Concert Review: Tegan and Sara & Walk Off The Earth

93.9 The River’s Winter Icebreaker Concert
Wednesday, December 11, 2013: The Fillmore, Detroit, Michigan

I like to joke around that: if Twitter had a lotto Jessica would win! She scored us general admission tickets to see Tegan and Sara, featuring Walk Off The Earth. Honestly, I hadn’t ever really paid attention to Walk Off The Earth. I don’t listen to the radio much, so I did a quick search and recognized their viral YouTube video of them playing Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”. I was, however, excited to see Tegan and Sara again!

The stage grew dark, music started to play, and the audience was held in anticipation. Walk Off The Earth walked out on stage and jumped right into their high-energy show. They have a folk-country sound with alternative guitar solos, tossing in some reggae here and there to make it unique. All of them play a handful of instruments (banjos, guitars, percussion, bells, tambourines, etc.)—throwing them into the air to each other and off stage. Gianni Luminati impressed me with his rap and beatboxing skills. I couldn’t take my eyes off their bearded, long-haired bassist wearing a shirt that said “the damn truth” ripping through guitar solos throughout the show. They slowed down the night and brought the Christmas spirit into the venue by singing their version of “Little Drummer Boy”. Afterwards they played Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” on a single guitar followed by B.o.B’s “Magic”. There was not a moment I didn’t catch myself dancing. Walk Off The Earth did not feel like an opening act, it felt like they were headlining their own show. After giving their album a listen once I got home, you honestly have to see them perform live—it’s such a different experience.

Tegan and Sara’s backdrop came down (awesome artwork of the two of them) and they politely walked out on stage, announced who they were and jump right into “Drove Me Wild” followed by “Goodbye, Goodbye.” I thought it was sweet that either Tegan or Sara would step back giving them each their own time in the spotlight during certain parts of songs. Tegan reminisced between songs about how they opened for the Killers at the Fillmore in 2004. I remember seeing them during the 89X 14th Birthday Bash in 2006 next door at the Fox Threatre. I love how intimate their set was: just the two of them and their guitars. After touring for over ten years, most bands focus on production, but they seem to focus on what is important—themselves and their talent. It was great listening to some of their older songs: “Where Does The Good Go,” “The Con,” “Walking With A Ghost,” and many more. When they played “Back In Your Head” I got goosebumps; it’s such an emotional song: “I’m not unfaithful / But I’ll stray / When I get a little scared.” They closed the night with their new hit “Closer.” The Fillmore went into an uproar, stomping their feet—you could feel the building shake! Tegan and Sara walked back onto the stage, thankful of the audience, and finished the night off with “Call It Off” and “Living Room.”

This ends the concerts I’ll attend in 2013. It was another concert experience that I’ll never forget; such a moving show. I’m looking forward to what concerts 2014 will bring!

Photo courtesy of 93.9 The River.