Anyone walking past Parliament Hill Friday evening was treated to a preview of the Arkells’s headlining performance at the 2018 Canada Day ceremonies.
I was walking along Sparks St. at around 7 PM when I heard familiar music blaring from the direction of the Hill. Intrigued, I sprinted over to the Parliament grounds to find the Juno-winning band onstage, running through their Canada Day set.
In addition to the stage technicians and cameramen, a few dozen passersby had congregated around the stage to watch the rehearsal, which included power-to-the-people anthem “Knockin’ at the Door,” payphone-referencing hit single “Leather Jacket,” and love song “My Heart’s Always Yours” – complete with full light show, fireworks, and pyro.
Friday marked the start of a brutal heat wave in Ottawa, and you could tell that the band was probably hot and miserable. That said, they still sounded great (as always – Arkells are one of the best live bands in Canada right now).
Canada Day gets crazy in Ottawa, with thousands of people flooding to the Hill, so it was pretty cool to catch the headline set in a less chaotic environment.