Live Review - The Wonder Years w/Beach Slang, Muncie Girls & The Dirty Nil at Rock City, Notting

Yet again, Nottingham’s Rock City played host to undeniable talent. Saturday evening saw Philly pop punks The Wonder Years grace the stage, fresh from their 2000 Trees performance, and in the midst of a mini UK tour. This show was set to be something special, with the eagerly anticipated setlist comprising of singles solely chosen by fans.

Canadian trio The Dirty Nil [8] took the first support slot of the evening. Despite doors opening only twenty minutes previous, the outfit barge onto the stage, before exploding straight into single 'No Weaknesses'. Sporting a Billie-Joe Armstrong esque vocal, frontman Luke Bentham is the powerhouse of the trio, providing huge riffs on top of perfect punk vocals. Their raw energy is incredibly infectious, with the growing crowd moshing in unison. Bassist Ross Miller’s talent does not go unnoticed, providing extremely contagious basslines throughout the set. The Dirty Nil take us back to the 90’s, yet hold an extreme sense of originality. Closing single 'Little Metal Baby Fist' lifts energy levels, with the now large crowd praising the trio long after their exit.

2017 has been an incredible year for British trio Muncie Girls [8]. Despite releasing their debut in 2012, the punk rock hipster outfit reigning from Exeter have seemingly blown up in the past 12 months, with last year’s release From Caplan to Belsize creating worldwide buzz. Opening with single 'Gas Mark 4', Muncie Girls showcased their impressive yet effortless sound, with frontwoman Lande Hekt nailing her chatty style of vocal. Their stage presence can be compared to nerd rockers The Front Bottoms; slightly awkward, yet extremely satisfying to witness. Their sound and presence are undeniably natural, with a combination of raw emotion and fierce angst in Hekt’s performance. The trio finish with personal favourite, and hit single 'Respect'; a rant on misogyny and lad culture, which went down well with the Notts crowd, greeted with cheers and applause. An eye-opening performance, discussing major societal issues through punk rock.

Muncie Girls - Photo Credit: Phil Randall

Main support came in the form of fellow Philly rockers Beach Slang [8]. Previously described as scuzzy rock, it was easy to see why. Frontman James Alex, whilst admittedly inebriated, is the powerhouse of this outfit, parading around the stage, sporting an 80’s style prom suit. Of course there are a handful of die-hard fans filling the front row, finger pointing angrily in time with the angst filled singles on show this evening. Alex has undeniable charisma, spending huge chunks of the set chatting to the crowd, which in turn created huge applause and mounds of laughter. Single 'Ride the Wild Haze' goes down a treat, showcasing their humorous stoner rock. Adding a cover of Cheap Tricks’ 'Surrender' initiated a room-wide sing along, with Alex maintaining the utmost level of energy and enthusiasm throughout. Final single 'Atom Bomb' spoke for itself, embodying the last 45 minutes in a 3 minute stint; fucking crazy.

The main hall is absolutely packed in anticipation for Philly outfit The Wonder Years [9]. Rightly so, as the six piece storm the stage with fan favourite Local Man Ruins Everything. It’s clear these are no average fans, with the whole room leaping around in excitement, all whilst singing each and every word. Frontman Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell takes a second to welcome the crowd, who cheer in unison. It’s clear this set was comprised of fan favourites, with older singles 'Logan Circle' and 'Coffee Eyes' making the cut, much to the crowd’s pleasure. With recent album No Closer to Heaven taking a much more emotional theme, singles such as 'Cardinals' and 'Cigarettes and Saints' are a force of sadness, with a poignant vibe filling the room. However, the lyrics empower the crowd, as well as Campbell, who performs with so much raw emotion; it’s hard not to be in awe at the group’s heartfelt passion.

There was only ever one song TWY could finish with; the intro kicks in, and already fans are climbing on top of each other. 'Came Out Swinging' is the epitome of pop punk music, and despite their recent music taking a different path, this single will always be their safe bet with fans.

An impressive array of both old and new music, which caved a thoroughly enjoyable evening for both young and old fans.

The Wonder Years - Photo Credit: Unkown


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