christmas concerts toronto

The top 10 holiday concerts in Toronto for 2014

Holiday concerts in Toronto this year have the usual array of punk, rap, and long hair, plaid-button-down indie rock shows, but never fear - we have some outsider fringe picks for the oh-so-cynical and edgy sing-a-long chorus set. O come all ye faithful / suspicious but tolerant of supernatural themes: there are ways to embrace the season whether you're a Grinch or you're burning to belt out your holiday favourites in a mosh pit.

Here are my picks for holiday concerts in Toronto this year.

Telephone Explosion Xmas Party (December 5, S.H.I.B.G.B.S)
Toronto record label Telephone Explosion invites you to "come get sloppy" at their annual punk X-mas party. This year's line-up includes the Soupcans, Teenanger, and LIDS, an 'old/new' band featuring Brian from Holy Fuck, Doug from The Cons, and Alex from Metz. Merch will be discounted in the spirit of the season, tickets are $10, and it's all ages.

Jason Collett's Basement Revue (December 5, 12, 26, The Dakota)
This year's Basement Revue shows might be the break you need from the carols and sleigh bells blasting through the radio. There's always an element of surprise as you don't know who will be performing (from music to slam poetry). Previous years have included Feist and Metric's James Shaw performing Pink Floyd's "Nobody's Home" on piano. Tickets are $25 in advance.

Singing Out Christmas Show (December 6, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts)
Toronto's favourite LGBTQ choir won't let you down this holiday season as they host their 23rd annual Closer to the Flame Christmas concert. The concert will be performed twice this year, one matinee and one evening show, both on December 6. Tickets are $25 and are available on their website.

Andy Kim Christmas Show (December 10, Mod Club)
It's been ten years since Andy Kim's first Christmas show and this year's confirmed guests include Kevin Drew and LIGHTS. Tickets are $25.

The Wooden Sky's Fifth Annual Holiday Revue (December 16, 918 Bathurst)
At The Wooden Sky's 5th annual charitable holiday revue the musical line-up will be complimented by a holiday market for local artists and craft-makers. Other performers include One Hundred Dollars and Highest Order. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will go to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Handel's Messiah (December 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, Roy Thompson Hall)
This is a holiday classic. For some it's not really Christmas until Handel's Messiah is ringing through their ears. This year, like every other, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will perform the masterpiece with Toronto's Mendelssohn Choir a whopping five times. Tickets range from about $40 - $110.

Kardinal Offishall's 16th Annual Christmas Party (December 18, The Everleigh)
This will be Kardinal's 16th annual bash at The Everleigh Club on December 18th. More information has yet to be released. The less you know, the more you want to go, right?

Unsilent Night (December 19, Music Gallery)
Not quite a flash mob but still you can experience what it is to be a part of something bigger than your usual Christmas caroling. Forget caroling door-to-door, this original composition by Philip Kein is meant to be sung outdoors and has been performed across the world, in 98 countries. Klein wrote this as homage to his love of caroling and electronic music. Admission is PWYC.

Sing-Along Messiah (December 21, Massey Hall)
What's Christmas without repeating Hallelujah about 1000 times? Boring. Sing-along to Handel's Messiah at Massey Hall to get enough Hallelujah's to last you a lifetime. Don't worry, there's no audition and you'll be backed by professional singers to help you through the toughest high notes.

Blue Rodeo (December 21, Danforth Music Hall)
Here's another chance to give to charity with the Toronto music scene. Blue Rodeo will perform with friends at their Christmas show for a last-call to get some holiday cheer before the big day. All the proceeds from the concert will go to The Daily Bread Food Bank. Tickets are $50.

What did I miss? Add other holiday concerts to the comments.

Lead photo by zakonslike


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