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Mayday Parade and We the Kings rock the El Rey
Written by Brittany Woolsey   
Monday, 20 February 2012 03:51

More than 700 pop punk fans gathered at the El Rey on Saturday night for an evening filled with dancing, jokes and, of course, music. We the Kings and Mayday Parade co-headlined and performed new and old songs to the sold-out crowd on the Los Angeles stop of their “End of the World Tour.” They were also joined by supporting acts Anarbor and The Downtown Fiction.

We the Kings began their set with the energetic “She Gets Me High.” Fans jumped up and down as Travis Clark (vocals) tossed around his token long, shaggy ginger red hair and strummed his guitar. They reached their arms out to him, which wasn’t very difficult since the barrier between the stage and audience was relatively small. This created an intimacy that Clark recognized.

“This is a sold-out show,” he said. “No one could get in but you.”

When introducing the next song, “Secret Valentine,” Clark announced that the song was about “intercourse,” which may have been a tad inappropriate since a majority of the crowd seemed to be minor females. Nevertheless, Clark continued with his raunchy jokes.

“You guys give me a musical boner,” he said. And, of course, the girls in the crowd squealed with approval.

Besides original songs, We the Kings also performed two covers, “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. Clark attributed “The Middle” to “the song that started We the Kings.”

The band also played some songs for the first time in California, including “Kiss Me Last” and “Say You Like Me.”

“If you leave here without a voice, I know you had a good time,” Clark said. “If you leave with your ears bleeding, I know the person next to you had a good time.”

The crowd roared in excitement throughout We the Kings’ set, but Clark thought things could get even more energetic.

“I think this show could be better if we played ‘Check Yes, Juliet,’” Clark said.

With that, the band kicked off into their first single and had everyone in the crowd moving, a perfect way to end their set.

Before Mayday Parade approached the stage, the audience chanted for the band to come on. Moments later, the Florida-based band walked on the stage and kicked right into “When You See My Friends,” off their junior and latest self-titled album.

Mayday Parade’s set was filled with sing-alongs and crowd favorites, including “Jamie All Over,” “Kids in Love” and more. Many of the songs possessed an energetic and upbeat sound, making them also easy to dance to. Derek Sanders (vocals) shared the crowd’s energy and he constantly moved from one side of the stage to the other and swung his microphone around in the air.

However, despite the high-energy performance, something was missing ―drummer Jake Bundrick’s accompanying co-vocals. Sanders announced that Bundrick couldn’t sing because he had a blister on his vocal chords. Luckily, Jeremy Lenzo (bass) was able to perform Bundrick’s essential vocal parts.

Despite success and a sold-out performance, Mayday Parade proved they were still humble as they tossed water bottles into the crowd throughout their set. Sanders also mentioned that he visited his MySpace account for the first time in years and felt honored to have gone from only a handful of fans to worldwide fans.

The night slowed down for a bit, but not in a bad way. The rest of the band left the stage while Sanders got behind a keyboard to perform the melancholy “Miserable at Best,” which nearly everyone in attendance could be caught singing along to. Eventually, Sanders turned the microphone around so it would face the crowd, and told them to sing as loudly as they could. While the fans sang the ending chorus of the song, Sanders exited the stage as the lights dimmed to black.

Moments later, the full band returned back onto the stage for the encore. Once again, Sanders returned to his keyboard, but this time with a full band behind him, to play “Stay.” The crowd responded by continuing to sing along into the closing song “Jersey.”

“Thanks [Los Angeles] for being our home away from home,” Sanders said before announcing that they would be returning this summer on the Vans Warped Tour.



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