names in pop-punk, The Wonder Years, with some coming from as far as Thunder Bay.

“It’s hard to keep track of how many times we’ve circled the world, how many times we’ve crossed the border and been to Toronto. But I’ll tell you what,” yelled lead singer Dan “Soupy” Campbell, “we’re going to remember this, because you guys are f—–g killing it, Toronto!”

The lineup included Toronto band Seaway, Moose Blood, Knuckle Puck, Real Friends and the Philadelphia-based headliners, The Wonder Years.

They’re on tour to promote the band’s latest album, No Closer to Heaven. It runs across the U.S. with only one stop in Canada between October 15 and November 23.

The Wonder Years played 19 songs. They opened with title track and closed with “Came Out Swinging,” off of 2011’s, Suburbia, I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing. They played several songs off of their older albums, as well as new ones.

The energy level was palpable. Roughly a thousand people sang the words and jumped until the floor bounced with them. Some people even crowd-surfed. Campbell hyped up the crowd and brought out the energy in people.

Emotions ran high as the band sung some of their heavier songs such as “Cigarettes & Saints.” Many in the audience had tears running down faces, with their voices breaking. Feelings showed.

“They’ve always been there for me in the rough times, so seeing them live is amazing,” said one fan.

The six-member band was created in 2005. They are currently signed to Hopeless Records and have released five albums and several EPs. Their Albums The Upsides, Suburbia, I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing, and The Greatest Generation are a trilogy. They deal with issues such as anxiety, depression and self-doubt, while their latest album examines personal loss and social justice issues such as prescription drug problems, corruption and shootings – issues that resonate with Millennials today.

The group has a solid following and some of those fans were lucky enough to get VIP tickets. That gave them an intimate concert experience with The Wonder Years as they played fan-requested songs such as “The Living Room Song.” The band also signed autographs and took a group photo.

“I feel like we’re all kind of outcasts in our own way, and I feel like we can all fit in here and bond over our mutual love of music,” said one fan after the performance of “My Last Semester.”