We The Kings
The annual Take Action Tour stopped in Toronto on a snowy evening of February 2nd at The Phoenix Concert Theatre. Every year Hopeless Records/Sub City puts up the tour to spread a positive message among young music fans to take action and support good causes, this year’s focused charity is Driving For Donors. This year’s line up includes Call The Cops, There For Tomorrow, A Rocket To The Moon, Mayday Parade and We The Kings. Unfortunately, the opener Call The Cops could not make it across the border and missed the show. Lacking one band was not the only thing that went wrong that night, the venue had a mandatory coat check policy that forces concert goers to check the coats prior entering the stage area. Sadly the coat check stations were not able to receive the hefty amount of fans in time and the first band There For Tomorrow began before most fans went inside for their set.
There For Tomorrow
It is a shame for the people who missed them as There For Tomorrow is an excellent band. The Florida quartet includes lead singer/guitarist Maika Maile, guitarist Christian Climer, bassist Jay Enriquez and Chris Kamrada on drums. Although the crowd was small, the lack of people did not dampen the band’s spirit to give an amazing set. They put up an energetic set with songs from their debut full-length A Little Faster such as “Backbone”, “Stories”, “Sore Winner”, “The Remedy”. They also performed their older songs like “Pages” and “No More Room To Breathe”. Towards the end of the set when the crowd started pouring in and fill the room, the band got the audience to pump their fist up in the air for their last song “A Little Faster”.
A Rocket To The Moon
Next on the bill was A Rocket To The Moon, whom was just in town back in November as part of the OP Tour with Boys Like Girls. It has only been three months andthe short absence definitely makes the fans’ heart grow fonder. In fact, since the band’s first visit to Toronto for the Spring AP Tour in May 2009, they have been back every couple months or so. In less than a year, it was already the band’s fourth visit. Judging by the sound the crowd gave when the quartet walked on stage, Toronto loves A Rocket To The Moon (or maybe the new hairstyles that bassist Eric Halvorsen and guitarist Justin Richard got). Lead singer/guitarist Nick Santino got on stage with his blue flower glittery guitar and kicked off the sweet set with hit single Dakota and moved on to songs from their debut full-length On Your Side like “She’s Killing Me”, “Annabelle”. For the adorable love song “Baby Blue Eyes”, Santino brought out an acoustic guitar and the audience promptly launched into an singalong. The band ended their set with melodic “Mr. Right” leaving the fans wanting for more.
Like ARTTM, the next band Mayday Parade was also in Toronto back in November for the Fall Ball. Last time, the band’s sophomore full-length has just been out for about a month and thankfully this time around, the band was able to play more new songs than just the singles. Mayday Parade had their signature ego risers and Glamour Kills sponsored backdrop readied and the members took their spots one by one. Opening the crazy set was the angry post-breakup song “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?” with the intense guitar solo that showcases Mayday Parade’s talents and songwriting abilities. Lead singer Derek Sanders, guitarists Alex Garcia and Brooks Betts, bassist/backing vocalist Jeremy Lenzo made great uses of the stage and the risers, they kept rotating positions as if standing in one spot too long will hurt them or something. In addition to the hit singles “Kids In Love”, “The Silence” and “Anywhere But Here”, the band performed “Get Up” from their new album, an inspiring pop song that had the crowd going crazy and the floor shaking. Although drummer Jake Bundrick remains seated at the back with his drums, he also doubles as backing vocals. The soft song “I Swear This Time I Mean It” replaced “Miserable At Best” as the acoustic pick for the night. As it is still a rather new song, not many people sang along to it as they had at the Fall Ball when Derek played “Miserable At Best” on keyboard. Other than the new songs, the band also performed fans favorites “Jamie All Over”, “Black Cat” and “When I Get Home, You’re So Dead”.
We The Kings
Thankfully We The Kings finally returns to Toronto with a sophomore album after touring relentlessly for the past couple years, honestly it has been getting boring to see them without some new materials. The Florida quartet features lead singer/guitarist Travis Clark, brothers Hunter and Drew Thomsen respectively on guitar and bass plus Danny Duncan in charge of drum duties. The band came on stage under flashing strobes and fog, starting the longest set of the night with their new single “She Takes Me High”. Mixing it the new with the old, the band also played Stay Young, Skyway Avenue and an acoustic All Again For You that launched into a full band performance. In the middle of the set Travis started telling a story of how he accidentally found himself in a ghetto in Atlanta once and the origin of the We The Kings gang sign, explaining to audience that “a ghetto is no place for a redhead like myself.” The new songs they played were “We’ll Be A Dream”, “Promise The Stars”, “Heaven Can Wait”, “Summer Love” and “The Story Of Your Life”. The band has a tradition to play a cover song during their set, last time they were here they played “The Middle” originally by Jimmy Eat World. However, Travis explained that they wanted to play something different so they performed “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers instead (which they also have performed on the Secret Valentine Tour in March 09). It made a great atmosphere as everyone sang along and enjoyed themselves. It was also not a surprise when the set closed with “Check Yes Juliet”, the band’s biggest hit.
We The Kings
We The Kings
Text and photos by Jessie Lau
Translated by Jaime Chu