Walk Off the Earth brings high-energy pop music to King Chapel

As a brutal cold front roared into Iowa, the Canadian band Walk Off the Earth turned King Chapel into a summer beach party near the end of their high energy set.  While dozens of large, colorful balloons bounced around the room, the band led the crowd in an extended sing-along to the chorus of “Summer Vibe.”

Known primarily for their inventive covers of hit pop songs, the band also treated the audience to their version of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” in which all five core band members play a single guitar simultaneously. Various YouTube versions of this song have been viewed more than 150 million times.

Throughout the rest of the evening the band shape-shifted through a frenetic set, swapping instruments frequently in mid-song and even mid-riff. Most songs featured two or three additional musicians, playing everything from ukuleles and mandolins, to multiple drum sets and trumpets, to traditional rock instruments.

Billed as “The Big Event,” the performance was co-sponsored by the Williams Fund—created by Richard Williams ’63 and Marlene Williams to bring world-class performers to campus—and Cornell’s Student Senate. Other recent performances sponsored by the Williams Fund include Rockapella (acapella singing), Linda Hooper (documentary film), Capitol Steps (political comedy), and Second City Touring Company (improvisational comedy).