Arkells rock the ‘Dome in a blazing hot Saturday night set
Arkells lit a metaphorical fire at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Feb. 9.
Their explosion of alternative rock on their Canada-wide Rally Cry Tour could possibly be one of the best shows Calgary will see this year.
Using their unmistakably Canadian fusion of alternative rock and pop, Arkells brought unmatched energy, up-tempo tunes, and an authenticity that brings out the best in both the band and the crowd.
That authenticity was shown when the band opened with fan favourite Relentless. They even brought a payphone on stage as a reference to the lyric from arguably their biggest hit, Leather Jacket (you called me up from a payphone.)
The stage presence the band creates is a unique mix, with the constant energy of frontman Max Kerman, keyboardist Anthony Carone, guitarist Mike DeAngelis and bassist Nick Dika. Holding it all together at the back is the constant beat of drummer Tim Oxford.
Together they provide balance and chemistry on stage. Throughout the night Kerman used the catwalk to his advantage, while he ran and danced the night away, interacting with the crowd as he went.
The energy from Carone was especially prevalent during the song Saturday Night, where he joined the band at the end of the catwalk for a keytar solo.
There were multiple selections from their latest record Rally Cry, including the aforementioned Relentless, People’s Champ, and ending their set on their hit pop/rock anthem, ‘Hand me Downs.'
Arkells also performed songs from the band’s earlier albums such as Jackson Square, High Noon and Morning Report. During the performance of Knocking on the Door and 11:11, Kerman got the crowd to sing and dance along.
The set was a high tempo mix of songs that date back to the band’s origins, while also providing new material and hits, with Arkells set lasting just under two hours.
The Canadian group played the hits off their most recent albums, covers of popular songs such as ABBA’s Dancing Queen.
It was evident that the crowd was clamoring for more even as the band walked off the stage from their encore.
The two year wait since the bands last show in Calgary at the BMO Centre in 2017 proved to be worth the wait for one of Canada’s biggest rock acts.
Arkells have worked their way up the ladder in Calgary, starting with smaller shows at the Legion in November of 2009, The Gateway back in September of 2012 and finally headlining a show at the Saddledome.
It’s out of reach but I gotta keep chasing is part of the bridge from the bands most recent single Hand Me Downs, and it’s evident that the band has followed their own lyrics.
The group is finally playing on a stage that their high tempo, stadium rock music deserves; big lights, big sound, and the biggest crowd available.
Photos by Sam Phelps and Michaela Neuman
Published on Feb. 20, 2019.