I didn’t see much publicity for this show so I really didn’t know what crowd I should expect. But as I arrived to the Tuning Fork, there was actually a decent crowd, with a small group of people taking up position right in front of the stage.
To kick the show off, Riley Pearce had popped over from Australia to serenade us. It was just him, his guitar and the crowd. With a quick hello he just dove into the first track of his set TRACK. After a couple of songs he let the crowd know how he usually has to encourage everyone to move forward but as I said, this crowd was already bunched up by the stage “I like you already”. Riley played an acoustic set and he had an incredible voice. The way he used the guitar complimented his vocals really well, whether it was simple strumming or tapping on the side for a bit of percussion. He didn’t seem to falter. Though Riley mentioned he usually has a friend who plays the trumpet and asked the crowd to do it instead, with their voices. “Walking On Cars are going to get you to do a lot more”. The crowd was a bit hesitant at first but then got into it “I knew I liked you guys”. Riley also performed a new song for the crowd called ‘Breathe & Release’. It’s about having things in perspective and put it as a bit of a disclaimer that he may stuff it up. Throughout his set he also told a few stories including a running wedding story about accidentally playing the wrong wedding then just making the right one where he played songs like Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. It really was a great start to the show.
The crowd had really packed in by this point and began to move forward even more. Walking On Cars took the stage and dove straight in to TRACK. They 5-piece just seemed to smash out track after track but Riley was right in the fact they got the crowd to clap along and that was the first of many crowd moments they would do. “This is mad. We’re on the wrong side of the world”. They then asked who was from NZ and was from Ireland, with Ireland getting more cheers. With all the instruments the stage was pretty packed but they made sure they made the most of the space they did have and the lighting helped give another element to the performance. Vocalist Patrick Sheehy had incredible vocals, with the rest of the band harmonising well with him. The crowd sung-a-long quite loudly which put smiles on the bands face. It really had an effect as the crowd was packed back to the bar at this point and just seemed to be having the best time.
Though the set list was long, the performance seemed to fly through and before you knew it the show was over, or was it. The crowd chanted after the band departed the stage “One more tune!” Which was followed by the “Olay Olay Olay” chant. Walking On Cars returned to the stage to do a couple more songs.
They really seemed to be all about their fans and this was confirmed as I saw them outside meeting fans when I left.
I really do think Walking On Cars deserve to be bigger than they are but I don’t have a say in that. I am glad that NZ really showed out for them because in return we got a great show! It was definitely the best way to spend a Wednesday night.