By SPENCER ABROHMS For The News-Letter
Rock band We The Kings played a dynamic set on the Beach this Thursday as a part of this year's Hoptoberfest festivities. Since the concert occurred smack in the middle of midterm season, the performance also provided the opportunity for a couple hundred students to leave the Brody Learning Commons, meet with friends and enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon.
The Floridian rock band is best known for their debut album's platinum single “Check Yes Juliet,” which was released in 2007, when most Hopkins students were in their early teens. As a result, the concert permitted many students the chance to finally fulfill their middle school fantasies of seeing the band live.
We The Kings — composed of band members Travis Clark, Hunter Thomsen, Danny Duncan, Charles Tippey and Coley O'Toole — performed many of their hit songs from their first two albums, We The Kings (2007) and Smile Kid (2009), including “Secret Valentine” and “We’ll Be a Dream.” However, the band also threw in a few covers of popular rock songs to diversify their set including “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World.
Because much of the audience was not familiar with the band’s more recent music, the audience’s energy was a bit lacking at times. Still, lead singer Travis Clark worked to keep the audience engaged and energized.
While many students chose to sit in the grass and relax for the duration of the concert, Clark was able to attract a sizable standing section along the stage's fence. He joked about termites that would bite those sitting down and promised to include clips of the Hopkins student who acted the craziest in the band’s newest music video.
We The Kings also invited students join them up on stage. Clark even gave one student the microphone and invited her to sing along to “Don’t Stop Believing."
Midway through the concert, Clark had the audience participate in a choreographed dance to the band’s song “I Feel Alive” that he described as a combination of the “sorority squat” and an inflatable arm man. While many audience members were skeptical at first, Clark’s dance allowed them to let loose and go crazy.
Clark played to their crowd, hinting throughout the concert “Check Yes Juliet” by referencing a girl named Juliet. The tactic got many audience members excited and brought them off their feet and up to the stage. But when they realized that he was not yet ready to sing the highly anticipated song, many returned to their seats.
Clark also kept the audience engaged through humor and anecdotes. In one particularly humorous analogy, Clark compared the sexual nature of his song “Secret Valentine” to playing Tetris for the first time.
We The Kings closed out the concert by finally giving the audience what they wanted and performing “Check Yes Juliet.” The performance helped We the Kings to finally achieve their goal: the whole audience on their feet and dancing.