The Wonder Years played in Cheyenne last night at the Atlas Theater. I ended up going on a whim, basically anything to leave the house for a bit.
There were three other bands rocking the stage with them. The English band, the Gnarwolves, played some straight up bare bones, high energy, over-driven punk. The sweat began to drip off the band and audience, dampening the walls.
I missed the second band, Modern Baseball, I didn't really hear any reviews, which I was surprised. No one said they were good, no one said they were bad. They just existed.
The Story So Far followed ripped through the stage next. I didn't realize how many people loved this band. They were a balls-out punk powered band who hit the stage with energy and enthusiasm. The band was quick to knock down the fourth wall, inviting people up for stage diving and involving the crowd in gang vocal sing alongs. Kids crowd surfed along the sea of pumping hands up to the heated stage and then flew off--over and over. The entire floor was chanting the songs with them. I am sure they were the clear highlight of the night, at least for me.
The Wonder Years had quite a few of loyal fans in the front who were in ecstasy to watch them. There is something about this band that really irked me. One of those- I just don't like them- type of bands. With six members cluttering the stage, they really did seem to be just "performing" rather than playing music for the love. They lacked the sincerity and energy the three-piece Gnarwolves began the show with. I've seen many indie and emo bands in my day, these guys just didn't seem authentic--But hen again I am old and jaded-- but then again, they probably are too. When the singer said the band played here even though they knew they would lose money, I got pissed. They said they were doing it for the kids. This is not how punk bands speak, this is how pretentious rock bands speak. Being the fact that these guys arrived in the largest tour buses to Cheyenne I have seen outside of the performers who play at the Civic Center and Frontier days, and they were talking as if they were giving Cheyenne charity by playing here, I got pretty pissed--Who says that? Why mention money? What kind of band brings that up? That being said, they did what they do well. The music was tight and well written. It just wreaked of fakeness. In my mind it was it could have been Iggy Azalea at this point with its manufactured flavors and hints of genuine subtly.
But in the end, it was great to have a show like this in Cheyenne. Many people here do not realize the effort and risks it takes to bring bands of this caliber. Even if I don't like some of the bands, I will support the effort.
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