WE THE KINGS' FRIDAY IS FOREVER TOUR - REVIEW
We the Kings’ Friday is Forever Summer tour recently kicked off in St. Louis, Missouri. The Florida-native-quartet released their third studio album, Sunshine State of Mind, on July 5th 2011. If you are looking for a low-key, fun concert to go to, this is a great one for you. With supporting acts like Action Item, Hot Chelle Rae, and The Summer Set, We the Kings’ Friday is Forever Tour is entertaining and worth your time.
The first band to take the stage was Action Item. Action Item was the perfect band to kick off a nice, entertaining concert in the middle of the summer. Unfortunately, the concert started off with a foul feeling because of the extremely high temperatures in St. Louis. It broke one hundred degrees Fahrenheit easily in the middle of the day. Fans were dripping with sweat as they bared the Midwest heat for the opening of the Friday is Forever tour at Six Flags St. Louis. Thankfully, Action Item took the stage with confidence and rocked the crowd. The singer, Brian Cag, had vocals that sounded decent as they played through a few songs. One fan in the crowd mentioned that the singer has a slight resemblance for Muse’s front man Matt Bellamy. The bassist, David Buczkowski, was hilarious to watch with his amusing facial expressions. As the first band, Action Item made a statement that proved they are an up-and-coming band with a decent amount of talent supporting them.
The crowd participation was slim towards the end of Action Item’s set, but it immediately started going again when Hot Chelle Rae stepped on stage. At first, these Nashville natives appear to be hard rockers with their ripped skinny jeans and colorful tattoos, but they are anything but that. Their music has a fun, dance-rock vibe that is perfect to listen to on any summer night. All of the band members seemed genuinely pumped to play despite the scorching hot weather. They easily got the crowd going with fan favorites. The sweaty teenage bodies in the tightly packed crowd swayed from side to side during a slow song. Hot Chelle Rae was very engaging and made sure everyone was having a great time. The last song they played, “Tonight Tonight,” absolutely got the crowd pumping. Teenage fan girls were jumping up and down on the steel bleachers at the Six Flags outside arena mouthing along to every word. Hot Chelle Rae departed the stage leaving a very positive feeling.
Cheers erupted as The Summer Set took the stage after a brief break. Starting their set with their classic “The Boys You Do (Get Back At You)”, the Arizona natives sounded classy and confident. The Summer Set’s heartthrob singer, Brian Dales, was rocking skinny jeans and a flannel shirt despite the terrible heat. “Mannequin” was the next song in the set, which is off of their new record, Everything’s Fine. Barely anyone recognized the song, but it didn’t seem to faze the energetic crowd at all. The following song in the set was “Someone Like You.” Dales mentioned that this music video was released shortly before, and suggested that everyone should check it out. It is a great video and worthwhile. The popular “Punch-Drunk Love” quickly followed, and clearly pleased the mainly female audience. Brian Dales showed off his quirky dance moves as he belted out the pop song. I admit, Dales is a guilty pleasure of mine. As he slowly slipped off his flannel to show off a clean, white tee, he looked absolutely irresistible. The Summer Set played through a couple of lesser-known songs and finished with “Chelsea,” and a song off of their new album, “When We Were Young.” Fans were jumping up and down and, even though the sun was still burning, they looked thoroughly happy to have been at the concert. The Summer Set filed off the stage after a fun, entertaining set.
After a thirty-minute break and much cheering, headliners We the Kings erupted on stage. Equipped with strobe lights and winning smiles, We the Kings opened their first night on tour with “She Takes Me High.” The steady rhythm of the guitar and the constant thrusts of singer Travis Clark’s red hair immediately drew attention to the stage. As a song off of their second studio album, Smile Kid, some fans were not familiar with the lyrics, but it nonetheless successfully kicked off a great set. The nonstop energy continued with an old song, “August is Over.” Clark rocked around the stage barefoot while guitarist Hunter Thomsen constantly made eye contact with the crowd. Fans screamed “I love you Travis!” during a brief break before the band played a new song. Clark never slowed down his game as he took the compliment, and then quickly made a statement about how the weather in St. Louis reminded him of sex. Some younger fans burned with embarrassment.
The set continued with a track off Sunshine State of Mind, “Every Single Dollar.” This song exemplified a picture perfect boyfriend that makes you feel good. It is a perfect summer dance song. The fans in the crowd bobbed along to the tender music appreciatively. Following “Every Single Dollar” was a fan favorite, “All Again for You.” Clark told the crowd that fans voted online what song they wanted to hear most on tour, and “All Again for You” was a top pick. We The Kings played it gracefully.
“Friday is Forever” quickly followed. Clearly, since We the Kings named their tour after this song, it is a special one to them. This is a great single off of Sunshine State of Mind that consists of feel-good dance pop. The song was not as accepted well enough as the band might have expected. The fans surprisingly slowed down a little as unfamiliarity took hold. Fortunately, a very well liked “Stay Young” started and fans screamed in joy. For a split second it appeared to have been a Marilyn Manson concert because bodies were thrusting everywhere and bopping to the beat. Quickly, reality set in as Clark attempted to impress with a guitar solo, to which mega-fans was nice, but to others, not so much.
Clark captured the audience’s appreciation again as he started “Promise the Stars.” Even though the song itself is not impressive, the cute gestures Clark and Thomsen would give made up for the weak music. It was wonderful to hear an acoustic backing with a slight country twang. Nearly everyone in the crowd threw their arms in the air and moved them to the gentle beat. The band left the stage, and Clark then paused to explain the following song. “You and Only You” is a song off of their new album, and Clark made it clear to the crowd that the lyrics in the song were inspired from a real life experience he had. He claimed that this song was written from the bottom of his heart. It was played as a solo acoustic song, which exemplified Clark’s abilities to capture the crowd’s hearts as an individual. “You and Only You” was a gorgeous part of the set.
A new spin on a slightly older song, “Heaven Can Wait,” started to play. In the beginning, Clark stood solo with his acoustic, but by the end the rest of the band joined him back on stage. It was graceful and sounded much different from the studio version of the song. The next song in the set was “Sleep With Me” which is about exactly what the title entails. It is a song off of Sunshine State of Mind and does not impress, despite the ‘clever’ title. Fans shrieked as Clark started the first couple of chords from “Secret Valentine” and stunningly smiled. He knew that that song was a heavy crowd favorite. The piano chords picked up and We the Kings started rocking out. It seemed like every single person in the audience knew every single lyric to “Secret Valentine.” The band ended their set with a tender “We’ll Be a Dream,” and then exited the stage.
Several annoying chants started despite the obviousness that We the Kings would soon return to the stage. “One more song! One more song!” started as well as “We the Kings! We the Kings!” Some things never get old to mega-fans, clearly. Drummer, Danny Duncan, jumped back on stage and performed a first…a drum solo! It was not very impressive but it was cool to see him perform on his own. After a couple minutes the rest of the band ran back on stage with “Skyway Avenue.” As one of the best-known songs by We the Kings, high-pitched screams and gleeful jumping greeted “Skyway Avenue”. Clark’s vivaciousness brought smiles to everyone. He never stopped shagging his unforgettable, red hair.
Despite it being the encore, the pace slowed down as We the Kings tried a new song, “Say You Like Me.” About half of the audience recognized the song, so it was kind of disappointing to have it included in the encore. It is not an impressive song and should have been played earlier in the set. The band played through the song and jumped around stage in the process.
In Six Flags, concerts have extremely strict rules. It is heavily enforced to stay in your designated spot. Travis Clark completely ignored that rule and insisted that everyone had to run up to the barricade and get as close to the stage as possible. As a direct quote, “Do this before I get in trouble.” That created a positive feeling for the last song “Check Yes Juliet.” Heads were banging and bodies were jumping as the classic song played. Clark seemed to be enjoying the moment as swarms of teenage girls pressed up against the stage. The concert ended with a bang and We the Kings left the stage.
The Friday is Forever Tour is filled with perfect summer pop music. We the Kings never disappoint live and this show supported that. The show was a great mix of different types of music and talent. If this tour is heading to a city near you, grab a friend and check it out.