The top concerts in Toronto July 2014
The top concerts in Toronto in July will give you plenty of opportunities to sweat it out on grassy fields and darkened clubs. From Gaga and Beyonce playing TO on the same date (omg what if they wear the same outfit) to percussion jams in east end factories, this month has every music fan set up. Don't forget the Edgefest Concert Series will kinda rock out July 1, July 18, and August 6, and the Beaches International Jazz Festival runs in Woodbine Park from July 18-27. If you need to dance right away, Electric Island is July 1.
But what about love? Toronto music missed connections in June, include, of course, a Skrillex incident: you, the "super cute" Ray Ban wearing security guard at VIP, do you remember what that girl you checked out was wearing? Everyone was drunk out of their minds in June - this Arctic Monkeys fan isn't clear on who was too drunk to stay at the show, and at Lauryn Hill your huge hands, swollen from drinking (is that even a thing?) weren't enough to turn off Nikki.
The lone NXNE missed connection is from a guy who glanced at you for a moment during St. Vincent's Yonge-Dundas set. He knows the colour of your eyes somehow - though he might be confusing them with St V's hair. J is looking for A from Cherry Beach on June 4, but I'm not going to link you to what J has on offer.
Here are the top concerts to pine over equally drunk strangers at in Toronto this July.
SSION - July 3 - AGO
Why should WorldPride end with a parade? Better to end it with brilliant, John Waters inspired gutter pop / video art icon Cody Critcheloe (NY/Kansas), aka SSION. From art punk all the way to electronic cult star, SSION has evolving from one shade of greatness to another over the years - and most importantly, puts on a great show. First Thursday at the Art Gallery of Ontario are kinda weird, but this is worth it. Check out my favourite videos: "Clown" (that soundstage); "Earthquake" (that art direction!); "My Love Grows in the Dark" (ditto); Street Jizz (oldie); Psy-chic (puppy!).
TURF (Toronto Urban Roots Festival) - July 4-6 - Garrion Commons (Fort York)
After confounding everyone with their 2013 debut, "what the heck is the Toronto Urban Roots Fest?" can finally be dropped. Put on by some of the most well-respected members of the Toronto music community, TURF has expanded to three days and seven club nights in only its second year. Headlined by Beirut, Sam Roberts Band, and Neutral Milk Hotel, there's a deep lineup behind those three with lots for fans of indie rock to love. MF
Rakim - July 4 - Phoenix
The legendary MC flies solo these days after his split with Eric B in the early 90s. A massive solo career has followed though, and he'll be testing the waters in Toronto this summer. Check him out over on Sherbourne when he lights up The Phoenix. AG
Deltron 3030 - July 5 - Tattoo
This supergroup puts it together well, though not quite with the same brilliance as Del's old Hiero days. Kid Koala and Dan the Automator are nothing to cry about though, and this trio will be stopping by Toronto in the wake of their return from a 13-year album hiatus. AG
Beyonce + Jay Z - July 9 - Rogers Centre
Rumour has it that this '14 Bonnie and Clyde event is the tour of the summer. According to Consequence of Sound, the set spans 42-songs, features outfits upon outfits, and is sure to touch on every-era of their careers. They've been paying tribute to MJ and showcasing choice tracks from both Watch The Throne and Beyonce. Need I say more? Check the intro to the concert series from when they kicked off the tour in Miami. M
Lady Gaga - July 9 - ACC
Since see wants us to think about pop stars and stuff: do you think Gaga, Jay Z, and Beyonce are going to hang out after their gigs and compare notes? Was this a wise move or will it split Toronto's teenie bopper scene in half? I'm frightened.
Future - July 11 - Sound Academy
This 25 year-old Atlanta singer/ rapper has been making moves and collaborating with the best of the best in the biz. Dropping his second album this past April and now headlining his first North American tour, Future is joined on stage by Rico Love and Que. With album guest appearances by Andre 3000, Drake, Kanye, Pharrell, Wiz, Wayne & more, it's hard to say how Future will translate the immensity of each track live, but maybe, just maybe, we'll see a special guest in real life... or maybe Ciara?! Who wouldn't settle for that? Honest. M
Construction Series - July 11 - Smiling Buddha
Construction (the summer answer to Long Winter) is keepin' on this month with Absolutely Free, Doomsquad, and Anamai. AKA a pretty presh bill, Toronto wise. I'd like to buy the Anamai cassette but it's $10. Gotta save up.
So Percussion and Man Forever - July 13 - Jam Factory
Just east of the Don Valley, the must-see show for fans of percussion and experimental jazz will go down at Jam Factory with Man Forever (John Colpitts, aka Kid Millions, Oneida) and So Percussion, the "premiere contemporary percussion ensemble" in the USA (or so they proclaim). Music in the Barns will be there for support. Need more? OOIOO are at Lee's Palace a week later.
Time - July 19 - Garrison Common (Fort York)
TIME is new for 2014, appearing on the Toronto scene to fill a necessary niche: an affordable festival compacted into one convenient day. With alterna-indie heavyweight Grimes headlining, the bill is rounded out with contemporaries like Charli XCX and Magical Cloudz, hip-hop acts Action Bronson and Death Grips, electronic acts Flume and Kaytranada, and more. Let's hope it's better than Grove was last year. MF
Airplane Boys - July 20 - Mod Club
APB are a rising force in Toronto's hip hop scene. In June they released album Egos and Expectations for free - I'm not even sure why we get to be this lucky, but download it before they (or some major) take it down. Expect Drake-style rap/r&b vocals and a Drake-style play between egoist machismo and sweetie pie vibes from this Scarborough repping duo.
Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden - July 27 - Molson Amphitheatre
A pretty specific demographic will be present at this show (and I'm sure that demographic will enjoy it immensely, though their stony faces may not show it). Two huge alternative names from the 90s get together for a double header at the Amphitheatre. AG
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Contributions by Adam Golfetto, Matt Forsythe, Markit. Photo: AP Select