We The Kings
w/ Cute Is What We Aim For, Plaid Brixx, Astro Lasso
San Francisco, CA
March 16, 2017
The one aspect of Social Hall that really sucks? No air conditioning whatsoever. The act of walking outside of the venue mid-show is the equivalent of going from the Earth's molten core to the North Pole in just a few seconds. It's fascinating. You'd think that the lack of cool air inside the venue, after four bands, would make people want to step outside and escape the heat.
But this wasn't the case for the excited fans that were packed wall to wall inside Social Hall, one of San Francisco's newer venues, nestled beneath the popular Regency Ballroom. Given the way that We the Kings are able to both perform and seamlessly interact with their crowd, it surprised me that they weren't playing in the upstairs ballroom.
The Florida pop-punk outfit made their stop in San Francisco just a few days ago, headlining a tour that's commemorating ten years since the release of their self-titled record. We The Kings is the album that undoubtedly set their career in motion, and ushered the band into the limelight around the same time as their peers in bands like All Time Low and Mayday Parade. The album featured two of the band's most prominently well-known, and catchy tracks: "Skyway Avenue" and "Check Yes Juliet".
The show was kicked off with opening sets from indie-pop act Astro Lasso, pop outfit Plaid Brixx, and recently reunited pop-rock outfit Cute Is What We Aim For, who arguably drew in as much of the crowd as the headliners. The latter act recently came through the Bay Area last year when they performed their debut album, The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch, in its entirety at San Francisco's Rickshaw Stop. The band sound better than they ever have, and seem to be thriving off a new energy.
While the album wasn't necessarily played in order, We The Kings made the night entirely memorable. Vocalist Travis Clark presented small anecdotes in between a number of the songs that recounted the stories behind several tracks (for example, "Secret Valentine" recounts the night that Clark gave himself to his girlfriend at the time, and he retells the story in a humorous and lighthearted way.
In addition to the record, the band threw in a number of tracks from other records, including "Say You Like Me" (Sunshine State of Mind), "Just Keep Breathing" and "I Feel Alive" (Somewhere Somehow). They even threw in a cover of Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle" for good measure (and it went over successfully with the crowd).
We The Kings have proven to themselves and their fans that ten years together can take you places you'd never thought you'd imagine. After a bit of time, you'll be able to go back to those places you visited in the beginning. When you arrive, you'll have diehard fans waiting in anticipation to sing those words you sang so many years ago, right back to you, amidst all the heat in the room.