The Wonder Years (TWY) recently wrapped up their headlining tour with support from Carly Cosgrove and Hot Mulligan, which made its stop at College Street Music Hall in New Haven, CT. Frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell took time out to reminisce about when he played his first Connecticut show 19 years ago in a VFW to less than 50 people, the overwhelm of the encouragement he felt from the crowd, and how he has since made it his mission to hit CT on every tour. He has certainly kept his word–personally recalling him playing the University of New Haven’s German Club both with TWY and as his solo side project in a blizzard to near-selling out venues as large as College Street with a mere 1,700-person audience.
The tour was in promotion of their seventh full-length album, The Hum Goes on Forever–a tour that might as well have been the band’s very own “Eras Tour” with the way they covered their bases by playing highlights from throughout their discography. The emotional pop-punk specialists ignited the crowd with hits as old as “Melrose Diner” (The Upsides, 2010) and “Local Man Ruins Everything” (Suburbia…, 2011) to “Dismantling Summer” (The Greatest Generation, 2013), “Cardinals” (No Closer to Heaven, 2015), and Heaven’s Gate (Sister Cities, 2018) to singles “Wyatt’s Song” and “Low Tide” from their latest (The Hum Goes on Forever, 2022).
Having been such an active band for so many years now, TWY have curated an incredibly devoted fan base. It was clear just in the CT audience every moment Soupy pulled away from the microphone and let the crowd carry his words for him, whether it be for a ballad like “You in January,” or screaming the iconic opening lines to the encore “Came Out Swinging.” Particularly before “You in January,” Soupy gave the crowd fair warning that if anyone plans to propose to their significant other to “please do it now during the only love song in our set,” hoping to refrain fans from proposing during their slower songs “about death.”
While the band have always been exceptional performers in terms of musical accuracy and the creativity of their live renditions, it is the pure and organic emotion each individual member exudes and the collective passion they display that continues to make them a must-see group in this genre.