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The Wonder Years, The Met, Sunday, January 5th, 2014 Reviewed















The Wonder Years were having an acoustic holiday party tour, and it was to kick of the holidays.  The Rhode Island date got pushed back because of inclement weather- as Soupy said, “The city of Pawtucket said, ‘fuck you you can’t park here! there’s gonna be snow!’ guess I don’t wanna get towed, so.”  However, it didn’t matter.  They were here now and the entire band was on stage and ready.

The last time I saw them acoustic, I had high hopes for the setlist, and ended up being let down a bit.  This was the setlist that I’d been waiting for.  It had every song I wanted to hear from them, and more with a few surprises.  They opened up with “Dismantling Summer”, and the entire band was perfect.  All together, they each pulled their weight to create a wonderful and unique sound.  I was in love from the beginning- “Pulling wings off insects; I’m peeling back my sunburnt skin.”  I knew from the crowd’s reaction that it was going to be an incredible evening.

Next was “Don’t Let Me Cave In”, one of the band’s most popular tunes.  It was only the second song in and I was already ready to cry a little bit.  However, I held it in to save it for a different moment.  The video clip of it (below) really captures the passion of it all, and even just watching it now takes me back to that fresh memory and makes me feel like I’m there.  It was brilliant.

“Local Man Ruins Everything” is definitely their most quoted song.  I’m sure you’ve seen the, “I’m not a self help book, I’m just a fucked up kid” quote everywhere.  Seeing it live and being a huge fan was great- though it’s an older song, Soupy still had just as much passion as ever.  It was great to see him putting every bit of himself into the performance of it now than any other time before.

Last time I saw them, I wanted them to play “Living Room Song”, just so I could have that experience- it’s a massive part of the TWY fan base, being with the band and singing it.  Soupy was saying how this song was written before that day where it was supposed to be an apocalypse- “We’ve talked about this- we’ve survived two apocalypses.  We decided that the plural of apocalypse is apocalii..but you shouldn’t need a plural for apocalypse it should only happen once.”  He’s so funny and witty, and this was really when the whole show started to feel laid back.  It was such a sense of community where really, all of us, were The Wonder Years.  I loved it.

The band ended up playing “Suburbia”, “I’ve Given You All”, “And Now I’m Nothing” in order, which they’d never done before.  To be at the tour where they do this for the first and probably last time was great.  Then after, they launched into “There, There”, the opening track of their latest iconic album, “The Greatest Generation”.  This is exactly when I started to cry a little bit. The song is heart wrenching enough without watching the man who writes and performs it look like he’s going to cry or something, and with that element involved, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was teary eyed.

“Devil In My Bloodstream” was the part of the set that I didn’t care about crying anymore.  I lost it.  The song is so honest and emotional, talking about depression and what it does and how it affects people- even though it was an acoustic show, there was still yelling of the lyrics and no one held back.  It was beautiful.

“Hey Thanks” and “Logan Circle: A New Hope” are two rare things to hear live, and so I was once again very lucky to experience it.  The encore was “All My Friends Are In Bar Bands”, and for a wonderfully clever reason- the last line of the tune goes, “I’m not sad anymore, I’m just tired of this place.  If this year would just end, I think we’d all be okay.”  The tour was supposed to end before the new year so the sentiment of this statement was so well thought out, but only didn’t work for our one show in particular.  Ah, oh well.

This was by far my favorite TWY performance I’ve ever seen, whether personally or on the internet.  Between the tour manager playing the saxophone in “Hey Thanks”, the jokes, the fact that we were now the last stop of this tour, all made it so personal and memorable.

No one’s even sad anymore.

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