“Steeltown” rockers, Arkells had a little party with some of their closest friends last Saturday night. The “Westdale” neighbourhood in Hamilton, where the band used to practise, must seem so far away now, especially after blowing the roof off Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena in front of some 15,000 really enthusiastic fans.

To promote their fifth album, Rally Cry, the group hit the road, did a couple of smaller gigs in the UK, and are now touring North America for a few months. Arkells are real entertainers… frontman Max Kerman certainly knows how to command the stage and get fans both on their feet, and dancing in the aisles. Bandmates, guitarist Mike DeAngelis, bassist Nick Dika, drummer Tim Oxford, keyboardist Anthony Carone, along with three incredible backup singers, not to mention a full on horn section, looked as though they were having the time of their lives. Shit, it’s the Scotiabank Arena and they played in front of 15,000 screaming musicheads… no wonder!

And, what concert would be complete without dazzling pyrotechnics with shooting flames and sparkles in the air? There were also confetti cannons showering everyone in tissue paper and a “Bell” payphone brought on stage for the hit song “Leather Jacket”. As one of their encores after a two-hour-long set, the band even did a cover of… are you ready for this? ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”! Wow!! What a fun night that was.

Originally from Michigan, now based in Los Angeles, it’s certainly also worth noting the exceptional warm-up job done by the musicians in indie folk band Lord Huron. Founder Ben Schneider was on point and the music spanned the group’s catalogue, including their third album, Vide Noir, released April 20, 2018.

Check out the band’s video for the single “Hand Me Downs” featuring Frank Turner.

Arkells’ Setlist:

01. Relentless
02. Leather Jacket
03. Michigan Left
04. Never Thought That This Would Happen
05. Show Me Don’t Tell Me
06. No Champagne Socialist/Oh, The Boss Is Coming
07. Eyes On The Prize
08. American Screams
09. People”s Champ
10. Kiss Cam
11. Only For A moment
12. Come To Light
13. And Then Some
14. Blueprint
15. 11:11
16. Saturday Night
17. Whistleblower
18. Knocking At The Door
19. Private School
20. Hand Me Downs
21. Dancing Queen
22. My Heart’s Always Yours