YouTube sensations Walk Off The Earth brought their act to Nashville last night, putting on a show at the Cannery Ballroom for a crowd of hundreds. The band of hardworking Canucks proved they were much more than five kids, a guitar, and a cover song (though they did bust out that little trick during their encore); rather, they were a complete aggregate of circus theatrics, calculated gaggles, and polished fun. Whether it be jump kicking hi-hats, coordinated dance steps, guitar tossing, stage acting, hopping or chanting, Walk Off The Earth kept the veritable juggling act alive and in time.
The group did not shy away from covers – arguably, the band’s staple – and played an eclectic mix of tunes from artists such as B.o.B., Malvina Reynolds, Fun., The Beatles, and, of course, Gotye. Each cover was re-imagined quite deftly; “Eleanor Rigby” stood out in particular accompanied by thick drum beats and distorted guitar.
In truth, Walk Off The Earth is quite capable of creating their own unique brand of genre-bent pop. They’ve got a knack for poppifying anything and everything, be it relatively straight forward like pop-rock or pop-punk or altogether left-field like reggae-pop or samba-pop.
The group’s original songs were peppered into the set as well, and they did not disappoint, being just as catchy as their covers. Hopefully, as time moves own, they’ll be able to incorporate even more of their own tunes into their performances. It would be unfortunate for a band this talented to stay beholden to what initially got them in the spotlight – namely, covers and fan interaction.
Overall, was it ostentatious? Yes. But was it entertaining? Very much so. Walk Of The Earth will definitely be fodder for cynics, curmudgeons, and anyone who likes a dose of the bitter-truth in their music, but this young band from Ontario might just have the heart and drive to go from internet to international. They might even brighten a few people’s day in the process.