Hot Ticket: My Morning Jacket, JJ Grey and Mofro, Monkeyjunk, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Big Sugar, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nothington
Live music picks for WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15 through SUNDAY AUGUST 19, 2012.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15 / MY MORNING JACKET / ECHO BEACH / 909 LAKESHORE / $65 ALL AGES
At first glance, you might think that paying $65 to see a band like My Morning Jacket is a bit steep. But I'm here to tell you that, in terms of live music, it will be the best $65 you've ever spent. The band really hit their stride in 2005 with the release of the acclaimed album Z, and since then, have gained a very loyal and devoted following. Rightfully so, too - this is wonderful stuff, and their live shows are truly something to behold. The equally awesome Band of Horses will offer support.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15 / JJ GREY AND MOFRO / LEE'S PALACE / 529 BLOOR W / $17.50 - $20 / 19+
If you're not willing to drop 65 bones to see My Morning Jacket, you can always head to Lee's and take in a set from JJ Grey and Mofro. This soul/funk/blues/awesome band from Jacksonville was in town back in January, and I included them in the Hot Ticket at the time. I'm including them again because, quite frankly, their music is bloody spectacular, and they deserve to be seen live. If you're going to see only one live show that costs less than $65 this week, let this be it. Monkeyjunk will open.
FRIDAY AUGUST 17 / GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS / THE PHOENIX / 410 SHERBOURNE / $23.50 / 19+
When Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys collaborates with you on your latest album, it's pretty clear that you're doing something right. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, out of Vermont, are led by the very talented and energetic Grace Potter (hence the clever name). She's been compared favorably to legends like Janis Joplin and Grace Slick, and her stage presence is reputed to be something to behold. The band even does a mean cover of White Rabbit.
SATURDAY AUGUST 18 / BIG SUGAR / CNE / EXHIBITION PLACE / $16 / ALL AGES
A bit of a confession: I'm including this one mainly for nostalgic reasons. Big Sugar was the first band that I ever saw live. It was 15 years ago at an outdoor festival in Muskoka, and to this day it remains one of my fondest concert memories. If you're a fan of rock with a little bit of blues injected into it, these guys are still worth the time. Most people will be familiar with their biggest tunes, such as "The Scene" and "Turn the Lights On," but this is a band with a very extensive catalogue that even includes a few ballin' covers. And since the concert is free with your admission into the CNE, well, you really have no excuse to miss it.
SUNDAY AUGUST 19 / TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET / HORSESHOE TAVERN / 368 QUEEN W / $14.38 / 19+
Is there any better way to finish off your weekend and start your work week than with a little punk music? Probably, but if you're a fan of the genre, this is a show you'll want to check out. Teenage Bottlerocket was formed by brothers Ray and Brandon Carlisle just over ten years ago, and in that time the band has released five albums, including this year's Freak Out! It's a quick and dirty little album, with no song exceeding more than three minutes in length. So, yes, it's pretty much what you'd expect, but it's worth a listen, and fans of punk will undoubtedly enjoy this show. Nothington will open.
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Photo of My Morning Jacket courtesy of NRK P3 on Flickr.