2007’s favorite band We The Kings are on the road celebrating the 10th anniversary of their self-titled debut album, and WTK brought said tour to New York’s Playstation Theater on Friday night to play for a damn near capacity crowd. While We The Kings are still waiting for Juliet to check yes, they’re certainly not waiting around to be amazing performers as they put on a show that was more fun than many I’ve covered, and I’ve covered a lot. They don’t seem to care much about rules and having to pay the house for running past curfew, either, which is awesome and shows the band knows how to have a great time and genuinely loves what they do.
The show went off the rails quite a bit, in a good way. The set list I have a photo of doesn’t entirely match what was played as We The Kings not only turned their NYC performance into improv theater, but also blew right past their scheduled end time of 11:25 and the 11:30 noise curfew (really, it’s NYC. Why do we even have a noise curfew?), wrapping up at 11:40 and opening and closing with Check Yes, Juliet – that’s something I’ve never seen in all the years I’ve been going to concerts, whether as a fan or as a member of the media – and you know what? It was awesome!
This is normally where I run through most of the setlist, but I’d rather talk about how much love and positive energy We The Kings bring with them. Are these guys great or what? They come out with a demonic-sounding voice over teasing fans that they’ll “be out in 10 minutes”, and when the stage lights come on frontman Travis Clark starts wailing away on Check Yes, Juliet and a host of other songs from the band’s first decade, and even one that doesn’t belong to them, as the crowd goes crazy for about 90 minutes.
Just about smack in the middle (I’m going somewhere with that) of WTK’s set was their other big hit, Skyway Avenue, and then right at the end, right before take-two on Check Yes, Juliet, We The Kings played The Middle. Yeah, the Jimmy Eat World song from 2001 that everyone hates and loves at the same time. WTK gave it a solid effort and while no cover ever beats the original (okay – MAYBE Metallica’s cover of Bob Seger’s Turn The Page) it’s certainly a fun song to hear any band play.
Near the end of the set – I think it was during I Feel Alive – Clark instructs everyone in the venue to crouch down as low as they can, and then jump back up when he gets to the chorus, and everyone naturally follows along. That kind of energy is hard to find in a band. Many can go out and captivate an audience for an hour and a half every night, but the truly fun bands make their fans part of the show. Of course, I wasn’t jumping up and down with 5k in photography gear strapped to me, but I enjoyed the moment nonetheless, as did everyone else. Except for the couple making out in the VIP, who I don’t think came up for air during the last 3 songs.
And then, after We The Kings asked Juliet to check yes a second time, it was time to go home – 15 minutes past curfew – and that was that. I had other plans for my Friday night that did not include staying at a concert until Midnight. I was going to shoot, stay for a few more songs to hear enough to write this and go have a beer, but We The Kings were putting on such a great show that I could never have justified calling it an early night, and before I knew it they were closing with the same song that opened the show.
It’s tough seeing a good band not get the recognition they deserve, and it’s sad that We The Kings will never sell out an arena – Travis said the stage at Playstation Theater was the biggest they’ve ever played on – because they truly are the good guys. Guys that go out night after night, not for the money, but for the fans and the music. After seeing WTK live, I really believe these guys would play for free just to be out on stage playing music and making their fans happy. That’s pretty special and there aren’t too many musicians who are in it for the music and the fans anymore. It’s nice to be able to find out who the good guys are, and We The Kings deserve your recognition and your money to go to see them.
Check out the full set list and photo gallery below.
Check Yes Juliet
Headlines Read Out…
All Again for You
August Is Over
Don’t Speak Liar
This Is Our Town
I Feel Alive
Sad Song (Remix)
Just Keep Breathing
Say You Like Me
The Middle (Jimmy Eat World)
Check Yes Juliet