“Wo-ohhhh-oh sing it all away! Sing it all away my darlings”
Well, that’s exactly what everyone at Walk Off The Earth’s Rock City gig was there to do.
First though, the show was opened by 20 year old Canadian singer-songwriter Scott Helman, who was introduced to WOTE’s fans when he toured with them last spring and more recently performed a cover of Can’t Feel My Face on the bands Youtube channel. Scott’s energy as a performer and the poppy catchiness of his music soon had the crowd nodding (if not singing) along. Definitely worth a listen!
Then came the long wait for the headliners. Eventually, after half an hour or more of bobbing along to Rock City’s waiting-for-the-band playlist and wondering if there was time to get to the bar and back before the band appeared, the crowd’s patience was rewarded in dramatic fashion. The music stopped. The lights went down. The smoke and lasers began. And in came a dramatic voiceover that managed to fit in every song title from Sing It All Away. And then the show started.
The set was a nice mix of the bands original songs and well known covers. First up was Gang Of Rhythm, the acoustic, folksy feel of it bringing an intimate vibe after the dramatic start. Then into Happy, which of course had everyone clapping along. The crowds energy died down a bit over the next few songs, but picked right back up again as Sarah belted into Rule The World, and everyone was up and dancing for REVO. Little Boxes was an unexpected highlight, and the drum and guitar solos during Sometimes were phenomenal. Towards the end of the set, Scott Helman reappeared on stage along with the Harpejji to perform their cover of Can’t Feel My Face, live and flawless.
WOTE love their crowd participation, making the crowd bellow out the chorus from Sing It All Away every couple of songs, so when they finally played the song itself the room absolutely burst in to life. And after all that anticipation, no one was ready for the show to end. I was genuinely worried the Rock City balcony might collapse to the pounding of feet as the crowd yelled and stomped for an encore for a solid five minutes.
And what an encore we got. Red Hands came first, and it was clear everyone had been waiting for it. Then, of course, the famous Five People On Guitar cover of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know – though this time with a twist. WOTE ran a poll on their website asking fans to vote for what they wanted to play live, and those that they couldn’t fit into the main set they squeezed into a medley, including Rude, Shake It Off, and Wrecking Ball, and a startling soprano note from Beard Guy. Finally, despite the chilly October night outside, the gig ended with Summer Vibe, complete with confetti, giant beachballs, and all the crew up on stage singing alongside the band.
Though the crowd was occasionally lacking in energy, nobody could say the same for the band. Flawless vocals, more instrument switches than you could count, and oh, those harmonies. All in all, Walk Off The Earth gave a stunning, heartfelt performance.
By Rachel Goldsmith