PALMETTO -- Platinum-selling pop-punk band We the Kings are returning to the Bradenton area for a special concert.
The band's sixth annual Hometown Holiday Show will be a free performance Dec. 27 at The Hall in Palmetto.
We the Kings sold out previous shows at the 950-capacity Manatee County venue.
"We wanted to do something where we could give back," said singer/guitarist Travis Clark. "Christmas time is really damaging on peoples' wallets and we didn't want anyone worrying about buying a ticket. It's our friends and family and only seems right to give back to the community.
"We're expecting an absolutely packed and wild party," Clark added. "Each year it gets better and better."
Boyce Avenue, a rock band that formed in Sarasota and released the album "All that We Have Left" through Universal in 2010, is also scheduled to perform during the four-hour concert that starts at 7 p.m.
"They're amazing guys and really good friends of
ours and super talented," Clark said. "They have the same hometown pride that we do."
Clark, who grew up in Bradenton and has a house here, moved to Hollywood about four months ago.
"It's eye-opening but also reminds you how amazing Bradenton is," he said by phone as he made his way to the California Pizza Kitchen on Hollywood Boulevard. "As far as the music industry goes, this is where I need to be."
What about his home here?
"My first house is in Bradenton and I'll never sell it," he said. "Our drummer Danny Duncan holds it down for me."
Before signing to a major record label, touring the globe and moving to Los Angeles, Clark graduated from Manatee High School in 2003.
The front man, along with his We the Kings band mates Hunter Thomsen (guitar, backing vocals) and Duncan, grew up in Bradenton and attended King Middle School, where the band got its name.
Last year, the members of Bradenton's nationally acclaimed band were honored by the Manatee County Commission with "We the Kings Day." The group's many accomplishments include the hit single "Check Yes Juliet," which has garnered about 14 million views on YouTube and sold more than 1 million copies.
We the Kings' next big hit could come from a soundtrack.
Clark's "The Art of War" is a song the band recorded for the highly anticipated "Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire" that's expected to open next November.
"We're taking meetings with all the 'Hunger Games' people and it seems very positive right now," Clark said. "Hearing our song on a movie like that is just going to be incredible."
We the Kings has actually recorded several songs recently in Los Angeles. Bradenton fans will get to hear them first on Dec. 27.
"I like to play brand new songs for our family and friends in the 941," Clark said. "It's nice to be able to release music in your hometown."
Details: The We The Kings Hometown Holiday Show will be first come first serve at the door to receive free tickets. Meet and greet tickets will be available for $50 and include early entry and a meet and greet with We The Kings. Meet and greet tickets can be purchased only at Georgia Carpet World, 5425 14th St., Bradenton, during normal business hours. Information: 941-758-4425.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.