The top concerts in Toronto August 2014
The top concerts in Toronto in August run the usual summertime gamut from outdoor festivals and arena spectacles to back alley raves and noise nerd-outs, because we really can't focus, can we. You already know about Drake's OVO, and if you want to dance outside instead of stand around with your hands in your pockets this month, try these parties. I'm just kidding, by the way - you can't wipe tears from your eyes at Chris Isaak if your hands are in your pants.
Before we get to the concert listings that are missing the show you're most excited about, here are July's best Toronto music Missed Connections.
If you were one of the 80,000 people at Digital Dreams and you're looking for love, perk up your glowsticks - one of these MC's might be for you, if you are: a tall, sexy, shirtless guy with a lot of female companions, Stephanie from Bolton who knows dirty Wilbur (Stephanie's the nicest person, aw), Eesha (either name or a genre of/psychedelic companion to EDM), you sat on a stranger's shoulders and can do wonders with an eyelash curler, or the phrase "wanna mate, I mean date?" kinda rings a bell. A non alarm bell.
TURF also yielded a few, which are predictably underwhelming: Andrew wore the same shirt two days in a row (how rootsy), picturing the prettiest Gogol Bordello fan doesn't exactly make for a stunning vision to me (sorry), and you're a good dancer so I hope you live a good life. Then even the Beaches Jazz Fest gets in on the action: hey there, white boots in an unhappy relationship or hot (very hot, from the sounds of it) pink dress.
Love was in the air at Bey & Jay Z, though you should beware those of bad capitalization (fine for fun, not Great to Marry) or dudes from King West who beg. Last run: were you sporting a "let it be" tattoo at Queen? Acting huffy at TOIKA for H.O.S.H.? Perhaps you were Amy and Laura at MuchMusic for Good Charlotte in Toronto 2004? "You were both REALLY cool and way more kind to me than most people ever were. I thought that if I lived around Toronto, we would've become good friends." I'm crying.
But Good Charlotte were unbearable by 2004, so on to the 2014 concerts.
Boris / August 7 / Lee's Palace / $20
Is there a more perfect band to cap a solid heavy music summer with than Boris? This Japanese trio is pretty much impossible to categorize, with a career catalogue that's attempted everything from drone-y doom to dream pop, but if you had to describe them with one adjective, "LOUD" would probably be safe. The new album, appropriately titled Noise, won't be out until June, but if the teaser track is any indication it will blow away the crowd at Lee's Palace. Bring earplugs. SK
Greys / August 8 / S.H.I.B.G.B.'s (225 Geary Ave) / $10
Breakout band Greys would like to reassure everyone that they never called "loud" a genre and they don't mind being called noise rock, actually. Catch their record release show with BUZZ Records and openers HSY, WTCHS (vowels are out) and Marriage (marriage is in?).
FKA Twigs / August 8 / Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth Ave) / $25
<3 <3 <3, just <3 <3 <3.
SARIN / August 9 / Cinecycle (129 Spadina) / $5-10
SARIN is on DETH Records (who are a beacon of black-oil hope in this town but will never save us from Toronto's ever rising dadcore / posi-sock-hop experimental scenes) but he's also on some pretty intense Cronenberg shit. I don't know what he looks like under that disco-ball studded balaclava but I hear one glance will curse your Tinder account for the next seven goth raves. Goth raves are a thing in Toronto, I swear.
Ketamines + Jay Arner / August 9 / The Cavern Bar (76 Church St.)
We have a quote from Paul Lawton that does not include any Canadian music scene drama or CBC references. The quote is as follows. "Ketamines are playing this tour with Jay Arner on bass guitar. Ketamines are recording LP #3 which we are describing as "Cartoon Biker Rock." We have a new 7" coming out on HoZac Records (Chicago, home to Dum Dum Girls, NoBunny etc) later this year with our alter-ego goth band MEAN TIKES." I told you I could do anything if I put my mind to it.
SummerWorks: Weaves / Allison Cummings
SummerWorks is better know for its more theatrical elements, but they have an intriguing music program this year which reads as if someone just came by and dropped off names of trendy Toronto bands, but the list apparently included Lido Pimienta so who's complaining. Read about the hour long set that Weaves and Allison Cummings have planned for Toronto here for Sunday, August 10, 9pm at Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue). On August 13, Lido Pimienta and Natasha Greenblatt will be heating things up. Check out the full music series here.
Alvvays / August 14 / The Horseshoe (370 Queen St West) / $11.50
Alvvays hold the distinction of being the only Toronto band to release something catchy this summer. If I'm wrong let me know as I'm not an authority on catchyness, like you, but click the link below first to lighten your outraged vibes.
Mad Decent Block Party / August 15 / Garrison Commons (Fort York)
After Mad Decent's first trip to Toronto last summer, they're back for another round. With Diplo himself on the bill (Mad Decent's main man), complemented by Flosstrdamus, Grandtheft, and more, you know it'll be one of the can't-miss parties of the summer. MF
Wavelength's Endless Summer / August 16 / Vintage & Flea Outdoor Market at Dovercourt (1251 Dundas St. West) / $10
Wavelength's Endless Summer will swarm Dundas West at Vintage & Flea Outdoor Market at Dovercourt, a quirky market full of studded cut-off shorts, normcore backpacks, and haphazard vintage footwear. At Endless Summer, browse to your thrifty hearts' content with live music: Blue Hawaii will send Alex to DJ with live sets by Comet Control, Mexican Slang, JFM, Alpha Strategy, Hiawatha, and more are on the musical menu, with Hand Eye Society supplying video games.
Cam'rom / August 16 / Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth
Cam'ron is hitting Canada hard this summer with stacked tour dates from Montreal to Vancouver promoting his first two releases of his First Of The Month EP series in which he will drop an EP at the first of each month for six consecutive months. M
Zvi + Isa Christ / August 22 / Ratio (283 College)
Noise show of the month, and it's at Toronto's newest second floor event space. Does your Instagram need more effects-board gazing? Don't bathe this week, you'll ruin the vibe.
Robyn and Royksopp / August 25 / Echo Beach (909 Lakeshore) / $50-80
A strange but beautiful Scandinavian double header, Swedish Robyn and Norwegian Royksopp will share the stage at Echo Beach to close out the summer. It's bound to be a night of happy pop music, lights, and several stops at the beer tent. AG
Chris Isaak - August 27 - Massey Hall (178 Victoria St) $40-100
Sometimes I pretend I'm Chris Isaak. I lie back and imagine it was me who wrote and recorded "Wicked Game." The Forever Blue LP with all its heavenly highs, lows, and dirty highs and lows was crafted in studio by me, a conduit for greatness. I am a divine creator. I am perfection. I am rolling on a beach with a beautiful model and appearing in Fire Walk With Me. I love myself as much as I am loved. A single tear falls on my guitar and pricks the night like a sparrow landing on a tin roof.
Arcade Fire / August 29 / Molson Ampitheatre (909 Lakeshore) / $30-70
They're back. Wear what you want. Wait, the Constantines are opening? Wear that flannel you used to wear to the Lakeview back when they had open mic nights.
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Photo of FKA Twigs via The Guardian. Contributions by Shazia Khan, Matt Forsythe, Adam Golfetto, Markit.