Pittsburgh Emo Night

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We the Kings

We the Kings

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We the Kings is an American pop-punk band that has been making waves in the music scene since forming in Bradenton, Florida in 2005. The band consists of Travis Clark on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Hunter Thomsen on lead guitar and backing vocals, Charles Trippy on bass, and Coley O’Toole on keyboards and rhythm guitar. Over the past 17+ years, We the Kings has released six studio albums and numerous hit singles that have earned them a devoted fanbase.

The Early Days of We the Kings

The story of We the Kings began when the four original members – Travis Clark, Hunter Thomsen, Drew Thomsen, and Danny Duncan – met while attending Martha B. King Middle School in Bradenton. They initially formed a band called Broken Image before changing their name to We the Kings. The band’s moniker pays homage to their middle school.

In 2007, after building buzz on PureVolume, We the Kings signed with S-Curve Records. That same year they released their self-titled debut album, which included the smash hit “Check Yes Juliet.” The song peaked at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified platinum in Australia. Speaking about the early success of “Check Yes Juliet”, frontman Travis Clark told Alternative Press, “That song put us on the map and changed our lives forever.”

Smile Kid Brings More Success for We the Kings

We the Kings continued their upward momentum with the release of their second album, Smile Kid, in 2009. The pop-punk album featured the popular singles “Heaven Can Wait” and “We’ll Be a Dream” featuring Demi Lovato. “We’ll Be a Dream” peaked at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 and exposed the band to an even wider audience. Reflecting on collaborating with Lovato, Clark said to MTV News, “When it came time for the female guest appearance, Demi was the first one we thought of. Her voice is just so powerful and emotional. She really brought the song to life.”

The band heavily toured in support of Smile Kid, landing opening slots for big names like All Time Low and appearances at major festivals like Vans Warped Tour. By the end of the album cycle, We the Kings had firmly established themselves as rising stars in the pop-punk scene.

Sunshine State of Mind and More Hit Singles

We the Kings’ third studio album, Sunshine State of Mind, arrived in the summer of 2011. It became their highest charting album to date, debuting at #45 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album’s lead single “Say You Like Me” was another hit for the band, peaking at #32 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart and going gold in Australia.

The innovative music video for “Say You Like Me”, which allowed fans to upload themselves into the video, won the O Music Award for Most Innovative Music Video in 2012. “It was such a cool and different way for us to engage with our fans,” Clark told Rock Sound about the groundbreaking video. “They literally got to be a part of our music, which is what it’s all about.”

Branching Out With New Sounds

On the band’s next two albums, 2013’s Somewhere Somehow and 2015’s Strange Love, We the Kings began experimenting with their sound and exploring other genres beyond their pop-punk roots. Singles like “Just Keep Breathing”, “Find You There” and “Sad Song” featured more electronic, synth-pop elements. While some fans missed the pure pop-punk of their earlier work, the band saw it as a necessary evolution. “I think we’d be doing ourselves and the fans a disservice if we kept writing the same songs over and over,” Clark told Alternative Press. “We have to keep pushing ourselves creatively.”

The band revisited their original sound with 2017’s Self Titled Nostalgia, which featured re-recorded versions of songs from their debut album in honor of its 10th anniversary. They also released the new song “Planes, Trains and Cars.” Trippy told Rock Sound the album “reinvigorated” the band and made them excited to get back to their pop-punk origins.

We the Kings in 2023 and Beyond

The four-piece’s most recent album, 2023’s Six, arrived four years after the release of their 2018 sixth studio record. The band took their time making Six, independently releasing it after a crowdfunding campaign that allowed fans to have their faces featured on the album cover. “This is the most We the Kings record we’ve ever made,” Clark stated in an interview with Alternative Press. “The fans have been with us since day one and Six is a real celebration of that.”

As of 2023, We the Kings continues to be a successful fixture in the pop-punk community. With a devoted fanbase and an impressive string of hit songs and albums under their belt, it’s clear this Florida-grown band has made a real impact over the past two decades. Looking ahead, We the Kings seems poised to keep making their catchy, heartfelt brand of pop-punk for many more years to come. As Clark told Kerrang!, “We’re never going to stop, as long as there are fans out there singing our songs.”

We the Kings Pittsburgh Area Concert History

The Club at Stage AE
March 2, 2017 6:30 pm
The Club at Stage AE
August 25, 2013 6:30 pm
Altar Bar
April 29, 2010 6:30 pm
Diesel Club Lounge
March 5, 2008 6:30 pm

We the Kings Merch in Our Store

We the Kings Songs Played at Emo Night

The Best Part

Check Yes, Juliet