Arkells’ Rally Cry Tour rolled through Peterborough on Friday night.
COIN, a 3-piece pop-rock band from Nashville, opened the show. All through October, Arkells was opening for COIN on their US tour, and then it reversed for the Canada dates.
COIN still killed it in the opening slot – their infectious melodies and contagious energy hooked the reluctant crowd with ease. Despite the short set, COIN still played selections off both of their LPs as well as most of their new singles. The band just released another single off their upcoming album Friday morning – listen here:
The arena had filled up by the time Arkells took the stage. The band was a few minutes later than their expected time, but singer Max Kerman explained that it wasn’t a mistake – the beer lines were out the door and they wanted to allow time for everyone to get back to their spots. “It’s a Friday night in Peterborough!” Kerman kept repeating.
Arkells got the show started with “Hand Me Downs,” the first track off of their latest album, Rally Cry. It didn’t take long before it was clear that this wasn’t just a concert; it was a full-blown party. Backed by a giant neon sign sporting “Arkells Touring Band” and accompanied by a vibrant horn section, Arkells lit up the room, encouraging the audience to channel their “3AM energy.”
Arkells never fails to satisfy, always bringing a sense of familiarity and warmth to every performance, whether it’s in downtown Toronto or rural Ontario. The band went above and beyond to involve and engage with the crowd (one of the many reasons they have some of the most dedicated fans of any Canadian act). Before playing “And Then Some,” Kerman explained that the band often gets requests to play the song at weddings, so to make up for the requests they can’t fill, he invited couples to dance around him while he played an acoustic version in the crowd. During “Private School,” a fan was invited on stage to play guitar for the final chorus, and other songs saw Kerman leading a conga line through the crowd, and joined on stage by fans with home-made rainbow tassel jackets.
After a healthy 20 songs, Arkells finished the main portion of their set with “Leather Jacket”. The crowd roared for an encore of course, and the band returned to the stage to play “Relentless,” a cover of Robyn’s “Dancing on my Own” (with help from COIN), and finally “My Heart’s Always Yours”.
The crowd was singing and dancing throughout the entire show, and Arkells no doubt left Peterborough in a good mood for the weekend.
The Rally Cry Tour has come to an end, but you can listen to Arkells here: