LIVE REVIEW: The Wonder Years at History in Toronto on March 20, 2023
The Wonder Years brought their The Hum Goes On Forever Tour to Toronto’s History venue on March 20th, 2023.
Carly Cosgrove opened the show with their emo, mathy, and always very catchy music. Though not everyone in the room knew their music, they had the whole crowd dancing throughout the set. The band also gave the same energy back, dancing and moving the whole time, making for a captivating and enjoyable set.
Hot Mulligan took the stage next to an already very full room. The crowd’s reaction to their set made this show feel almost like a co-headliner between Hot Mulligan and The Wonder Years. The crowd was dancing and singing along to every word, and the crowdsurfing started promptly during the second song of their set.
Their set had the crowd engaged the whole way through, and one of the most impressive, non-music-related moments occurred when they led everyone in a synchronized knuckle cracking. A truly memorable, while somewhat disgusting, moment.
The Wonder Years took the stage around 9:30pm, opening the show with the slow build of their most recent album’s opener “Doors I Painted Shut” and then getting the crowd going with the catchy and bouncy “Wyatt’s Song”.
Their 90-minute, 21 song set included many tracks from their new album, mixed with older fan favourites and deep cuts. The set also included a good mix of heavier songs with some of their slower tracks as well. One particularly memorable moment from the set was the slow, stripped-down song “Laura & The Beehive”, dedicated to vocalist Dan Campbell’s grandmother. He introduced the song by encouraging anyone in the crowd who is able to call their grandmother during the week. The whole crowd illuminated the room with their phone flashlights for the duration of the song, matching the glowing string lights on stage.
The band closed their set with fan favourite “Came Out Swinging” as their encore. Looking around the crowd, everyone passionately screamed along to all the lyrics, keeping an impressive energy level only a band like The Wonder Years can encourage this late into a three-act bill.
Last time I saw The Wonder Years was 8 years ago when they were touring their 2015 album No Closer To Heaven. For me, this show was an incredibly cathartic experience as I got to hear so many of these songs live again at such a different point in my life. Concerts are always an emotional experience, but with so many fans who grew up with The Wonder Years’ music, a tour like this is so special.