The top 10 all ages shows in Toronto for summer 2014
The top all ages shows in Toronto this summer range from stadium shows and festivals to small loft gigs. Summertime in Toronto has become festival season, with plenty of events geared at getting us out in the sun to listen to some tunes. This also means that those of us who haven't hit that golden number 19 get a chance to see some of their favourite bands crawl out of the clubs and into the light of day.
Festivals aside, the Molson Amphitheatre has a lot to offer concertgoers this summer - though the price tag can be hefty at times, there's no denying the plenty of variety in this summer's program. Those with more modest budgets can rely on the all-ages shows that many local promoters - including like Wavelength, PPOP, Feast In The East, and Mark Pesci - are throwing to engage music fans of any age.
Pesci's Just Shows site filters all-ages listings here, and venues like Double Double Land, Jam Factory, and Silver Dollar Room are primed to get in on the action. We've rounded up the best picks for the summer, but keep an eye on their pages for even more all-ages live music.
Here are my picks for the top all-ages shows in Toronto this summer.
Construction Volume 3 - Comet Control w/ Mimico / June 13 / Smiling Buddha / PWYC
It truly was a long winter, but the organizers behind the fiercely popular Long Winter series bring their chilly magic to the summer months. Recent events have included everyone's current favorite The Dirty Nil; this edition features Comet Control, a band that rose out of the ashes of local heavy psych rockers Quest For Fire. Follow Long Winter for more Construction shows at Smiling Buddha and Double Double Land.
NXNE / June 18-22 / various venues / free-$149
NXNE is arguably Toronto's most popular festival, and their free Yonge and Dundas Square series is always something to look forward to. This year's highlights include Sleigh Bells, Danny Brown and Odonis Odonis on June 19, St. Vincent, Swans, and Eagulls on June 20, Spoon, Mac Demarco and Alvvays on June 21, and Juicy J, Run The Jewels and Ratking on June 22. Another stellar all ages event is being thrown by local label Buzz Records at The Great Hall June 21. Featuring a few artists off their impressive roster (HSY, Weaves and Mexican Slang) they've also wrangled current cultural obsession Perfect Pussy. This is a show not to be missed. Find more all-ages NXNE shows here.
Fall Out Boy and Paramore / June 25 / Molson Amphitheatre / $20-$60
Pete Wentz takes time off his many extracurricular projects to get back to doing what started this thing off in the first place: Fall Out Boy. Together with Paramore on what has been dubbed "Monumentour," both bands' penchant for hard-driving pop rock will be on display across North America this summer. The sets will undoubtedly be packed full of hits and sure not to disappoint longtime fans.
Against Me! / June 27 / Yonge and Dundas Square / free
Toronto's successful bid to host World Pride this year means there will be plenty of events happening, all aimed at making this the biggest celebration of the LGBT community this city has ever seen. Laura Jane Grace, perhaps the most high-profile transgender musician ever, brings her band Against Me! to Yonge and Dundas Square.
Warped Tour / July 4 / Molson Amphitheatre / $51.25
Hard to believe that this traveling caravan has hit the ripe age of 20, but it continues to rack up the miles with a crowd-pleasing line up in tow. Established artists like Saves The Day and Less Than Jake coexist with rising stars like The Devil Wears Prada, Teenage Bottlerocket, and The Ghost Inside.
Edgefest Summer Concert Series / July 1, July 18, August 16 / Echo Beach / price TBA
Edgefest has been a summer tradition for over 25 years, bringing hundreds of international and Canadian acts to stages across southern Ontario. This year Echo Beach plays host to the series, which will feature The Sheepdogs, Monster Truck, and Matt Mays on July 1, USS, Said The Whale, and Ms Mr on July 18, and for your parents: Our Lady Peace, Sloan, and I Mother Earth on August 16. New acts are TBA so check back to their webpage in the coming weeks.
TIME Festival / July 19 / Fort York / $25
Time Festival makes its return to Toronto after taking a three-year break. Primarily known as an electronic festival, this year's lineup features Grimes, Charlie XCX, St. Lucia, Jon Hopkins, Majical Clouds, Flume and Kaytranada. Widening the scope are infamous rappers Death Grips and Action Bronson, as well as indie-poppers Smith Westerns and Haerts.
Under The Influence of Music Tour / July 29 / Molson Amphitheatre / $27.50-$72.75
Wiz Khalifa gets set to roll out this roadshow for the third year running. The fifth stop on the 22-date tour brings Tyga, Ty Dolla $ing, Mack Wilds, Rich Homie, Quan, Iamsu!, Sage The Gemini, and DJ Drama to the Molson Amphitheatre in what promoter LiveNation calls "hip hop's most electrifying summer tour." As an added bonus, those who purchase their tickets online get a free digital copy of Wiz Khalifa's new album Blacc Hollywood.
OVO Fest / August 3-4 / Molson Amphitheatre / price TBA
Can Toronto's favorite son, Drake, pull another rabbit out of his hat this year? OVO is known for bringing a reliably star-studded event to the stage - and you don't have to look much further than a reunited Outkast to know what's in store. Previous years have given the audiences plenty of surprises with names like Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, and Lil Wayne showing up unannounced. What else does Drake have up his sleeve? No doubt it will be magic.
Panic! At The Disco / August 6 / Echo Beach / $29.50-$49.50
They've dubbed it The Gospel Tour, so it's obvious Panic! At The Disco hopes to further spread the word on their massive 33-stop summer trek. They touch down in Toronto on August 6 with Walk The Moon and Youngblood Hawk in the support slots. Given the rave reviews they've received since their inception, crowds can expect the same kind of full-throttle energy the band gives each and every night.
What all-ages shows are you excited about for this summer? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.
Writing by Evan Sue-Ping. Wiz Khalifa photo by Brian Morton.
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