Published Jul 06, 2013Hamilton, ON's Arkells have built up a steady following of fans over the past couple years, thanks to their catchy, if generic, brand of Can-rock tunes. So it was refreshing to see the band try something a bit different as headliners at TURF on Friday night. They delivered the hits from Jackson Square and Michigan Left in the first half of the set, which included enthusiastic sing-alongs to "Oh, The Boss Is Coming!" and "Kiss Cam" — as well as a shout-out to Drake's omnipresent "Started From the Bottom" billboard hovering above Fort York — before getting into "John Lennon." But for the latter half of the set, frontman Max Kerman donned a white suit jacket and played ringleader to a Motown revue.
With the help of additional band members on stage, Stevie Wonder was paid homage to with "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," while classics like "My Girl" and "You Can't Hurry Love" also made their way into the set list. The show peaked at the end with the band's rendition of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," though the encore also featured a lively "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." With their high energy and sincerely appreciative banter, the Arkells had the audience singing, dancing and cheering along throughout, but ultimately relied too heavily on classics that, while fun, didn't deliver anything particularly original or spectacular.
Check out our gallery of photos from T.U.R.F. here.