WTK Leave Skyway Avenue for Lake Street

Nicole Battista

Spring Weekend 2014 was rocked by the self proclaimed “pop awesome, rock awesome, alternative awesome” band, We the Kings.

Opening acts included Dustin Drevitch and the Electric Gentle- men, a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Wilkes-Barre Pa., and A Fire With Friends, a rock and roll band from Scranton, Pa.

Travis Clark, lead singer and guitarist, described his band as fun. That is exactly how the atmosphere of the Anderson Sports and Health Center was Friday night.

Fans cheered as a recording came on, sounding like an old record.

“When the world falls into pieces, you will be the one voice of reason, when I cannot face all my demons, you are the one I believe in.”

On the words “believe in,” the band walked onto the stage. They began singing the first track on their fourth album, Somewhere Somehow, “Queen of Hearts.”

The band continued on to play 15 other songs from all four albums, We the Kings, Smile Kid, Sunshine State of Mind and Somewhere Somehow, including, “We’ll Be a Dream” and “Skyway Avenue.”

Clark instructed the crowd to perform two new dance moves, the “sorority squat” and “the inflatable arm man” during the song, “I Feel Alive.”

The crowd bent down just before the chorus came in, and when Clark sang, “I Feel Alive,” the crowd jumped into the air and waved their arms around.

Band members encouraged the audience to “put your hands up” throughout the night.

The band included a cover song in their set “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World.

Clark said that the song was the reason that the band was started. “I was at a show with Blink 182, Green Day and Jimmy Eat World. Jimmy Eat World was performing ‘The Middle” and all the girls in the crowd had that melting look on their faces. I went home and called my friends saying, ‘I want to start a band because I want a girl friend really bad. We have to start a band.’ We the Kings was started the next day.”

When asked why We the Kings have so many love songs, Clark said he was a hopeless romantic and that he writes what he knows. “I am in love. “

Fans sang and screamed and jumped around all night long.

The band closed with the popular hit, “Check Yes Juliet.”

Coley O’Toole, who plays keyboard and rhythm guitar as well as does backup vocals for We the Kings said that Somewhere, Somehow has more maturity than previous albums.

Clark, lead singer and guitarist of We the Kings said that Some- where Somehow “felt like it was perfect for the moment that we are living right now.”

The album includes influences of hip hop, rock, and pop.

The band created the album, Somewhere Somehow, through an Indiegogo campaign, similar to Kickstarter. The album was completely funded by donations.

The goal of the campaign was to raise $35,000 in 30 days. Clark said that the goal was reached in just one day. The band raised $150,000 for the new album.

The band has many plans for touring this summer. After Misericordia, We the Kings traveled to New York. They will then travel overseas to Great Britain, Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines before returning to the States to play the summer-long cross country festival, the Vans Warped Tour.

“We have a new album out so we just tour and tour and tour until no one wants to hear the new songs anymore,” Clark said. After that, the process starts again in working on brand new songs.

Clark said that the hardest part of being in a band is “maintaining endurance without losing sanity.” He used the Vans Warped Tour as an example, saying that the tour goes on for 28 shows/days with one rest day followed by 21 shows with three rest days afterwards.

“Your body wears, your voice goes, your muscles cramp, and you get dehydrated,” Clark said, explaining the physical exhaustion of tour.

O’Toole said that the exhaustion does not hit until they have a few days off to unwind.

“I go into hibernation for three days,” Clark said.

While it is important to catch up on rest, the band does constantly work on new material.

Clark said that if he could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, he would like to work with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, George Harrison of the Beatles, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Bob Marley and Megan Fox.

The band loves pizza and Mexican food. O’Toole said that finding a good Mexican restaurant on tour is essential.

Both Clark and O’Toole shared the best piece of advice they have received and would like to pass on to their fans. The advice came from their fathers. O’Toole said to not let anyone try to hurt you.

“People will bully you in other ways. It is not necessarily bullying you because they can or they want to, but people try to control you when they see a weakness and you can’t let that happen in life.”

Clark said that his father told him to follow his own idea of success.

His father said that success could mean money and cars, fame and popularity.

“’If that is what you think you deserve, go for it. But if you have any of my blood, you will be just so happy with seeing the world and being with people you love.”

The other stuff came, you know, the fame came, being known enough to be able to do this, but what really made me feel successful was that I was happy.”

Clark said that happiness is a positive and powerful tool.

“No matter what happens in the world, if you are happy as you are right now, there is nothing that can bring you down.”

Check out We the Kings on Warped Tour this summer at the Toyota Pavilion in Scranton on Wednesday, July 9.

Special thanks to We the Kings, A Fire With Friends and Dustin Drevitch and the Electric Gentle- men for performing at the very first concert at MU.

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