It has been four years since Philadelphia pop-punk staples The Wonder Years have put out a full-length album of new material. After the pandemic kept the band from their fans, The Wonder Years couldn’t throw just any ordinary album release party. The band put on a four-part album release extravaganza featuring four acoustic performances, a documentary screening, a pop-up merch store, and a beer garden after-party. The intersection of State and Main streets in Doylestown was littered with lines of adoring fans preparing to go into each experience. When passers-by ask what’s going on, they simply state “The Wonder Years.”
photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.com
The Line Goes On Forever: The Wonder Years bring a multifaceted album celebration to Doylestown
In celebration of their new album “The Hum Goes on Forever” The Wonder Years throw an immersive album release party.
Wonder Years fan lining up on State Street in Doylestown awaiting the start of the band’s first acoustic session.
The festivities started with band’s pop-up merch shop, which was set in an empty storefront next to Siren Records. A line stretched around the block to get in and within the first two hours of being open, almost all of the merchandise was sold out.
To attend the Wonder Years album release spectacular, fans had to preorder a signed copy of the band’s new album through Siren Records; they received it as they entered the acoustic session inside the record shop. Presale recipients were broken up into four groups as the band played four acoustic sets back to back. Even though the streets of Doylestown were flooding with Wonder Years fans, each acoustic performance felt intimate and unique.
It wouldn’t be a party without a signature drink. The Wonder Years partnered with Philadelphia brewery Scared Vice to release The Haze Goes on Forever, a New England-style IPA crafted specifically for the band’s album release party. Cans sold out very quickly, but fans could enjoy the beer on draft at the event’s after-party at The Garden Bar at Puck.
There was one last perk of the Wonder Years album release party, and it was a big one: an exclusive showing of The Wonder Years’ unreleased documentary Cough Out Embers. After the acoustic performance, fans were directed to walk across the street to the County Theater, where the documentary was being shown. The fifty-minute long film chronicles the band’s journey to make their latest album, starting with navigating the writing process through the 2020/2021 COVID-19 shutdown and ending with the band recording the new record at non-other than the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ studio. The film paints a vivid picture of where the band started and how it became the massive institution they are today.
Shortly into the documentary, it cuts to an interview with Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus. The interview recaps a time when Wonder Years frontman Dan Campbell reached out to Hoppus for writing advice. He states “Dan’s a phenomenal songwriter, he didn’t need any help – stop overthinking things and go do what you do, which is writing great songs.” In that moment, as hundreds of fans lined up and down the streets of Doylestown, it became apparent to me that The Wonder Years have grown into a powerful force in the music industry. The Hum Goes on Forever marks another phase of that journey.