Emerging from the steel town capital of Ontario, Hamilton, is my favourite and one of Canada’s best rock-and-roll bands, Arkells. The men in the band met each other at McMaster University and came together as Arkells. Named after their legendary student house on Arkell Street and city of Hamilton. Arkells’ classic songwriting, electric live show performances, and workmanlike tour ethic have put Hamilton on the Map. Over the past ten years, Arkells have shared four albums won 4 Juno awards and captured the hearts of music lovers everywhere. I have been lucky to witness some of their most memorable moments along the way.
This past year the Arkells embarked on a jam-packed North American tour, where the band was able to cross off a few of their bucket list experiences.
Bucket list item #1: Massey Hall
This past November Arkells were humbled by their chance to play two sold-out shows at the historic Massey Hall in Toronto. I was fortunate enough to attend their opening night and this is by far my fondest Arkells memory yet.
The Arkells energetic stage presence had fans captivated from the minute they stepped on stage. The band opened the evening with “A little rain (a song for Pete)” off their newest album
Morning Report, this had everyone on their feet in seconds. This was the first time Arkellians were hearing Morning Report live and no one could contain their excitement. The night continued with several moments to remember like, Springsteen karaoke featuring tour guest and friend Frank Turner, to closing out the two-hour set with a four song encore. An Arkells show is never over until it’s over, and Massey hall night one concluded by busting out the horns and belted out “Private school”.
Whether you were an Arkells fan since Jackson Square or was the lucky friend who tagged along, everyone that night witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime Arkells performance.
Bucket list item #2: Copps Coliseum
This concert was sentimental, to say the least. Playing their first arena show only steps away from where they live, and hearing 10,000 fans singing every song with them created an incredible atmosphere. The guys played off the positive energy, shaking the town all night long. No Arkells show is ever the same, and their Hamilton homecoming had many special moments. The Arkells story told their way through the set list that evening, taking the time to pay respect to the people and city they fell in love with ten years ago.
I am running out of fingers to count the times I have seen Arkells play, but if you haven’t had the chance to listen or catch a show, I promise you won’t regret it. Their musical talent, emotional connection, and contagious energy will have you waiting in line at their next show.
If you enjoyed reading this, take a look at the Flavour of The Week video!