The Rally Cry Tour brought the Arkells to the Canadian Tire Centre deep in Ottawa’s West End. While a Friday night venturing from downtown Ottawa to Kanata is a trek and not for the faint of heart, the band is known for their super fandom and drew a young crowd despite the distance. Keen fans of the band were pinned to the barricade early. Many held signs adorned with the staple rainbow fringe of lead singer, Max Kerman’s leather jacket. Arkells, known for their showmanship kicked off the show with their latest hit, Relentless. The song, a radio staple currently heard across the country, was also taken overseas almost a year to the day for the Winter Olympics in Pyong Chang. It was a fitting start to the show with lyric, “got gas in the tank to go all night,” and they really did.
They brought one banger after another, bringing everything, even a payphone, to the stage. A long catwalk allowed for maximum crowd interaction with Max running through the arena to appear high in the 100’s to hand out sick notes to anyone needing to work in the morning. Thanking the crowd for making the trip out of downtown and recognizing the inconvenience of larger venue being so far from the main hub, they brought up previous shows they had done in the city mentioning smaller local venues like Babylon and TD Place.
With the Northern Soul Horn section, confetti, and even ABBA’s Dancing Queen, this show brought it all. If you haven’t seen this band headline their own show, go.
Do it. It’s worth it, even if you have to journey as far as Kanata.
Words and photos by Elizabeth Durnford