Last Friday The Wonder Years, Motion City Soundtrack, State Champs and You Blew It! took over the House of Blues in Orlando.
Journalist ethics require me to divulge the truth: I got caught in Interstate 4 traffic on the way to the show and missed You Blew It! preform.
I know, I should be ashamed. Let me just say, though, I have seen Orlando’s own You Blew It! before and this band has great stage presence. That, though, will be all I say on that matter because I missed their set during the No Closer to Heaven tour.
As I arrived at the show, State Champs were preparing to play. Everyone in the crowd seemed to mingle about and I worried the interest level for one of my favorite live bands would be low. I was incorrect. State Champs took the stage and the entire crowd picked up and enjoyed the show. The band recently released a new album, Around the World and Back, which they played a few songs off of. The song the band released as the first single on the album, Secrets, proved to be a crowd favorite. State Champs also hinted that they would be making their way back to Florida early next year on a headlining tour. After the performance I saw on Friday night, my fingers are crossed. State Champs makes a room full of people come alive. No matter if one was familiar with their music or not, the entire room seemed to be engaged.
Next, Motion City Soundtrack took the stage. Again, honesty time: I never got into Motion City Soundtrack. I know, the looks of shock and horror are justified on your face. It’s not that I didn’t like the band, I just must have missed the hype when it came around. Now, ten years after their album Commit This to Memory was released and I am finally a fan. After seeing MCS live, I am sold. This band has serious talent. Clearly, making a career that has lasted through the ages is not easy in this industry. MCS has done this, though. Their electric stage performance and rich, quality sound is unwavering.
After all this time, I am finally a fan. I cannot stop playing your music.
The night concluded with the headlining band, and the reason I went to the show, The Wonder Years. The Wonder Years released their new album No Closer to Heaven this past September, and they immediately embarked on this tour.
When the album was released, I was unsure of how it would hold up during the band’s live performance. When I was first acquainted with The Wonder Years, I was captivated by their live performance (as I am with most bands), so after hearing the new album I was a bit skeptical. NCTH felt as though it was simply a “spin in your bed while relaxing” kind of album instead of a punk album to move to. After hearing songs from this album live, I was (once again) proven wrong. Hearing these songs live was an emotionally and physically moving experience. NCTH is a new kind of Wonder Years show, but it turns out, this show was exactly what I wanted.
If this is what is to be expected from future Wonder Years shows, count me in. The show felt like a complete mix of ballads, angry punk anthems and songs that simply should be belted out.
If the No Closer to Heaven tour rolls around to your city, I highly recommend going. The Orlando show was a great, casual night that I thoroughly enjoyed.