“I’ve got my flannel, l’ve got my vans. I can be somebody!” proclaimed someone in the crowd, summing up the mood to a T. Though there were plaid and sneaks for miles, every young fan in Webster Hall seemed to be soaking up a slice of the spotlight, or prepping for their big crowd-surfing moment. With CMJ’s pop-punk finale of You Blew It!, State Champs, Motion City Soundtrack, and The Wonder Years, the night was all theirs.
You Blew It! took the crowd’s adrenaline and threw it right back at them, opening with a cavalier stage presence and the emo flow of “Lanai.” Their banter was as squeal-worthy as their sudden hits and breaks. When the audience started yelling about random birthdays in the house, Tanner Jones’ awesome response was, “For the sake of time, we will lump you all into one birthday unit. Have a good birthday. Whatever.” Then they hit them with another.
The moshing officially started with State Champs, thanks to their solid sound and air-tight solos. While everyone shouted along to “Secrets,” “Losing Myself,” “Hard To Please,” and “Elevated,” it wasn’t at all uncommon to see a pair of feet amidst the hands in the air. “Who bought it?” asked lead singer Derek Discanio, referring to their new album, Around the World and Back. His follow-up question, “Who bought it illegally?” was met with almost as many screams. “You motherfuckers,” he laughed.
The party continued with Motion City Soundtrack, and there was plenty to celebrate – lead vocalist Justin Pierre announced it was his sixth year of being sober. They slammed their fans with a vigorous setlist, getting especially pumped on “Everything Is Alright,” “Let’s Get Fucked Up and Die” (speaking figuratively, of course), “Lose Control,” and “Heavy Boots.” In return, the surfers soared up to them with fiery affection.
Though the other birthday kids may have gotten some irresistible sass from You Blew It!, The Wonder Years had something extra special planned for their merch guy, Tony. To celebrate his birthday and his first day on the job, they asked the crowd to surf a cake all the way from the stage to his table (it made it). Then, springing around a minefield of smoke machines, The Wonder Years were soon busting out favorites like “Cardinals,” “Passing Through A Screen Door,” “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then,” and “Cigarettes & Saints.” They were clearly on their game, but the night was all about the fans. As it should be.
Article: Olivia Isenhart