Monday, June 11, 2012

Concert Review: We The Kings Make Manila Go Wild!

We The Kings Make Manila Go Wild!
Written by Jhoanne Mariano and Jamie Ortega
Photos by Jep Señir(Photo Pit Manila)

After performing at the Ayala Live event last year, power pop band We The Kings returned to the Philippines on May 28, 2012 to headline their own show at Hard Rock Café in Makati. There’s no denying the popularity of the band in the country, the words We The Kings and Travis Clark often become trending topics on social networking site Twitter. True enough, the energy of the fans (of all ages, we might add) was palpable the night of the concert.

                One can tell how much fans like a band when they are in sync with the performers despite technical problems, which was exactly what happened when front act December Avenue set foot on stage performing a slew of tunes that effectively warmed up the audience. Thefans warnly welcomed the band and rocked along to their tunes despite several technical glitches.

                By the time the front act was done, the crowd became even more eager for the main act to start. Roars and screams began to emanate from every corner of Hard Rock Café by the time We The Kings set foot on stage. All of the fans were undeniably pumped and ready for the night to be filled with the band’s undoubtedly fun-filled repertoire. The band kicked the show off with the tune “She Takes Me High,” “Skyway Avenue” and “What You Do To Me” as the venue began to burst with enthusiasm and ecstasy; the crowd going into a frenzy as they started jumping and singing the lyrics back to them.

                Soon it was one song after the other, What You Do To Me, Kiss Me Last, Friday Is Forever, and Every Single Dollar, songs chock full of anthemic guitar riffs, supersized melodies, and bleeding heart lyrics that are all part of the band’s signature sound. The crowd’s energy didnt’ falter one bit when the band sang “All Again for You” followed by “Secret Valentine.” Performing “We’ll Be A Dream” without Demi Lovato gave the band a chance to “make beautiful music,” with homegrown talent Juliann Savard,  who is the vocalist of her own band, Save Me Hollywood.
Clark then decided to take it a notch lower by performing the first half of “Heaven Can Wait” with an acoustic guitar together with  bassist  Charles Trippy, a feat that was eventually finished off by the entire band. Another fun highlight of the night was when drummer Danny Duncan showed off his rapping abilities, a skill which delighted the crowd to no end. This was followed by the band’s latest single Say You Like Me.

Some people may call it cheesy or scripted, but for this writer she finds it touching when foreign acts learn our native language. These artists perform at more than a hundred countries so when they make an effort to learn Tagalog, well, it’s delightful. Travis did just that, showing off his newly acquired Tagalog skills by saying words such as “Astig kayo!” and “Mahal namin kayo!” which was then followed by more cheering from the fans and an on-the-spot jam session with the crowd chanting “Astig, astig, astig!”as the band free styled  with Travis even rapping! The lead vocalist also said other things that,made their Filipino fans adore him even more statements like , “Bands come and go … but we really feel like this is our second home”.

The band performed “The Middle”, cover from Jimmy Eat World and lastly, their biggest hit to date, the ever famous “Check Yes Juliet” for the finale. The crowd gave it their all during the finale song – jumping and singing their hearts out as if the past few hours of dancing and rocking out didn’ do anything to their energy. Hopefully, the band comes back to their “second home” very soon, the rush that the band and the crowd felt during We The Kings’ first performance here in Manila several months ago was nothing compared to what was felt  that night’s show. Special thanks to Dayly Entertainment and Built By Sonic for making this event possible!

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