Arkells' "Campfire Night" Was a Love Letter to Fans

Base31, July 15

Photo: Virginia Meeks

Published Jul 17, 2023

As the hype builds for the September release of their eighth record Laundry PileArkells — well known for their infectious energy and stellar performances — are treating fans to two stripped-down outdoor shows titled "Campfire Nights." One of these exclusive events took place at the picturesque Base31 in Picton on July 15, offering lucky attendees a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Fortunate witnesses to the evening had the privilege of immersing themselves in the intimate ambiance and musical brilliance, as Arkells showcased their raw talent and undeniable connection with their audience.

Firstly, the mesmerizing singer-songwriter Ben Kunder took the stage to open the night and captured hearts even amidst a heavy downpour. With an unwavering spirit, he serenaded the crowd, his soulful vocals and skillful guitar playing weaving a spellbinding performance that left everyone enchanted.

Adorning ponchos and undeterred by the rain, fans showcased their unwavering dedication to the night's headliners from start to finish, singing along to every word and devoting their night to the music. "90 percent of life is just showing up," said frontman Max Kerman, expressing the profound significance of their journey while creating a new record and envisioning this special little show. He humbly acknowledged that they are no different from their fans, seeking meaning, joy and adventure in their lives. 

One of the most notable moments of the evening was during their cover of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space," when Kerman pointed out a young fan in the crowd who had been singing along all night "but really went hard on that one," pulling her on stage to sing along with the band. 

Grateful for the opportunity to share their passion with the audience, Kerman thanked the crowd for their support and love. As a touching finale, he donned his father's cherished leather jacket to perform "Leather Jacket," igniting an unforgettable campfire sing-along that bound everyone in a shared moment of musical magic.

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