The Arkells - One For The Books
I've seen The Arkells play everything from college pubs, to dives (the Lions in Port Dalhousie) to some of the most prestigious stages in the country. I've seen them play way-past closing time and I've seen them play to high school students in Burlington at 11am... but I've never seen them play on a floating stage. As Arkells' lead singer Max Kerman told the crowd near the end of the concert, "this one's for the books".
When I first heard about this I thought of opening sequence of The Simpsons Movie where Green Day play a concert on a floating stage. The crowd turns on the band and sink the stage. Would The Arkells suffer the same fate? ;)
I met with the guys that designed the floating stage and they said they had never seen the movie. Perhaps they should. They told me they put a Hummer on the floating stage and it only sank an inch. 5 skinny guys from Hamilton wouldn't be a problem - unless one of them got sea-sick. They showed me pics of another gig with the stage anchored 50 meters from the shore, complete with underwater lighting. COOL! Tonight, however, the stage would tied to the dock.
Just off the plane from Vancouver, The Arkells didn't know what they were walking into and when they arrived on-site it seemed that there were some concerns. You never know with these weird stage setups but the show came off without a hitch. With the stars in the sky, the band's reflection on Martindale Pond and a crazy crowd at their feet, it was a spectacular night -"one for the books". The only concern was that body surfers may actually end up in the water. As the crowd pushed closer to the water's edge, Max asked the audience, "you gotta promise me that you're gonna take care of each other out there". What he really meant, don't spoil this for us!
Here's a taste: "Pulling Punches" cut with "Lonely Boy" by the Black Keys"