An Evening With Walkways
We have been thinking about how to open this review all night. What to say about our so powerful experience yesterday evening, with "Walkways".
Words like spiritual gathering, cosmic encounters, and musical worship, came to our minds and continued to play with our emotions, but we still could not put our finger on the appropriate description. To tell the truth, even now we do not know how to describe it. There is a fear that everything we write here will simply detract from the intensity, the energy, and the insane impact of what happened in the "Chaos" rehearsal room on Hamiktzoa st, in South of Tel Aviv on March 9, 2022. One thing we can say for sure is it was one of those moments where you feel something phenomenal is going to take place, moments that are never forgotten, those moments that are not only carved in your memory but also carved in your heart and soul !! that was the moment!
The band "Walkways" held an event like no other has done in the country (at least to the best of our knowledge). An intimate performance in a rehearsal room in south Tel Aviv, where they hosted about 40 of their addicted and devoted fans. It may sound like a calm, quiet, and pleasant unplugged show, but the "Chaos" rehearsal room has exploded with energies and power that we are sure has not been there since its exist.
As music addicts and the band groupies (yes we are proud of it, even at our age), needless to say, from the moment we bought the tickets, our excitement level rose to insane levels. We did not know what to expect, how this whole special encounter between a band and its fans would take place. How will the dynamics between the fans and the band will interact, among themselves, among the fans, and especially what will be played there (before the show an email was sent to the audience who purchased tickets and invited them to choose songs to be on the setlist) and whether the band members will answer the 97,347 questions we have about them and their music. Indeed, we knew that this event was going to be insane since it was still a huge band with tremendous talent and music that penetrated our veins.
Just like little kids getting excited in line for an amusement park facility, we climbed the musty staircase following the “signs”. A blank A4 page with an arrow and the letter "W" that only the band's fans could recognize, constantly instructed us to go up, not to stop, keep going up, when on each floor we felt we were approaching the "Olympus", which only intensified the growing excitement.
We arrive at the entrance and we are greeted by Avihai (the bassist) with radiant eyes and a smile from ear to ear, "I can no longer wait to start playing" he says and we reply trying to control our excitement "we can't wait for you to start". We go inside and with great excitement, we shake the hands of Ran (singer), Bar and Yoni (guitarists), and Priel (drummer).
True, we are not 16 years old anymore and it's a bit pathetic but... (we don't give a @#$!). When you meet face-to-face musicians and artists who excite you so much, people whose work penetrates your heart and soul and makes you feel something so powerful, you are thrown back in time to age 16. You fly without wings to a place where the connection to music has no boundaries or barriers. There is no room here for age, gender, race, or anything else that labels you or puts you in a frame, and a quick look at the shirt you wear (which of course bears the band name) and most of those present, gives you the reinforcement that you are in the right place, with the right people. Your brothers & sisters from another mother.
The band members walked around the room and spoke with the fans, and of course, we took advantage of the opportunity to ask all kinds of fascinating questions, like how they record such a powerful album as "Bleed Out, Heal Out", how they moved up from performing in the "Barbie" club in Tel-Aviv to a European tour as an opening act to "Memphis May Fire" and "In Flames". How they find the right sound for one song or another, how they switch so fast from a standard guitar tune to a drop C or D during the show, and how they create the wonderful and so mesmerizing dynamics in the songs...
Needless to say, all of the band members were very patient with our questions and answered them in detail.
After waiting for the show to start and greeting the fans, which felt according to the band members themselves like a wedding reception or bar mitzvah, the real thing began. As soon as the first note of the opening song "Blood Into Water" was played, an enormous crazy volcanic eruption took place that lifted the whole building of the "chaos" in the air !!
Just try to imagine what it looks and sounds like when 40 possessed fans, who wrap their favorite band in a small, dark rehearsal room, swing the "Air Guitar" to the sounds of Bar and Yoni's guitars, beat their bodies to the sounds of Avihai's bass, hovering up and down in the air with every blow of Priel's snare and bass drum and shouting into insanity along with the huge voice of Ran Yerushalmi !! The amazing and unusual thing (and we are sure you will now hospitalize us) is that the sound did not pass through the ears as it usually does base on the laws of physics. In that room, the sound was passed cosmically through electrifying energies. The energies of the band members conveyed the sound straight to the guts, body, and soul of the audience, and believe us, we witnessed that first hand !!
Now add to that the fact that the setlist which was taped to the floor in a few places, was written in secret code that was not understandable by the audience so we did not understand what were are going to hear, which added even more excitement and enthusiasm.
The band members have given their soul in every song they played, playing and singing to their powerful audience right in front of their face, it is an experience that is hard to describe. Occasionally Ran walked among the crowd, hugging, shaking hands, and singing but most of the time he was raging, jumping in the air and screaming his soul. Each and every one of the five members gave 300% of themselves, when already after the second song it was clear to them that if the show continued at such a high intensity, it was not at all clear how it would end.
Between the songs the band members shared some behind-the-scenes stories and among other things we were able to gather the following details:
* The band members shared that they were surprised by the audience's choices to include songs from the first album in the setlist. Because unlike shows abroad, where they felt that the latest album was more dominant, in Israel they discovered that their fans have a very strong connection to the first album.
* In the song "Blood Into Water" from the first album, there is in the booklet of the disc, a text that does not exist in the song itself and within the short text there are the words "Blood Into Water". Ran said the lyrics were written in the context of gratitude, as a band, for their ability to turn all the painful difficulties and challenges they are going through in life into songs that do other people good.
* Ran shared about the song "You Found Me". This is a song he wrote and dedicated to his wife, who took him and picked him up when he was at the bottom, with all the aggression, complexes, and problems. She "found him", supported him, and made him a whole person.
* The song "Trumpet Call" was written about the trauma Ran experienced in a difficult relationship, a time in which he almost reached a state of insanity. He said that after the severe crash, all he had in mind was revenge, just like in the movies. He chose to deal with all the "shit" and with the help of treatments and especially the music he managed to overcome it.
There is a section in the song that refers to Corey Taylor from the band "Slipknot":
"Corey slip your words around my soul
Knot me in control!"
Ran said that during this time "Slipknot" was one of the bands that helped him deal with the difficulties and challenges.
* The song "Unbearable Days" refers to the terrible days that each of us has at different times in life. The song talks about the fact that this is precisely the time when we have the opportunity to grow and change as human beings and these are the important moments. Bar said there are not many songs in which he writes, but in this song, he wrote the C-part and it connected amazingly with Ran's part. The combination of the two parts brought by each of them, became something whole and big and for him, it was very moving, he dedicated the song to his wife.
* In the beginning, the band's name was "Prisoners of Consciousness", the band played metal in Hebrew, and some of the songs from the first album are songs created in Hebrew. For example, the song "OUT" was generally a cover of a song by Ephraim Shamir called "True, you are beautiful."
Another example is the song "Skin Deep" whose first version was a song in Hebrew called "Elephant's Skin". you can hear it here...
We have not yet recovered from the cosmic, extracurricular, and spiritual experience we went through. It's an amazing thing to be in one room, face to face, at eye level with such a large and amazing band, that with its talent embraces the audience and gives it a different, unique, and heavenly musical experience.
We will finish with an important message !!
Before concluding, it is important for us to address the difficulties that young artists experience in Israeli music. It always frustrates us to think that an artist in Israel cannot concentrate only on creation and must work in other jobs in order to exist. Some difficulties are experienced by those young musicians and artists, in the struggle for success, especially if the music is not considered "mainstream". How difficult it is for them to fulfill their creation, their dreams, and how difficult it is for them to bring it to us, to the audience, to make us happy and excited.
Internalize it well, you can not live from music that is not "mainstream" in Israel, period!
The artists we love so much must work and make a living to survive and then the routine and existential needs destroy everything. The music gradually gets lower priority and slowly fades away.
And here, we, the fans, need to take action !!
Go to shows, purchase albums, t-shirts, hats, and other band's merchandise, and support them in any way possible so we can continue to enjoy the music we love so much and must consume just like food. We hope and pray that we can continue to enjoy the music of "Walkways" like the rest of our favorite bands. That they will be able to earn a decent living and create their music freely and without inhibitions !!