Concert Review with PHOTOS: We The Kings

  Photos by Mark Derricutt

Photos by Mark Derricutt

By Mark Derricutt

Artist: We The Kings with special guests Written By Wolves and Fire For Glory

Date / Venue: Wednesday January 31st, 2018 - Kings Arms, Auckland

There I was, ready for a mundane quiet mid-week night at home when I got a message from an old school friend - he was working the We The Kings gig later that evening at Auckland's legendary Kings Arms Tavern and did I want to come? Sure! A chance to rock out and enjoy a show without the distraction of taking photos, and a chance to catch one last final performance of Written By Wolves at the KA - who could say no?

With plans set in motion, those plans lasted 15 minutes as a last-minute call out to cover the show came through, and well - since I would already be at the show…  why not - I knew I'd be kicking myself to not capture as much of these last remaining Kings Arms shows as possible.

So there I was, standing in the parking lot of the Kings Arms again, the 4th time in 7 days, it may have been the threat of an oncoming cyclone challenging the mood, but I had this weird feeling like I was visiting a dying Aunt - people gathering from all over, coming out of the woodwork for one last visit.

Like other gigs over the last few days, even before the first band had started the place was buzzing both indoors and out, and like an Aunt fighting those last fights - holding the end at bay and putting on a strong face.

First up Fire For Glory - even though these guys founded in 2011, this was an Auckland based pop-punk band I'd not encountered, or even heard of before - more evidence that our local music scene is much larger than many think — with solid grooves the guys put on a great set on a constrained tiny stage setup, Written By Wolves - the draw card for the/my evening, and as a band whose shows (and stages) have only been getting larger with each performance adapted well to the tiny constrained stage of gear setup in front of headline act We The Kings.

After a quick stage breakdown and setup - We The Kings were up, my confession here is that whilst I'd heard of We The Kings; that was only due to having seen the event listed and posters showing up around the place. I knew this was the 10th Anniversary Tour for their first album, amusing called the literal "Self Titled", and that they hadn't played here in several years  - these three facts let me know they've been around a while, had several albums, and a decent enough following/fame to call for an anniversary tour.

I won't deny that power pop/alternative isn't always a genre I gravitate towards and knowing none of the songs - I'm reviewing the show as a complete outsider here. The Kings Arms is now packed out with little breathing room at the front, within seconds of the band kicking things off bodies were jumping and dancing, already I was at a slight disadvantage for capturing photos - until I realised I was a head taller than the much younger audience I was used to.

Alternating between grabbing photos, and taking moments to enjoy the show - I found I didn't connect with any of the songs, nothing jumped out at me and saying "stop shooting, pay attention!" and I'm fine with that, the band were proficient and well versed in engaging their target audience and all evidence before me showed that they delivered on what that audience wanted.

Paring the stage down to just keys and vocals mid way through, the show took a more intimate feel before returning to the full rock show - it was here that I bowed out of the venue and made my way home to edit.

The band has now moved on, but the Kings Arms is still here, hanging on for another day - for now.

Setlist:

●      Intro

●      Check Yes Juliet

●      Headlines Read

●      Out

●      Whoa

●      All Again For You

●      August Is Over

●      The Quiet

●      Secret Valentine

●      Don't Speak Liar

●      This Is Our Town

●      Stay Young

●      Skyway Avenue

●      Just Keep

●      Breathing

●      Sad Song

●      Say You Like Me

●      Check Yes Juliet

●      Story Of Tonight

●      Remix Outro

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL WE THE KINGS GALLERY