On March 4, 2020, The Wonder Years brought their much anticipated double-set show to San Diego, California where they dominated The Observatory North Park. Burst and Decay (Volume II) was released early in February, prior to going on tour with supporting bands, Free Throw, Spanish Love Songs, and Pool Kids on the ‘Burst and Decay Tour’. Burst and Decay, a full acoustic album with seven emotionally compelling tracks, was a step in a different direction for the typically high-energy and angsty pop-punk legacy.
Dan Campbell, aka ‘Soupy’, revealed that the inspiration for this album was to make their fanbase “feel something,” as he made a dig at his own band for only ever singing about heartbreak and drug addiction. Soupy felt like this album was a chance for the band to dig deeper and really tap into the emotional capacity of their songwriting. After hearing this album live, it is clear that the band is multi-faceted, and knocked this album and tour out of the park.
The Wonder Years started out with their acoustic set for the first half of the show, which was an intimate and touching experience, allowing the crowd to really connect with the band. Soupy is incredible at crowd interaction, and making fans feel like they are friends of the band. The whole acoustic set was beautifully done, and a unique element to add to a tour. Their stage was set with Edison lights around the stage, setting the mood of the show, and the crowd huddled together right up against the barricade intently listening to each and every lyric, and of course singing along. Again, that’s a testament to Soupy’s ability to connect with the crowd in a way that is unique to this band (he should honestly just be a motivational speaker on his breaks from touring)! Nobody wanted to miss a single second of the show, and for good reason.
They took a few minutes to break before starting their electric set. Their setlist was absolutely perfect, playing all of their top songs. But, overall, the two elements that stood out the most during this set were the energy, and Soupy’s crowd interaction. What is unique to The Wonder Years is the energy of the entire band. Every single band member was completely lost in the music. Their passion for what they do exuded from their bodies as they played, and electrified the crowd. From jumping on the subs, to throwing the mic, head banging, and more, there wasn’t a dull moment in the show. The way that they moved proved that they truly enjoy what they do, and you almost forget that they do this every single night because they made you feel like your show in your city at your venue is the most important show they’ve played. It doesn’t feel like their seventh or eighth show of the tour, it feels like night one.
Overall, it was an incredible show, with endless energy, and a connection between the audience and the band that is something the fans will never forget.
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