Doors opened at 6 p.m. on the night of Friday, Nov. 6, and fans were allowed to find their perfect viewing spot once inside the Observatory music venue. The full line-up advertised performances starting at 7 p.m., but early concertgoers were gleefully surprised to watch “You Blew It!” at 6:30 p.m. instead. The Orlando-based quintet pop-punk band played their half hour set and thanked the early birds for cheering while they played songs from their two albums and EPs.
State Champs, who dress sporty with jerseys and referee gear, came on next as the crowd level magnified. The New York-based pop-punk band energetically rocked out to their hits and the crowd got wild. The mosh pit edged closer to the stage as lead singer Derek DiScanio belted songs off their newest album, “Around the World and Back.”
The crowd’s excitement continued growing after State Champs announced they would add three more songs to their set list. It was the final song called “Elevated” off their album “Finer Things” that really blew up the crowd in awe. A fan girl on the side of the stage raced past security and stole DiScanio’s mic and rapped/sang all the words, even though her mic was muted. It wasn’t until she fell off the stage that Derek was able to sing his last chorus.
Another short intermission happened while the stage crew set up for Motion City Soundtrack. After 15 minutes of waiting, the unexpected–or rather the Force–happened. Motion City Soundtrack introduced themselves by playing the newest Star Wars trailer over speakers flashing red and white lights. Then they ran on stage and blasted their most popular song “Everything is Alright” from their 2005 album “Commit This to Memory.” The band is celebrating their 10-year anniversary tour of their 2005 album.
The youngest mosh pit crowd surfer of the night was enjoying himself the most. The pre-teen boy rode at least eight full crowd circles, even getting a shout out from lead singer, Justin Pierre, for staying up so long in the mosh pit. The rock band played almost an hour’s worth of songs with crazy-haired Pierre singing vocals.
By the time The Wonder Years came to the stage shortly after 9:30 p.m., the crowd level had reached capacity. Leader singer, Dan “Soupy” Campbell, said that out of their three southern California shows on their 2015 tour, the Observatory show sold out as he proceeded to scream with the crowd. The American pop-punk band from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, is a bearded group of guys that formed in July 2005. Their genre is more emo-pop, melodic hardcore and pop-punk, and the Observatory show added smoke flumes for their more hardcore songs like “Cardinals” off their most recent album “No Closer To Heaven.”
Before getting to their final songs of the night, The Wonder Years slowed things down with “I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral” from the same 2013 album. Campbell encouraged the audience to raise their lighters and cell phone lights and to sing along.
Their popular song “Came Out Swinging” and encore of the night had everyone in the crowd screaming back at the stage, finger-pointing and wildly jumping all around. Campbell even made his way behind the mosh pit and crowd surfed back on stage before screaming up into the smoke flumes during the last performance of the wild, headbanging night at the Observatory.