Bright lights pierced through a thin layer of fog in the Commons Theatre Sept. 4 as an impatient audience stood by the stage, waiting for the main event to begin.
Before long, two-time award winning Hamilton band, the Arkells, composed of lead singer Max Kerman, guitarist Mike DeAngelis, bassist Nick Dika, keyboardist Anthony Carone and drummer Tim Oxford, walked on stage, altering impatience into excitement.
The concert started off with the Arkells fourth hit song, Fake Money, from their newest album High Noon.
“I’ve been following the Arkells for three years now and I’m so glad I finally had the chance to see them live,” said second-year psychology student Samantha Calip.
Opening for the Arkells, the Canadian indie rock band Wildlife was forced to warm up an audience about half the size of what was expected – the other half of the audience only making their appearance after the break between bands.
“The audience was smaller than I’m used to seeing at the Arkells’ shows even after Wildlife was done playing and the extra fans came in. But it was funny to hear people shouting at Wildlife to play some Arkells songs, apparently they actually thought the Arkells were playing,” said second year interactive media design student Geoff Harper who has made it to three of the Arkells’ shows.
But even with a confused and halved audience, Wildlife still gave it their best and gave the audience a little treat as lead vocalist Dean Povinsky climbed off the stage to get as close to the audience as possible when their set was reaching its end.
“You have to find something you’re passionate about, and for me that’s singing” said Povinsky to the Times.
The Arkells had their own chance to get close to fans as three audience members attempted to climb the stage and dance in the sloppy manner easily found in the crowded clubs of the ByWard Market.
“I love the enthusiasm from those drunk guys, but he just took away eight bars from Anthony’s solo,” said Kerman. “So Anthony, how about some more?”
Kerman and Carone shared only a brief glance before the pianist’s fingers started dancing along the keyboard again.
“We usually put up a barricade in front of the stage to keep people back so they can’t climb the stage so easily, but getting close to the band can be fun and we wanted to give the students a chance,” said theatre operations manager Ken MacLeod. “But this time a few guys ruined it for the rest and we aren’t sure if we’ll be able to do the same thing again.”
The standard encore that’s become something of a concert symbol was altered by the Arkells as they returned after a short absence to play five more songs instead of the customary one or two. Of the songs played their second highest rated song Book Club started the encore and the show ended with Whistleblower and applause and cheers from an exhilarated audience.
“This was my second time seeing the Arkells and they were so solid,” said first year introduction to music industry arts student Megs Laver. “The sound was tight and Max’s dance moves were so groovy. Now I just want to run home and play some of their songs.”