NEPA Scene Staff

The Wonder Years and Real Friends play pop punk at Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg on Oct. 18

The Wonder Years and Real Friends play pop punk at Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg on Oct. 18
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From a press release:

Philadelphia pop punk band The Wonder Years has announced a national tour with Real Friends, along with support from Knuckle Puck, Moose Blood, and Seaway, that will stop at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets, which are $22 in advance or $25 the day of the show, are on sale now and available through the Sherman Theater box office (524 Main St., Stroudsburg), online at and, and all Ticketmaster outlets.

The Wonder Years are vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell; guitarists Matt Brasch, Casey Cavaliere, and Nick Steinborn; bassist Josh Martin; and drummer Mike Kennedy. Coming together over 10 years ago, they have performed in 45 states and 25 countries. Their last album, “The Greatest Generation,” debuted in the Top 20 on the Billboard Top 200, and the band has been seen on the cover of Alternative Press magazine and featured on Fuse, MTV, Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, and Newsday.

The band’s fifth studio album, “No Closer to Heaven,” was released on Sept. 4, 2015 via Hopeless Records.

You could say Real Friends’ new second full-length album, “The Home Inside My Head” on Fearless Records, is a coming-of-age story.

It’s about the common realization that things won’t be the same as they were during childhood, and that’s OK. It’s a timeless tale we’ve seen everywhere from “Catcher in the Rye” to “Dazed and Confused,” but it’s something everybody goes through. So the Tinley Park, Illinois quintet – drummer Brian Blake, bassist Kyle Fasel, guitarists Dave Knox and Eric Haines, and vocalist Dan Lambton – chose to put this journey on tape.

As always, their honesty drove the music.

“When you’re younger, you have a picture perfect vision in your head about the future,” says Fasel. “As I grow older, I find that not to be true. I dug so much deeper lyrically this time around. I found inspiration through my family. My parents turned out to a little different than I had imagined when I was a kid. There are several mentions of that. It’s really about the battles in my head every day and worrying about how others feel around me a little too much. Regardless of any sad and negative events in my life that fueled lyrics, they all turn to positives when they give me something to write about. It’s an outlet for me.”

Colored by brushstrokes of punk, pop, and emo, this outlet is a big reason why the group became one of 2014’s biggest breakout acts following the release of their debut, “Maybe This Place Is the Same and We’re Just Changing.” It bowed at No. 24 on the Billboard Top 200, moving over 10,300 copies in its first week and garnering a nomination for “Album of the Year” at the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards, while “I Don’t Love You Anymore” vied for “Best Song” and Fasel received a nod for “Best Bassist.” Rock Sound pegged it at No. 10 on their “Top 50 Albums of the Year,” and Alternative Press named “Loose Ends” one of “The 18 Best sing along moments of 2014.” Moreover, it attracted praise from Fuse TV, Ultimate Guitar, and more as the band embarked on the Vans Warped Tour and numerous headline runs. Along the way, they collectively focused on what would become their next offering.

“For nearly two years, we would demo songs, take a break, and go back on the road,” says Fasel. “We never did that before, and it was nice because we had a bank of ideas to draw from. There was also no pressure, since we were just writing together when it felt right. This was a very cool, laid back writing process.”

In late 2015, the boys tread new territory once more by recording in California for the first time. Tapping the talents of two producers, they cut three songs with Mike Green (Pierce The Veil, All Time Low) and nine with Steve Evetts (The Wonder Years, Dillinger Escape Plan) in Huntington Beach. As they expanded the sonic palette, the lyrical vision also grew. Another first, Lambton split writing duties with Fasel, penning lyrics to four songs.

“No matter what the subject is, there’s always emotion in our songs,” Lambton said. “I just hope people can connect to it.”

“For our fans, the main message is to relate to the music and get something out of it,” agrees Fasel. “When we started the band, that was the coolest thing, seeing how people react. Any time we get a letter from a fan, a drawing, or anything like that, it’s the best feeling in the world. That means it’s connecting.”