Five people, one
guitar. WHAT? It’s hard to comprehend what we all just witnessed. Tonight will definitely sit right at the front of the memory banks.
If you haven’t heard of Walk Off The Earth, then i hope it was cosy under that rock you called a home. The Canadian powerhouse quintet took the world by storm a few years back with their unique rendition of Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’. Google it, it’s spectacular. Since then, many songs have been written, a plethora of cover songs given the WOTE treatment and their unique styling put upon it all. Tonight is an eclectic mix of all of the above.
WOTE-lings (as we are affectionately known) are much like the band’s signature stylings, a mix of everyone from hipsters, to metalheads, right through to even the most seasoned of musical aficionados.
As we squeeze ourselves into the confines of The Tivoli, it becomes apparent that a band of this calibre could not play any other venue in Brisbane. Brooding in anticipation for the feast upon the senses we are about to have bestowed upon us, The Tiv provides the perfect atmosphere for a musical buffet of epic proportions.
Kicking things off tonight and taking hold of us with both hands is Melbourne local Chris Watts. Using a unique blend of indie-pop and folk styles, this guy has some stellar tunes and a great set of lungs to boot. Giving the crowd the perfect warm up with everything from soul driven funk to mellow, lullaby-like strummings, it’s a great credit to WOTE and the promoter for bringing this talented young local into the spotlight. He rounds out his set with a fantastic duet with local Amy Sheppard that leaves the crowd cheering for more. Stay tuned for what promises to be a great career for this Victorian.
It’s hard to know where this band of minstrels will start with such a wide array of instruments at their disposal (i’m sure Pink Floyd never had this many when they were on tour). They kick off in true WOTE fashion, with a rendition of Ed Sheerans ‘Shape Of You’ played without fault on PVC tubing of various lengths and diameters (check out the Youtube video). THIS is something to truly behold as it shows the skill they have perfected over the years.
Encompassing their many hits, the crowd chants back to the band ‘Ohh oh. Sing it all away, sing it all away my darlin’!!!!’ (the WOTE-ling anthem/catchphrase). The captive audience screams in anticipation as their latest single ‘Taekwondo’ kicks off. CO2 cannons go off at the peak of the song and a choreographed fight between two of the band members entertains the masses further. Giving us the WOTE equivalent of Adele’s ‘Hello’ and Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’, it’s easy to see why this band has such a strong following. A heavily pregnant Sarah shows that she has more talent in her little toe than most would ever dream to possess over a lifetime. Gianni demonstrates to the crowd that he can play ANY instrument and has a voice that is the envy of so many vocalists the world over. Ryans skill with anything from a guitar to a trumpet, right through to the glockenspiel is astounding to say the least. He plays with such soul, such passion (as they all do), he manipulates instruments to his will that it makes it look like he was born with a PhD in musicality.
Rounding out the main setlist with the ultimate in crowd participation, WOTE leads a sing-along worthy of their performance, their song of choice,Queens ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. As the huddled masses sing at the top of their lungs, the energy within the Tivoli is more electric than when the night first started. THIS is the way live music should be, raw, soul filling and emotionally charged.
Encores are something that is expected these days, in the past, we were extremely lucky to get a few extra songs to top off our night. Tonight however, it’s hard to imagine anything to that will make this night more memorable. Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Taylor takes the stage once more in a visual spectacular of superior quality, leading the audience in what appears to be a conjuring to get the other members back on stage. BOOM! All members suddenly appear on stage and launch full tilt into their smash hit ‘Red Hands’ much to the crowds delight. Rounding out the night with what i personally was waiting for, we all bear witness to something truly amazing. 5 people, one guitar and one of the greatest medleys that spans from Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ to Lorde’s ‘Royals’ and right on through to The Temptations ‘My Girl’. This is definately a lot to take in as you’re not only trying to enjoy the music, but also trying to work out the pure logistics of how they make something of this magnitude work.
We all emerge from The Tivoli in awe of what we have just witnessed. Full to the brim in heart mind and soul, we anticipate the return of Walk Off The Earth to our shores as we surely will be talking about this performance until the next time they assault our senses. There is certainly a lot of happy little WOTE-lings in Brisbane right now.