The Arrogant Worms came home to their alma mater this weekend.
Despite the band’s slightly late start at Duncan McArthur, the full auditorium was buzzing with excitement. They were introduced by the Stephen Elliott, the dean of Faculty of Education.
Trevor Strong, the band’s lead vocalist, has a Master’s of Education at Queen’s, along with two other degrees.
Elliott mentioned the number of Queen’s degrees that the Worms held between them, one of which was the lead vocalist Trevor Strong’s Masters of Education. The group members’ six degrees became a focus for jokes throughout the night.
I grew up listening to the Arrogant Worms.
As a child, I had several of their live albums, making me familiar with the on-stage banter element of their shows. They’re clearly a band who are best seen in-person.
A diverse crowd greeted Strong, Chris Patterson and Mike McCormick on Saturday at their Homecoming concert.
Strong got the audience laughing early by describing how his Bachelor’s degree was no more, after a squirrel peed on it, joking that he’d be accepting donations for a new BA.
The Worms played a mix of old favourites and newer material, which will appear on their new album, set to drop in February.
The crowd was obviously made up mostly of old fans, who eagerly sang along to the tunes they remembered.
The older songs garnered a larger response, but newer ones like “The Man Who is Always Out of Tune” were received with laughter and applause.
The Worms changed some of the lyrics to their songs from time to time. Their joking didn’t seem rehearsed – it gave the show a personal feel.
Aside from the jokey chatting between songs, they’re also physical performers. With specific songs came tailored dance moves, including “Mime Abduction”, which predictably involves miming invisible boxes, stairs and doors.
The Worms also mingled with the crowd at intermission, signing autographs and posing for pictures. They took a request for “I Pulled My Groin”, which McCormick, the guitarist, played in the encore.
Playing in Kingston to a crowd familiar with their music provided the trio with good material to joke about. Strong even donned his Queen’s leather jacket, pointing out that the graduating year sewn on the arm made him feel old.
Though they’re currently on a Canada-wide tour, it’s clear where their heart is.
They won’t be leaving us anytime soon.
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