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Milwaukee Summerfest, 2017-07-07

Hard as it is to believe now, in early 2016 I was on top of the world. I had a steady job. I had a steady boyfriend. I was buoyed with optimism about the future. And I had a new favourite band, that I had "discovered" on a trip to Canada a few months before.

When I first heard Walk the Moon, my like for them was instantaneous. I had never had that reaction to music before...even my favourite groups from the 1990s (Third Eye Blind, Collective Soul, Tonic, etc.) had taken weeks of listening before I was sure that they were favourites. Yet, that was exactly the reaction I had. The day after I got home from my trip, I ran to the store and bought Talking is Hard on CD. After playing the daylights out of that for a week, I ran back to the store and bought Walk the Moon's self-titled album...then I logged online, and bought the T-shirt!

But there was one thing I didn't like: I had missed WTM's 2015 Madison concert because I hadn't yet known that the band existed. But now, I was in the loop! Walk the Moon were going on tour in summer 2016...and by golly, I was going to be at the front of the line to see my New Wave-influenced musical heroes at last!

Except, this didn't happen. The "Work This Body" tour was cancelled...and for a very sad reason at that. Six months later, Tr*mp happened...and every remaining shred of happiness and optimism I had from early 2016 was completely crushed, tortured, and burned.

The next year, my path and the band's path would finally cross at Milwaukee's Summerfest music festival. But I had changed. In July, I was days away from kissing Madison goodbye in favour of an uncertain future in London, Ontario. I was going to go back to school, and become a librarian...and become a Canadian. Summerfest was my goodbye.

Sadly, I did a poor job planning my visit. I underestimated the amount of time I'd need for driving and parking...and worse yet, I missed the opening minute of Walk the Moon's performance! By then, getting a good vantage point was hopeless: I was buried in the back of the crowd. It was also raining, and I was soaked.

But I could still enjoy the music. The stage may have been far away, but I somehow felt a rapport with the people on it: They played all my favourite songs from the first two albums, and more. Occasionally I'd close my eyes, and let the aural soundscape completely take me away. The performance was electrifying...and until it was over, there was no other place I wanted to be.

Mid-2017 was a transitional time in Walk the Moon's live repertoire. The band was still using its Talking is Hard-era drumskin and stage backing with illuminated less-than plus greater-than symbols. What if Nothing was only four months from release, and material from the new record was already working its way into the set. But most fans were still unfamiliar with the band's new direction.

This would be the last chance I would have to see Walk the Moon for nearly five years.

Click on any image to enlarge:


A rather rain-soaked fan.


An appropriate backdrop to celebrate Summerfest's 50th anniversary.


Corporate sponsorship...egad. But I think I've come to the right place!


< < < Different colours. > > >


Pure energy!


Blinding lights!


Eli and then-member Kevin exchange a moment.


The former "splash page" photo.


Nick's synthesizer solos absolutely make WTM's live performances!


Put your damn phone away!


Stagehands, after the show.

And all I know is I want to be here with you from now on.


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