Gig Coverage: The Wonder Years at New York’s Playstation Theater 5/5/18

Posted: by The Editor

Photo by: Rebecca Kavaler

I’ve recently come to the realization that I am a somewhat jaded concertgoer. I’m usually the guy standing in the back with his jacket still on, arms crossed, nodding along with a serious look on his face. But as The Wonder Years took the stage at New York’s PlayStation Theater on 5/5, I felt an electricity run through my body that I thought had been long lost in the process of growing up, leaving punk behind for professionalism. It’s been almost five years to the day since I crowd-surfed for the first time, at the same venue (back when it was called the Best Buy Theater), watching the same band at the beginning of their support tour for The Greatest Generation.

Now, the band is here behind their brand new album Sister Cities, and a lot has changed for everyone, myself included. I’ve loved and I’ve lost; faced big triumphs and devastating failures; I’ve watched my heroes turn human. The Wonder Years have been there every step of the way.

Photo by: Rebecca Kavaler

There’s a lot to be said for the power of catharsis. About halfway into the band’s career-spanning headlining set, after showcasing some of their impeccable new cuts, I found myself pushing my way into the pit for the first time in years, once again finding solace in the chaos I used to call home. I spent most of the remainder of the set in the pit, covered in my own sweat and the sweat of others, being thrown around by inexplicably shirtless kids. It wasn’t long before I was atop the crowd as the band played “I Was Scared And I’m Sorry,” a deep b-side from The Upsides, floating toward the stage with my arms in the air before I was forcefully pulled into the waiting arms of security—who nearly pushed me all the way to the ground to get me out of the way of the next one.

The next day, I woke up feeling sore. Getting in the shower, I noticed a mysterious bruise on my back, maybe a scrape from the nails of one of the kind souls who had carried my body toward the stage. I winced at the mark at first, then let a smile creep onto my face. I just graduated college, but I felt like a punk kid again.

Write-up by Zac Gelfand | @gac_zelfand

Photos by Rebecca Kavaler | @RebeccaKaveler

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