It’s been almost two years since Walk Off The Earth last played the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor. On Thursday November 7th the band returned for a sold out show and it was a special show for a couple of reasons. For one, joining the band as opener for this show was Windsor’s own Christee Palace, a fast rising pop star now living in Toronto and quickly making a name for herself. The other reason this show was special was for who wasn’t there. Popular band member Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor passed away unexpectedly back on December 30th of last year on the eve of their 2019 World Tour. Rather than cancel the tour the band decided to forge ahead and dedicate the entire tour to their friend and bandmate.
Opening the show, Palace came bouncing out to her infectious single Light It Up and got the all ages crowd going. It was a good song to start off with, catchy and upbeat, it was followed by Love Me In The Dark, another great single from her latest EP Harden My Heart. It was obvious that many in the crowd were here to see the hometown girl perform on the big stage and she definitely fed off the energy. Palace’s eight song set was all original compositions except for a cover of Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy. Her band, consisting of local musicians Peter Stratil – guitar, Brandon LeFrancois – drums and Keith Wilkinson on bass was tight and provided a solid back-up to the teal haired pop star. Palace talked to the crowd about how thankful she was for all the good that has happened in her life and how many things we complain about are first world problems before launching into her song of the same name. This was her second biggest show to date in her short career and I suspect it will continue to get bigger. Christee palace is one to watch!
For more about Christee Palace visit https://www.christeepalace.com
During the break between bands Hamilton indie artist Laura Cole came out on stage to talk about CAMH (Centre For Addiction and Mental Health), a charity that has paired with Walk Off The Earth to raise funds and awareness for addiction and mental health programs. Cole talked about how she herself has had a tough year dealing with people close to her who are suffering from these issues and how CAMH has helped her. She then sang a few lines of Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come which she said resonates with her especially and encouraged the crowd to go to the CAMH website to donate or learn about their services. Walk Off The Earth created a video for their new single I’ll Be There from their latest album “Here We Go” as part of a space dedicated to helping people find resources to deal with addiction issues. More information and the video can be found at https://www.ibtforyou.com
As the house lights went down for Walk Off The Earth, a video came on the side screens showing the band ready to come out from back stage and the voice of the band’s manager asking them where they were. The band then says they thought the show was in Kitchener which results in a wild dash to a car and a crazy race through city streets and freeways with a helicopter in pursuit. Moments later the band emerges up a center platform and performs their song Fire in My Soul.
The set list consisted of more than a dozen original songs and a couple of cover tune smashups which they are well known for. The first medley began with Somebody That I Used to Know, the Gotye cover that launched the band’s popularity into the stratosphere in 2012 and continued with bits of songs including Stand By Me, Come On Eileen, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Royals and Hello. The members of the band are all adept at playing multiple instruments, some of them unusual such as whirly tubes and kazoo’s. which they used on this night.
Before the show, hand cut blue paper hearts were placed on all the seats, over 4000 in total, with a message for everyone to hold the heart up to their phone flashlight during the songs “Mike’s Song” and “Hold On” as a tribute to Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor. The effect was quite nice. The band has pledged not to replace Taylor in the band and they’ve set up his keyboard at all the shows with candles placed on and around it.
A WOTE show is more of an event than a concert where the crowd is encouraged to sing along and the songs are bright and uplifting. They managed to save their best singalongs for the end, performing Sing It All Away at the end of the main set and returning for three more, Gang Of Rhythm, Hold On and probably their biggest song last, Rule the World along with massive confetti cannons. If you don’t leave their shows with a smile on your face you should probably be checked for a pulse.
For more about Walk Off The Earth visit https://www.walkofftheearth.com
The show was part of the Caesars Windsor Cares 2019 Concerts For A Cure Series.
Additional shows in the Concerts For A Cure Series include City and Colour (Nov 20), Charlie Brown Christmas – All Ages (Nov 23) and We Will Rock You – All Ages (Nov 29 & 30).
For more information or to purchase tickets please visit the Caesars Windsor Box Office or online go to https://www.caesars.com/caesars-windsor/shows
Photos by Dan Boshart
Dan Boshart is a talented photographer from Windsor, Ontario, who is looking forward to spending more time on concert photography when he retires from his full time job in the automotive industry. In addition to shooting bands, he has an interest in travel, architectural and street photography. Some of Dan’s photos can be viewed on Instagram and he can be followed on Twitter or his 27th Floor Photography Facebook Page.