I’ve covered Arkells shows a bunch in the last few years, so I doubt I have anything new to say about them. They impress me every time I catch a show. They lean into the political, unlike a lot of bands. Rally Cry might be the best Canadian album ever to deal with American politics. They call out Trump and his dangerous rhetoric and actions quite often.
And the politics never slows down the fun. They have a unique ability to make music that speaks to serious issues and remains upbeat. They look at at the negative stuff going on and make positive music about change and hope. They also do catchy love songs, which are always popular.
On this night, a live rehearsal for their set at Lollapalooza the next day, the band was firing on all cylinders. They brought a horn section with them to add some extra pep, which they didn’t need but it certainly didn’t hurt. Sleeping Village is a much smaller stage than they’ve been playing on lately, so it was fun to watch Max use every square inch of room he had. And when that wasn’t enough he came down to the audience and turned the middle of the room into a dance floor.