Walk Off The Earth came together in Burlington, Ontario, Canada in the mid-2000s. Made up of multi-instrumentalists Ryan Marshall, Gianni Luminati, Mike Taylor, Joel Cassidy and Sarah Blackwood, the group has grown its popularity steadily ever since with their eccentric and often complex covers of pop favorites.
The group’s bio on Spotify hails them as “one part folk-pop, one part sketch group and one part quirky musical experimenters.”
They have taken the Top Hits of our time and applied their acoustic and rock roots to create stunning reworkings over and over again.
With their 2018 release, NOMAD, they have also revealed a heavier, EDM influence that I couldn’t wait to see alongside their previous work.
I had the chance to catch the band live at the Masonic in San Francisco last week and on stage, they apply that style in a show unlike any I had ever seen.
The visual spectacle of the show included plenty of vibrant light displays against a black background bearing the band’s name. The simple setup highlighted the individual members and their varying contributions to each track throughout the night.
With trademark group instruments, including the group guitar performance that helped propel them to stardom with their cover of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know, and a four-person kazoo used for The Chainsmoker’s Closer, as well as the constant back-and-forth tossing of instruments across the stage and plenty of raw emotion in every individual performance, this show really had it all.
To cap the night, Luminati added one final note to the crowd.
“It’s cliche to say ‘this is my favorite town,’ but San Francisco, this is the fucking town. This is the place,” he said.
Then the background fell away to reveal one of the group’s unofficial mantras, stemming from the title of their 2015 track Sing It All Away, and massive balloons dropped from overhead.
Yep. Massive balloons. What more could you ask for?
Follow Walk Off The Earth on:
Photos and story by Aaron Nelson