PHOTOS & WRITTEN BY: Santo Donia
There is no stopping Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties. From the mind of The Wonder Years vocalist, Dan “Soupy” Campbell, comes a riveting folk-rock act channeled through the persona of fictional character, Aaron West. Molded by a tale of hardship and tribulations, the saga continues as Campbell set out on a small run to display new material for the act.
The last stop of the weeklong Aaron West Living Room Tour found itself at The Sunroom in Voorhees, New Jersey. As a staple in the South Jersey scene, The Sunroom has held countless events, including hosting severest touring acts from across the country. Benjamin Greenblatt, promoter of The Sunroom, was not the only one in the house to be ecstatic by the news of the show. Homeowners Dina and Ron Greenblatt have openly supported and partaken in their son’s passion of music. By allowing artist to perform out of their sunroom since 2016, the Greenblatt’s house has become more than just a home for many of the locals. Benjamin even had the chance to open for Aaron West with a stripped down set of his own band, Regrown. The charm of the Sunroom is not only based upon the community that surrounds it, but by the family that helped to get it were it is today.
Although unable to recap the new material of Aaron West, it is important to mention the feel of his prior work. Released in July 2014, the album We Don’t Have Each Other kickstarted the story of Aaron West. With a backing from Hopeless Records, this album displayed amazing vocal harmonies and a classic, folk-rock acoustic sound that helped mold the fictional universe. Even in the follow up EP, Bittersweet, the same thematic storyline carried through, adding new content that set it apart from the album. Utilizing a chorus of trumpets behind his bright acoustic, the impactful sound encompassed in 67, Cherry Red is a standout off the EP.
For most, this event had been something of a dream. As Campbell engaged with the audience, everyone in the room stood in awe at the very fact that they were in the same room the “Soupy”. Hailing from South Philadelphia, his work with The Wonder Years has set him apart as something of an icon to those who listen to Pop Punk. Even the line “I came out swinging out from a South Philly basement” is enough to evoke some serious emotions in any aspiring musician.
The reality of making it in the music industry is something that people hold in a disdain: some believe it always changes the character of someone to the point of becoming totally unhinged from everyday life. Campbell and his team created an environment that did not feel superficial or even remotely staged. The genuine love for music and the people that support it was clearly shown by the words and actions displayed that evening. He shared with us his fears for the record, including his hopes for the project going forward– not just some PR stunt. After every song, Campbell would pause to talk to the crowd as if he had been a regular for years– even stopping to thank the Greenblatt’s, by name, for hosting and catering the event. Even after the set, he stuck around to sell merch and eat at the dinner table to talk music with Benjamin and friends. Campbell’s charismatic and humble attitude has set forth a precedent that most individuals, regardless of position, are unable to achieve.