2/26: The Wonder Years at Pirates Cove

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Philadelphia brings a few things to mind: cheesesteak, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin and, maybe most importantly, Rocky Balboa. The image of Sylvester Stallone climbing the steps of Philadelphia’s art museum, while “Gonna Fly Now” blares in the background, will always be linked to the City of Brotherly Love. What does the Italian Stallion have to do with Philly pop-punkers the Wonder Years? The five-member Wonder Years are underdogs battling the urge to revert to pop-punk tropes like heartbreak, alienation and depression. Their second album, The Upsides, is the band’s attempt to fight youthful lethargy and existentialism. Singer Dan Campbell continually declares that he isn’t all mopey, while his bandmates pound out intricate, breakdown-packed songs that sound ready to explode at any moment. It’s a melodic, smile-laden take on pop-punk that can brighten up even a gloomy Cleveland winter. The Wonder Years play the Pirates Cove (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999), with Therefore I Am and Man Overboard opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $10. — Matt Whelihan

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