There are few Canadian rock bands that know how to execute a perfect live performance as do the Arkells. It helps that the band, originally from Hamilton, Ontario, has probably the most enthusiastic frontman, Max Kerman.

Arkells are touring in support of their most recent album, Morning Report, released last year. They stopped by the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Arena as their first Canadian stop in 2017, also making it their first stadium performance in Vancouver. Ever. The crowd, mostly made up of University of British Columbia students and hipsters, mimicked Arkells enthusiasm, amped all the way up, dancing and singing along from before the show even started.

Arkells, who sound fit for the radio, in a polished pop-rock way, on their albums, bring true rock & roll to life in their raw live performances. Every time I have seen Arkells they have exuded energy, and when they played Vancouver on February 1st it was no different. I assume it’s the result of knowing your music so well that you have the freedom to really put on a show for the fans, if this is the case I’m lead to believe that every member of Arkells lives and breaths their craft because their performance is so invigorating it comes off as effortless. The shear level of passion is notable.

Something special about an Arkells show is not only how well they interact with the crowd, but also how they connect with each other on stage. They are this spectacular band of brothers who seem to really support each other. They always look like they are having a blast, and the fans follow suit. An Arkells show is a full on party and I can’t wait to see them again.


Danica Bansie is a music supervisor by day, writer and live music photographer by night, and arts & culture obsessed all the moments in between. You can find her with headphones on in Vancouver, Canada.