Toronto concerts, July 2013
Toronto concerts worth knowing about in July, 2013.
Toronto offers a wild and untamed array of musical choices every night, but July is looking... odd. Did you know that Phish are coming? Did you know that Sugar Ray, Bob Dylan, Steely Dan, New Kids on the Block, The Eagles, Boys II Men, Gin Blossums, Heart, Sublime, KISS, 98 Degrees, The Barenaked Ladies, Courtney Love, and Smashmouth will be in town?
Add these to questionably contemporary acts Weezer's questionably early return to touring The Blue Album (couldn't they wait until most of their fans pay off their student loans? Oh wait, that's never) and, to an outsider, it may begin to look like Torontonians are overwhelmed by some kind of foggy, expensive nostalgia sickness. Or, it's just summer in the city and there's a lot of stuff to spend money on, er, I mean do for fun.
If none of this sounds fun and teen industries One Direction, the Jonas Bros and Justin Bieber aren't doing it for you, you'll have a great month in Toronto anyway. Here are some other, probably less odd ideas.
TORONTO URBAN ROOTS FESTIVAL | JULY 4 - 7 | FORK YORK GARRISON COMMON & MORE | $60 - 350
TURF's 4 day Garrison Common line up features Yo La Tengo, Belle and Sebastian, Neko Case, The Hold Steady, and a ton of other popular roots and indie acts. Bonus: this is an outdoor fest where you can bring sealed water bottles.
The Horseshoe and Lee's Palace will also hold a "late night club bonus series" each night, featuring some of the smaller groups from the outdoor fest. Festival passes and day passes are available through TURF's site, where you can view the full schedule.
SOUND IN MOTION FESTIVAL | JULY 11 - 13 | VARIOUS VENUES | $FREE - 50
Artists from Canada, the USA, Europe and the UK will be in Toronto for art focused electronic fest Sound in Motion. The fest aims to "create a platform that explores sound in motion through a diverse range of electronic music performances, interactive A/V and tactile showcases, dancing days and nights, knowledge exchange, collaboration and conversation".
Events include a stacked free outdoor showcase at Coronation Park preceded by a Critical Mass Bike Rave featuring an FM radio performance (fucking cool idea), and a short film screening followed by a performance of SlowPitch's Emoralis. Check out the line up and schedule on their website.
BLONDE REDHEAD | JULY 15 | ADELAIDE HALL | $22.50
If you missed Japandroids breaking in Toronto's newest venue (the impressive Adelaide Hall), genre defying Blonde Redhead will provide an ideal second chance. The American band have been putting out gorgeous shoegaze glossed records since the 90's, and their live show is legendary for good reason. If you're not a fan yet, the Adelaide Hall show will knock off two birds with one stone.
BJORK | JULY 16 | ECHO BEACH | $65 - 85
Why is Björk down here when her most popular period makes her a peer of some of the artists I dismissed above? Um, I guess that Björk is a pop art goddess whom no one has been able to touch, and whose influence can be seen across the board from the most commercial of indie and Top 40 up to the highest brow of contemporary electronic artists and down to the darkest corners of the experimental underground. Sugar Ray, not so much.
The Echo Beach show will be bewitching for the icelandic artist's Biophilia tour costumes and stage show alone, but she hasn't lost her unique voice either, or her desire to challenge our ideas of, cheeky as it sounds, what music means. Death Grips and Mykki Blanco are also playing.
JULIA HOLTER | JULY 17 | THE DRAKE HOTEL | $16.50
Have you noticed artists who haven't been getting mad press coverage often end up getting stowed away at the Drake when they pass through Toronto? Some of the bookings don't see much promotion either, resulting in a half full room. What's up with that?
I'm not saying this show will be half full or under promoted, but it might be, and while that always burns the artist, these can be opportune shows for fans. If any concert this month could benefit from accidental intimacy, it's Holter's compelling experimentations with sound and song craft.
M.I.A. | JULY 18 | THE DANFORTH MUSIC HALL | $35
Contemporary artist, musician, rapper, and humanitarian M.I.A. co-opted and Tumblrized the revolutionary aesthetic first — before there even was a Tumblr. While many acts flirt with political controversy for the rebel sell, M.I.A. seems to be struggling for something real: she's supports causes worth news bites on Democracy Now and is a dedicated philanthropist. Challenging vibe aside, the music is also compelling and catchy. If I had a kid and my kid's pop preference was M.I.A., I'd be proud of my kid and take them to this all ages show.
I'd also happily go sans child, in part because I'm curious. Will we ever really know M.I.A.'s deal? That's pop power right there.
OFFERINGS MAGAZINE BENEFIT | JULY 19 | DOUBLE DOUBLE LAND | $10
Offerings Magazine is that legal sized free newspaper with the crazy covers and sometimes microscopic font you've seen around Toronto in cafes, record shops, and venues. The offline-only zine functions like NYC's Show Paper in that they offer listings by the month of mostly under the radar and underground indie, electronic, punk, garage, noise, avant garde, wtf wave, free jazz and improv shows, plus they also feature tons of local album reviews and profiles of musicians, bands, and visual artists.
The volunteer based crew isn't being shy: they need some capital to keep going. Instead of cracking out an Indiegogo campaign, they're throwing an IRL benefit party with Still Boys, Hollow Earth, Eucalyptus, and DJs Sandro Perri and Longhorn Grille. Offerings is a corner stone for emerging Toronto talent, so drop some cash on a worthy cause.
AUTRE NE VEUT | JULY 19 | WRONG BAR | $15
Brooklyn's Arthur Ashin is riding what might be the best album of the year. While his electronic, fresh sound is far from traditional soul or R&B and closer to that of How to Dress Well or even Toronto's The Weeknd, it's more upbeat and dramatic than both, much more hi-fi than the former, and less bro-y than the latter.
Ashin is special not only for his warped, endlessly distorted vocal constructions, unbelievable vocal range, and remarkable attention to detail, but for the fact that his writing can be so trite it becomes provocative, as Autre Ne Veut (French for "I want no other") blends Top-40-trope laden lyrics with trend hugging sample based production and conjures the most unique, unconventional, sexually charged pop music imaginable. How he's going to pull this off live is beyond me, but I'll be rooting for him.
TALIB KWELI | JULY 20 | YOUNG & DUNDAS SQUARE | $FREE
UNITY Charity is an organization that uses hip hop to enrich the lives of Toronto's youth, and this free afternoon and evening show starring Brooklyn posi-rapper Talib Kweli is fittingly all ages. Also playing are about 50 artists young and old, including Toronto's Rich Kidd.
UNITY has four days of programming this weekend. You can check out the full line up here.
Not to say we told you so: Montreal's Sean Nicholas Savage and Blue Hawaii will be both back, playing separate dates, only one month after they impressed us at NXNE. Check out the details below, amid the dinos and teen idols.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY CONCERTS THIS MONTH
YEAH YEAH YEAHS | JULY 1 | ECHO BEACH | $39.50
YEASAYER | JULY 2 | THE PHOENIX | $18
BRUNO MARS | JULY 3 | MOLSON AMPITHEATRE
CSS | JULY 4 | THE OPERA HOUSE | $25
DEAR DIARY | JULY 5 | SNEAKY DEE'S |
FUN and TEGAN AND SARA | JULY 6 | DOWNSVIEW PARK | $50 - 100
FEAST IN THE EAST | JULY 6 | GERRARD ART SPACE | $7
PHISH | JULY 9 | MOLSON AMPITHEATRE
ONE DIRECTION | JULY 9 | AIR CANADA CENTRE | $29 - 90
WIRE | JULY 10 | LEE'S PALACE | $25
BAKENAKED LADIES | JULY 11 | MOLSON AMPITHEATRE | $27 - 77
HISTORY OF THE EAGLES | JULY 11 | AIR CANADA CENTRE | $45 - $199
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK | JULY 11 | DANFORTH MUSIC HALL | $35
GAY | JULY 11 | DOUBLE DOUBLE LAND | $7
WEEZER | JULY 11 | DOWNSVIEW PARK | $60
BABYSITTER | JULY 12 | IZAKAYA SUSHI HOUSE | $5
PETRA GLYNT | JULY 14 | HABOURFRONT CENTRE | FREE
SOLANGE | JULY 13 | KOOL HAUS | $26.50
BURNING LOVE | JULY 13 | SOY BOMB HQ | $10
BOB DYLAN | JULY 15 | MOLSON AMPITHEATRE | $50 - 90
WOODS | JULY 17 | THE HORSESHOE | $15.50
JAY Z and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE | JULY 17 | ROGERS CENTRE | $40 - 275
JONAS BROTHERS | JULY 18 | THE MOLSON AMPITHEATRE | $30 - 90
COURTNEY LOVE | JULY 20 | DANFORTH MUSIC HALL
BEYONCE | JULY 21 | AIR CANADA CENTRE | $45 - 250
STEELY DAN | JULY 21 | MOLSON AMPITHEATRE | $25 - 160
SEAN NICHOLAS SAVAGE | JULY 22 | HANDLEBAR
HEART | JULY 23 | MOLSON AMPITHEATRE | $15 - 95
KISS | JULY 26 | MOLSON AMPITHEATRE | $20 - 176
MAD DECENT BLOCK PARTY feat. MAJOR LAZER | JULY 26 | FORK YORK GARRISON COMMON
ZACHT AUTOMAT | JULY 27 | DOUBLE DOUBLE LAND
BLUE HAWAII | JULY 28 | WRONGBAR | $10
UNDER THE SUN feat. SUGAR RAY and SMASH MOUTH | JULY 28 | ECHO BEACH | $45 - 65
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK | JULY 28 | AIR CANADA CENTRE | $30 - 90
SMITH WESTERNS | JULY 29 | LEE'S PALACE | $17
EDGEFEST feat. THE LUMINEERS | JULY 31 | DOWNSVIEW PARK
Follow @AubreyJax on Twitter. Photo of M.I.A. by Matthew McAndrew.