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Friday, February 26, 2010

What to Do Tonight: The Wonder Years

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Philadelphia brings a few things to mind: cheese steak, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin and, maybe most importantly, Rocky Balboa. The image of Sylvester Stallone climbing the steps of Philadelphia’s art museum, while “Gonna Fly Now” blares in the background, will always be linked to the City of Brotherly Love. What does the Italian Stallion have to do with Philly pop-punkers the Wonder Years? Their second album, The Upsides, is the band’s attempt to fight youthful lethargy and existentialism. The five-member Wonder Years are underdogs battling the urge to revert to pop-punk tropes like heartbreak, alienation and depression. Singer Dan Campbell continually declares that he isn’t all mopey, while his bandmates pound out intricate, breakdown-packed songs that sound ready to explode at any moment. It’s a melodic, smile-laden take on pop-punk that can brighten up even a gloomy Cleveland winter. The Wonder Years play the Pirate’s Cove (2045 East 21st St., 216.776.9999, peabodys.com), with Therefore I Am and Man Overboard opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $10. — Matt Whelihan

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