It was a homecoming of sorts, but a short-lived visit. The Arkells were home in Hamilton Thursday night, taking a break from their tour opening for The Tragically Hip to welcome CBC Q Live with Jian Ghomeshi to Steeltown.
Frontman Max Kerman said the stopover in Hamilton between shows was a welcomed break from the excitement of opening arena shows.
"Every night there's just a lot of really excited Canadians just going over the moon for the songs and obviously Downie's performance. They come out every night on fire," he said.
Kerman added that the Hamilton show was a serendipitous opportunity to come back to the band's home town for the night.
"We're back in town for, like, 24 hours. Our last show was in Thunder Bay, our next show is in Moncton, but we just happened to have these two days off and so we managed to fit it into our schedule. We're really happy that it worked out."
It wasn't the Arkells' first time playing on Q. The show has helped propel the band by playing their music, and host Jian Ghomeshi invited them on as as guests when they debut their last album, Michigan Left. Ghomeshi's support doesn't go unnoticed, Kerman said.
"We've been big fans of his work for a long time," he said. "Even in the last few years, the show has grown and we're just really psyched that we get invited back."
He added that bringing Q live to Hamilton helps shed a new light on the town for fans across the country.
"I generally like when these kinds of shows that are normally stationary go on the road, because I think it's special for the receiving towns to have a program they listen to on the radio every day to actually be in the city," he said.
"I think Hamilton has a ton to offer on an arts and culture level, and it's nice that we get highlighted in that way on the show."
Q live in Hamilton will replay on CBC Radio 2 Friday morning at 10 a.m.