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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Playing up to the fans

    Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Lead vocalist and guitarist Travis Clark of the Bradenton, Fla., band
We The Kings throws up their new
    Tim Glass
    Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat Lead vocalist and guitarist Travis Clark of the Bradenton, Fla., band We The Kings throws up their new

    OK, I’ll admit it, I am a We The Kings fan. I have seen them four times already, and I have known about them since before their radio days. I have a T-shirt. I even have the clichéd I-met-the-band-member photos.

    So when I heard they were coming back to Tucson, I was interested to see them in action once again.

    Outside The Rock on Friday, there was a never-ending line and the people kept coming.

    The venue was jam-packed inside, with gangs of tweens pushing and shoving to reach the much-coveted spots by the barricade. It was not a comfortable experience, but it kept me on my toes.

    The screaming, hooting and hollering brought out the opener Stereo Skyline. They all looked the same — from their wispy scenester hair to their choice of pastels and flannel. The lead singer sounded like he was on a little helium, but it somehow worked with their dance beat tracks (think Hellogoodbye on “”Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!””). They warmed up the crowd.

    The quartet’s cover of “”Build Me Up Buttercup”” was catchy and a refreshing take on the original. The 12-year-olds making up the majority of the crowd didn’t seem to know the tune.

    There For Tomorrow took the stage next, high-fiving each other before starting their set. Their lead singer looked like Fez from “”That ‘70s Show.”” The band had stage presence — the only problem was that the lyrics were unintelligible. They also had some squeaky and malfunctioning-microphone moments that distracted from their set list.

    Fans near the stage groped them the second they moved to interact with the crowd. Their guitars were strategically placed — or at least they appeared to be.

    Next up was familiar band, A Rocket to the Moon. Their set seemed extremely blunt in comparison to the others’. The foursome made a display of their merch guy due to the fact that it was his birthday. They also did a quick “”Ring of Fire”” intro to one of their songs. They weren’t Johnny Cash, but they took it and made it their own.

    Their set list didn’t impress — they played it safe. Despite a lack of creativity, they were still good.

    After A Rocket to the Moon, things got crowded. After going to a concert at The Rock, you’ll really understand what it’s like to be a sardine.

    “”Mayday Parade! Mayday Parade!”” the crowd chanted in excitement. The band was taking too long to set up, and the crowd was getting antsy. Mayday Parade finally took the stage, blasting bass and all. Mayday Parade thrusted, jumped and danced around the stage and the crowd followed. This one and only quintet of the evening was full of entertainers.

    At times, the drummer, Jake Bundrick, or bassist, Jeremy Lenzo, would take over the lead vocals, but the bass line still overpowered the vocals and other instruments, a crutch for a band that isn’t performing up to par.

    Fans were inching up to the front of the stage in anticipation for the last act: We The Kings. They skipped up the stage to their spots. They kept the crowd’s interest with a few stories about UA bobble heads and creating a band gang sign while walking around drunk in Georgia. They played a good mix of their new and old songs, beginning with “”She Takes Me High,”” and ending with “”Check Yes Juliet.”” They continued Mayday’s blasting bass to the point where anything else was hard to hear. People were screaming, jumping and even fist-pumping along with the music.

    The only downfall in their performance was that the set list was a little on the weak side. They played crowd-favorites and watered-down songs, like “”Promise the Stars,”” and “”We’ll Be A Dream,”” instead of their more powerful tracks like “”This is Our Town,”” and “”Whoa.””

    After the show, all of the bands except We The Kings stood outside waiting to meet their fans. Lead singer Travis Clark took almost an hour to grace fans with his presence.

    Their performance and new attitude about meeting fans made me miss the old We The Kings. The band that performed Friday night seemed to be more eager to conform than to play for the pure love of music.

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