15 September 2012

Clap Off Your Hands!

From the time I started to discover Walk Off the Earth via YouTube (their channel), I suspected that they would put on a very good show. When I discovered that Montréal was on their tour roster, I knew I had to see them. Not having actually gone to a concert as such in a long time, I made two friends accompany me. (Images, except those of my ticket and the bad far away ones I took with my phone, stolen from their Facebook page.)

Those friends might not forgive me for the warm-up act, who were probably not as bad as we thought they were last night (allow me to be charitable here, will you?). They didn't really announce their name, or at least not clearly, but I gather from the end of their "performance" (I guess the charity's gone!) that it was something like Trouble Your Daughter, or Warn Your Daughter Not to See This Band, or something like that. I kid. They have a lot of development of their act to do, and the WOTE performance they warmed us up for only served to drive that point home.

From their entry onto the stage to a deafening roar of the crowd, Walk Off the Earth gave us a really polished and entertaining performance. Little things like some choreographed moves and what looks like a real group spirit make all the difference to a show. I knew from their videos that I could expect a ukulele or two to be tossed around, but I was rewarded with thrown trumpet, harmonica and guitar as well!

I probably started liking this group because I think Marshall is as cute as a button. You'll be able to pick out which one he must be because I'm not all that unique in my tastes. But the best thing for me has been coming to appreciate the individual talents of the whole group, as well as what seems to be their excellent group dynamic. You'll be in awe of their multi-instrumental talent, but most of all, you'll feel good after listening to them.

I'm not going to be able to do an adequate job of describing the concert, so I'm going to have to share a couple of videos with you. The thing about this is that the live performance is even better because it is just as polished and you know it isn't having a bunch of re-takes. Imagine their performance of Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know with five of them on one guitar. Here's my fuzzy picture of them doing it live, followed by the YouTube video that has now been seen over 135 million times.


The funniest thing I have to note is the incredible change in the behaviour of concert-goers over time. I went to a fair number of concerts in the time of the lighter held high, burning a message of "we love what you're doing" into the air. You can see in my fuzzy photo the cell phones recording, and it was impressive to see all the phones get lifted simultaneously at certain points in time. And to further demonstrate how old I am (we did figure that we were among the oldest people there, but not the only ones our age), it was lovely to see a concert in a space that was not full of smoke. The kids won't understand what that might have been like.

I haven't gone on nearly enough, so I'm going to do that by sharing a couple more videos. One of their newish songs really got the crowd going: Summer Vibe.

It's a calm and almost lazy song, but the crowd was involved as we were invited to sing along and provided with lyrics printed on big pieces of cardboard like flashcards.

It worked, too, as this was a refrain taken up by the crowd to incite the first of two encores.

And in the encores, one of my personal faves. It's a mocking of an auto-tuned news story that you may or may not remember from the past year, and it didn't look exactly like this video. It was very well translated to the stage and gave me occasion to whoop my approval and enjoyment from my balcony perch.

All in all, I'm very glad I went to this concert and I'm looking forward to this group's talent and creativity being around for a long time.

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