Concert Review: Arkells @ Town Ballroom – Buffalo

Those of us who are numb to long drives made the trip to Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY to ”to the best venue in the country”-according to the Arkells. The band did this claim justice by performing an extensive high energy set to a full house.

The band opened with the first tune off of their newest album High Noon. Fake Money showcases Arkells’ ever increasing range with its hard hitting vocals (which singer Max Kerman nailed live) and folky undertones.

The set continued with songs from High Noon. By the end of the show, we were lucky enough to hear every single song from the album except for Crawling Through the Window. The Arkells tend to include 1 or 2 songs on their records that pull the album together but aren’t perfect fits for their live energy filled shows. (You may remember One Foot Out the Door from Michigan Left- very cool song, but might not be in your top picks to hear live).

If you have seen the band recently, you may be aware of keyboardist Anthony Carone’s New Year’s Resolution to stop doing piano solos. Luckily, like most resolutions, this one didn’t work because his solos are killer. He showed the crowd at the Town Ballroom just how good he is with a highlight reel solo in the middle of Pullin’ Punches.

The standout song of the night was Leather Jacket, which is about the football favourite series Friday Night Lights. The Arkells mentioned this inside scoop to a sold out Adalaide Hall during the secret show last February. After hearing this, it’s impossible to listen to the song without picturing a lit up football field. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!

The encore started off with Whistleblower from their second album. Just as they played the opening cords to John Lennon (the Arkells are notorious for closing with it), I realized that they hadn’t done a cover yet. But leave it to the Arkells to slip in a catchy top 40 pop cover into their set. The bridge in John Lennon was transformed into Fancy by Iggy Azalea.

Good news is, the Arkells soon embark on a Winter Tour in early 2015. Definitely worth the trip to see them. Just make sure if you catch the band in the US, you really annunciate when the US Border Guard asks which concert you are going to… he thought we were seeing R. Kelly.

For our interview with Arkells, click here.

Review by Amy Wesson |

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