Last month, Youtube superstars Walk off the Earth made their third visit to Austin for an action-packed show at Stubb's Waller Creek amphitheater. Despite frigid temperatures and an unfavorable Tuesday scheduling, the venue was packed to the hilt with fans of all ages. I was lucky to attend and to have a few minutes to sit down with Sarah and Joel. We chatted about their tour and their unprecedented online success as a Youtube sensation; one of only a few who have managed to sign a record deal based on their unprecedented success on the online channel.
We've been smitten since their 2012 debut of Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know. They followed with chart-topper after chart-topper. We just can't get enough of this insta-fantastic Youtube quintet. Why?
1) They play, like, everything. I'm not kidding. I asked Sarah and Joel if there's an instrument they haven't collectively tried and they had to pause and think. They admitted they have a few new tricks up their sleeve, but were scarce on the details. "But that's kind of our thing, right? Jack of all trades, master of none." Sarah admits. I beg to differ - master of all, insomuch as their show is a masterpiece of colorful creativity, energy and unexpected turns.
2) Muppets. A number of their videos feature muppet versions of the WOTE crew, and they're PERFECT. And who doesn't want a Muppet version of themselves?
3) Happiest, most contagious energy of any show I've seen. I mean, really, they don't stop moving. They ninja-kick. They dance, they smash and smack, pluck, whirl and whistle. It's impossible to stand still watching this show. And none of that is an exaggeration.
4) Sarah and Gianni's son, Giorgio Michael, is an up-and-coming superstar, featuring in his own family-style music video singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. See below. We'd almost hate them if it weren't for how entirely wonderful his video is. Viewers beware: Heart-warming perfection ahead:
5) They give away Ukeleles at their show. Real, beautiful, autographed Walk Off The Earth Ukeleles. They made one young fan so thrilled, she cried. How's that for awesome?
6) Mike the Beard Guy. The beard. The momentous falsetto. His incredible skill on the piano... mad piano-playing so delicate and flawlessly effortless... well... he has a moment to sip a martini during their Bohemian Rhapsody piano solo. He's a madly talented pianist and I get goosebumps watching his videos. From all appearances (which are pretty easy on the eyes, just in case you hadn't noticed...) you wouldn't expect such finesse. Plus, did I mention that beard...?
7) They support and mentor up-and-coming artists, offering cameos and collaborations, and mentoring in their spare time. See the below collaboration with Canadian artist Scott Helman, who's pretty awesome in his own right, and a cover of Rise with Gabriela Bee. But, as Sarah said during our interview; "it's kind of our thing, the best way we can give back."
8) FIve of them play a full song on just one guitar. It's flawless and it's madness. Also, it's a cover of Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know and it's not only a phenomenal cover, but it got the attention and endorsement of Gotye himself, way back when. People can't stop talking about it; but for good reason. Can you name a single other band who could pull this off, humor and grace intact?
9) Hey Ya.
I don't even really need to say anything else, but if you haven't already seen my personal favorite, Walk Off The Earth's cover of Oukast's Hey Ya... well... here it is. You're welcome.
If this isn't testament enough to their incredible talent (and ability to hold their with a very unique take on "Youtube Sensation"), they're about to hit a major US and European tour in the new year. No doubt they have other equally brilliant and creative plans up their musically-inclined sleeves. Follow the band and find their Tour Schedule HERE. Don't forget to check them out on Spotify and Youtube.
Here you'll find archived band, festival and concert stories... plus blog entries from Team dRiFFt as they travel, photograph, interview and adventure!