By Jake Rage, Rock At Night Orlando
Last night I was fortunate to be assigned to cover two bands at the HOB’s in Orlando. For me, honesty is always the best policy. A lot of times I hear about upcoming bands and don’t have a clue about them. I had heard that WALK OFF THE EARTH and TESSA VIOLET were coming to the House of Blues. I quickly checked out WIKI, Youtube as well as speaking to some friends who had more knowledge about the bands. Believe me, when I say nothing anything I read, watched or heard from friends had prepared me for what turned out to not just be a show, but to be an event!
The crowd was mixed with children and adults and everyone was excited for the show to start. I was able to speak to people while we were waiting. Each one kept telling when I asked about the bands, “just wait”. Tessa Violet started the show along with her drummer, she introduced as “Jessica”. Wearing a bright yellow jump suit and having hair color to match, I watched as she quickly engaged the crowd. I see many concerts and people always ask me to describe the artist, the music genre, etc. Wow, get ready. Tessa Violet is a cross between Mr. Rogers, Minnie Mouse and Kurt Cobain. Yes, Kurt Cobain. Armed with only a drummer and a guitar it’s obvious this singer/songwriter is so much more than meet’s the eye. I’m not going to go into detail about her background but there isn’t much Tessa Violet hasn’t achieved in her young life. Take a minute and read her bio and be ready to be amazed. She isn’t just a singer with a guitar. She is an old soul who very simply draws the crowd in through solid, fun, engaging music and lyrics. I guarantee if Tessa Violet has a middle name, it’s “FUN”. It was obvious she performed all of the fan favorites since the entire crowd was singing along with most of it. She ended the set with the song “CRUSH”, off her latest CD BAD IDEAS. The band WALK OFF THE EARTH couldn’t have opened with a more appropriate artist than Tessa Violet. I have no doubt she will continue to grow her fanbase an keep creating more amazing music!
After a short set change our head liner made their way to the stage. In case you are not familiar with the band WALK OFF THE EARTH, let me give you a short introduction. The band is from Canada and comprised of:
Ryan Marshall – Guitar/Harmonica/Trumpet/Bass/Vocals
Gianni Luminati – Bass/Drums/Guitar/Ukulele/Vocals
Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor – Keys, Vocals
Joel Cassady – Drums/Percussion/Samples
Sarah Blackwood – Ukelele / Guitar / Vocals / Percussion
The band started in 2006. In 2012, the band covered Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”. That cover received 175 million views on You Tube in 4 months. The rest is history.
When I was attempting to come up with a catchy title to this review, so many thoughts popped into my head. After watching this band perform, I really didn’t know where to start. My first thought was “The Apocalypse of Fun” but it still wouldn’t begin to describe their show. So rather not to worry about the title I will list what happened during their performance last night at the HOB’s.
I watched Ninja’s do battle. I listened as the band asked everyone in the venue to be silent. They then–without any type of amplification–performed a few songs acoustically. Amazing doesn’t begin to describe that experience. I saw the band simultaneously perform together using one single instrument, and to be honest, as a musician, I still have not clue what it’s called. I listened to the band perform using various instruments made from hose, and other house hold items in the most ingenious ways. I was encouraged to perform the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” with only Mike “The Beard Guy” Taylor on piano along with everyone else in the HOB’s. I watched band members pass use, pass and then toss instruments into the air while a crew member caught that instrument left the stage and then brought back another instrument to add during the same song.
I watched as “Adam” was brought on stage as part of a contest he had one, only to see him drop to one knee and propose to his girlfriend. Yes she accepted. I watched an amazing synchronized musical performance and light show with a band that never missed a beat or made a mistake. Finally I was able to attend New Year’s Eve early complete with fog cannons, confetti cannons and massive balloons which were dropped during the performance. As far as songs performed, I have included a song set list but I can assure you the band sang at lease 30 other songs not part of that set list. I watched the very scary “Beard Guy”stop and start songs at various points in the most hilarious way. Again I don’t know how to describe what I witness last night other than to say it might be the greatest performance in the universe. If you have the chance to see WALK OFF THE EARTH, drop any plans you have and go. Each member of this band is so individually talented yet together they have created the most elaborate, synchronized, harmonious musical performance I have seen. I have watched their videos haven’t stopped listening to them since last night. Believe me, as amazing as those are, nothing will prepare you for WALK OFF THE EARTH LIVE!!!!!
WALK OFF THE EARTH–FACEBOOK
WALK OFF THE EARTH–WEBSITE
His work resume runs from working in a locked psychiatric ward,to producing national television commercials. There was a lapse in creativity for the last few years until he once again decided to pick up a digital camera, and the rest is history. Combining his love for music and photography has been a rewarding surprise.
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