Off Kilter: unusual in a strange or interesting way.
At least that’s how the dictionary defines it. For me, Off Kilter is one of the most under-rated, memorable and enjoyable acts in all of Walt Disney World.
Located in EPCOT at the Canadian pavilion, Off Kilter is a band that mixes hard rock, country and traditional Celtic melodies with their own twist. The group is made up of five high energy and engaging members. Jamie Holton on bagpipes and lead vocals, Mark Weldon on bass and vocals, Scotty Zymowski on drums, Tony Escapa on keyboards and Randy Holbrook on guitar. And not only are they incredible musicians that deliver foot stomping, hand clapping, “put a smile on your face” entertainment; they are all class act people.
Two years ago, my then five year old son Aiden, could not wait to see Off Kilter on our trip to Epcot. He listened to his CD constantly and searched the web for as many YouTube videos as he could find of Off Kilter performing. When our day at Epcot finally came, Aiden wasn’t feeling well and we ended up with an emergency visit to Florida Hospital before we could see them perform. He was heartbroken! We were scheduled to leave the next day and thought we wouldn’t have another chance to see the show.
My mom and several other family members had stayed in the park and went to the show. Afterwards, my mom spoke with Jamie and told him what had happened with their number one fan. Jamie was very empathetic about the whole situation and he got all the guys to autograph drum sticks for Aiden and even offered to come to the hospital or the hotel if we missed their last show, just to meet Aiden!
Luckily, we did make it for a tiny bit of the last show, and although Aiden still wasn’t feeling 100%, he was clapping and smiling the entire show! Afterwards, we took Aiden up to meet Jamie. Jamie brought him on stage and introduced him to all the guys. The look on his face is something I will never forget!! From then on, Aiden swore he was going to learn to play bagpipes just like Jamie!!
This past summer, we made a return trip to Disney World and Aiden, 2 years older and still in love with Off Kilter and bagpipes, couldn’t wait until we got to Epcot to see Off Kilter. He proudly wore his “When I grow up I want to be a Bagpiper” shirt and clapped and sang along with every song, right in front of the stage. Jamie even commented on his shirt during the show and I thought Aiden would explode with joy! After the show, Jamie came down to meet with Aiden for a while and take pictures. It was Aidens favorite part of our entire trip!
So next time your in Epcot and hear the melodic strains of bagpipes floating on the breeze, head on over towards the Canadian pavilion where Off Kilter will treat you to an amazing show! Whether they are singing and dancing around in their kilts (and boots!), posing for comedic pictures on stage or making a little boys dream come true, Off Kilter delivers every single time and I can guarantee you will walk away with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
And by the way; Aiden starts bagpipe lesson this month and he can’t wait to get back to Epcot to tell his hero, Jamie Holton ALL about it!!
Author: Jaime Gottfried