REVIEW: THE WALTERS | US TOUR
WORDS: Lindsey Teske
Chicago notables The Walters kicked off their nationwide tour this week, where their signature enigmatic live performance skills exude life and vibrancy in these intimate venues. And this is just after a warm up from their tour supporting acclaimed indie band The Orwells last month, where we got to catch them!
While the band’s collective stage presence is distinctive as its own entity, each member of The Walters makes their individual performance distinguishable in their own way. Vocalist Luke Olson easily rivals Iggy Pop in stage presence; he exudes energy from the moment he enters the stage to the moment he exits.
The instrumentation of the band is also of high standards; and the songs are peppered with innovative riffs by lead guitarist Walter Kosner. And, of course, a Walters gig is not complete unless either the crowd, Olson, or a combination thereof prompts him to remove his shirt.
The band’s multi-instrumental talents are also to be noted, where Danny Wells seamlessly transitions between bass and keyboards on selected songs, and guitarist Michael Tirabassi showcases his impressive voice when he takes over lead vocals for “New Girl,” a jaunty crowd favourite off of the band’s debut 2014 EP “Songs for Dads.”
Another unique aspect of The Walters’ live performances is their willingness to break the fourth wall. They often interact with the crowd while performing, and at this particular performance Olson even took a setlist order suggestion that was called out. The band doesn’t allow a sense of separation between themselves and the crowd, and the appreciation of their fans is to be admired. A strong connection is subsequently formed - a hallmark trait of any great artist.
The Walters concluded their set with what is arguably their most beloved song, “Hunk Beach.” The song is a seamless sonic blend of the band’s signature sound and a hint of summery vibes. Drummer Charlie is particularly commendable in this track, his playing being a predominant source of the song’s energy and dynamic nature. Lyrically, it is an auditory nexus between longing and hope. The song concludes with a repetition of the line “You’ve got me feeling alright,” making it infectiously cheerful to all hearing it. For this reason, they can’t help but touch the audience and move them in a way that only a brilliantly written and composed piece of music can.
As musicians, The Walters distinguish themselves through their polished and inventive sound. It has been said that a sum is greater than its parts, but in the case of The Walters, both facets possess uniqueness, talent, and incredible performance skills. Their ability to embody intricacy and multi-dynamics in both their music and live performances make The Walters an unstoppable artistic entity.
I highly recommend you go check them out on their US tour happening right now! Upcoming dates still to come: