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5 Canadian acts that should play Wells Fargo Arena

Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber is set to take the Wells Fargo Arena stage on June 22, the celebrity’s third appearance in downtown Des Moines since 2010.

While it’s expected Bieber will bring with him a slew of Beliebers and a performance featuring his biggest hits, his latest appearance begs the question: What other Canadian acts should play Des Moines’ biggest indoor music venue?

Here’s a look at five Canadian artists not named Justin Bieber that should play Des Moines' arena stage.



News leaked out earlier this year that Rush isn’t touring again in the foreseeable future … making this first pick slightly unrealistic. But you never know, right? Why not welcome the legendary prog rock trio with a mean, mean stride back to central Iowa? The group last performed in the area when they took to the Hilton Coliseum stage in 2002.

Carly Rae Jepsen

Before you get out the pitchforks and shout "blasphemy," answer this question: Have you heard Jepsen’s new record “Emotion”? The record’s lead track, “Run Away With Me,” was called a “song we love” by NPR and it’s an absolute jam. Des Moines hasn’t gotten a taste of “Emotion” live yet, with the singer’s last performance in the capitol city happened during the 2013 Iowa State Fair.

Arcade Fire

This Montreal-based outfit would bring a healthy dose of indie rock ‘n’ roll to the Des Moines arena stage. NME reported in 2015 that the band’s follow-up to 2013 “Reflektor” — which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album sale chart — is "30 percent" done, leaving hope for a tour to support the to-be-announced new release.


Set to co-headline this year’s Maha Music Festival in Omaha, Grimes’ music offers doses of cleverly composed experimental and electronic pop. With her stardom growing, the producer and performer also is scheduled to appear at Lollapalooza in Chicago, FYF Fest in Los Angeles and Outside Lands in San Francisco this summer. Plus, an appearance would provide an opportunity for Grimes (the musician) to visit Grimes (the central Iowa city).


Wait ... they’ve got this one covered. Catch Drake in Des Moines on Oct. 4.

Matthew Leimkuehler reports on music for The Des Moines Register, Datebook and Juice. When not writing about Rush, he's probably listening to "2112" on repeat. You can reach him at, via Twitter@mattleimkuehler or by phone at 515-284-8358.