On Thursday night, Arkells kicked off their Rally Cry tour in Edmonton, and the SONiC boys and girls went NUTS for it!

It’s the band’s first headlining arena tour, so they hit the ground running and opened with “Relentless”, a song guaranteed to get people up on their feet.

It only took a couple of songs for frontman Max Kerman to take the stage and tell everyone his three rules at an Arkells show:

“You gotta sing, you gotta dance, and you gotta look out for each other.”

The first two are easy. How can you not find a beat to tap your foot to at an Arkells show? Even more so, how can you not want to belt out those songs?! They are so catchy, so full of heart, it’s impossible not to sing along.

Kerman wanted the whole room to be feeling the energy and enjoying the moment together, and they did just that. Hundreds of fans were on their feet, even in the stands, dancing and singing along to every word.

Kerman stepped out into the audience twice, prowling aisles and writing “doctors notes” for people to get out of work the next day. He spent so much time challenging the audience to match his energy, his spunk, and guess what? It worked.

They closed out the show with “Hand Me Downs”, a song chalk-full of feel good vibes. As they left the stage, the crowd kept singing the melody of the song until the band returned to the stage to throw everyone off their game with a pop-rock tribute to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”. If people weren’t following rule #2 before, they certainly were now.

Despite the fancy arena tour, Arkells haven’t forgotten their roots. “The first time we played in Edmonton,” Kerman reminisced, “we played for 13 people in the basement of the Starlite Room.”

Going from one of Edmonton’s smallest most intimate venues to its largest, Arkells proved last night that one thing hasn’t changed: they put on one hell of a show.