January concerts Toronto

The top concerts in Toronto for January 2015

The top concerts in Toronto this January absolutely spoil us - rumours about winter being a dreary time for live music have been wildly exaggerated. Beyond the Guvernment's huge closing bash (see our dance preview) there's Silver Dollar's Class of 2015 series, a stacked Long Winter, exciting shows from local and touring artists, and at least two concerts serving dinner with the show.

On the chance none of these strike your fancy, The Ting Tings play Mod Club January 19, Hamilton Leithauser plays an early show at the Drake January 20, and Viet Cong will put on a good show at the Garrison January 31. If all else fails I guess try to score a date with Riff Raff.

Speaking of hook ups, Alvvays really has made it - here's an absolutely adorable (/emo) missed connection from their Opera House show: "...You seemed to be dancing off a kind of sadness and I believed in that moment you had found happiness. I really hope you did..." Sigh. If you were at Gwar with one half of your head shaved read this. Then, were you hotter than Rene Russo at Fleetwood Mac, or did you make out at Lee's Palace? Godspeed.

Here are my picks for the best live music in Toronto this January.

Feast in the East (January 3, Jam Factory)
A ticket to the first Feast in the East of the year includes a free Dutch dinner by Justin Go, and performances by stellar and spooky Toronto psych acts Doomsquad, Zones, Matrox, and Barbara. The gang are starting the year off right in the east end. All ages.

Class of 2015 (January 3-30, Silver Dollar)
No need to mope around after the NYE fuss is over - starting this weekend live music fans will have more fun launching 2015 with the New Year's Indie Music Honour Roll series at Silver Dollar. On weekends in January catch seven different line ups including Pet Sun, CROSSS, Mimico, Pistol George Warren, New Fries, CHOBO, and Bile Sister. Check out the line ups here.

Long Winter (January 9, Great Hall)
This Long Winter session is stacked with bands who made our 2014 music round-ups: artists, bands, speakers, and musicians at the winter carnival include Jason Doell, Dilly Dally, Bile Sister, and Nick Storring, plus Miracle Fortress, Mas Aya, ZONES, Moonwood, Das Rad, Tenderness, Analogue Preservation Network, a Apocalyptic Beach Rave, Jesse Brown of CANADALAND, and more.

A$AP Ferg (January 14, Sound Academy)
The first major hip hop show of the year brings us a member of the A$AP Mob crew. Trap Lord himself A$AP Ferg just released a new mixtape and has been touring with YG on the Bestcoast Connection Tour - their original November date got derailed at the last minute, but hopefully this reschedule goes more smoothly. SK

Hank Wood and the Hammerheads (January 15, S.H.I.B.G.B's)
This punk show looks amazing. Are Hank Wood and the Hammerheads NYC's best punk band? I have no idea but "icoulddietomorrow.blogspot.ca" looks soo much like "icuddletomorrow.blogspot.ca." Aw. Also on the bill are S.H.I.T., Hamilton's TV Freaks, Schizophrenic Rex, and Chlorine. All ages.

Pharmakon (January 17, S.H.I.B.G.B's)
S.H.I.B.G.B's on Geary is the place to be again on the 17th. Venue pacing noise artist Margaret Chardiet AKA Pharmakon (Sacred Bones) ruined my hearing last summer and this time I'm going to wear earplugs. Oh god I hope I wear earplugs. Believe the hype: few solo noise artists put on such an immersive show. All ages.

The Vaselines (January 19, Lee's Palace)
Considering a 21-year gap separates their first two LPs, it's safe to say a Vaselines tour doesn't come around very often. If you dig the infectious punky-pop hooks of this Scottish indie band even half as much as Kurt Cobain did, you'd better snap up some tickets to their Lee's Palace show fast. SK

Weyes Blood (January 19)
Dreamy psych music is setting up camp at Smiling Buddha as new weird America artist Weyes Blood is joined by Toronto's Petra Glynt, Anamai, and Schnsee. If you forget to buy stick-on Dollar Store rhinestones on the way over, someone will have some to lend you.

Sam Smith (January 20, Air Canada Centre)
The UK's newest soul-crooning export (and perhaps most acclaimed mopey Brit since Morrissey) comes to the ACC in January to perform hits from his debut smash, In the Lonely Hour. The 22-year-old has practically become a star overnight and just nabbed six Grammy nods thanks to sheer vocal talent and relatable tunes about unrequited love. George Ezra opens. SK

Zola Jesus (January 22, The Horseshoe)
In support of new record Taiga, Zola Jesus brings her North American tour to The Drake's intimate Underground venue - a perfect venue to experience her dark, gothy electronic vibes up close. Her recent gig at NYC's Webster Hall elicited this new music video, which'll give you a taste of what you're in for. SK

Lido Pimienta (January 23, Smiling Buddha)
I'm guessing that soon, catching Tanya Tagaq collaborator Lido Pimienta's explosion of energy, positivity, and capital-L Love at a venue this intimate is going to get harder. If you haven't seen her, do not miss this Buddha show. Ken Park and Carl Didur are also on the bill.

Eat and Greet with the Band (Starts January 24)
Dinner and a show? Collective Concerts and Rose & Son's is kicking off a series of pre-show dinners where fans will have the chance to mingle and munch with their favourite musical acts. The first event happening Saturday January 24 at the Phoenix will feature a menu from Big Crow tailored to the tastes of Canadian alt-country trio, Elliott Brood. LI

Owen Pallett (January 31, Lee's Palace)
It's been a banner year for violin-wielding virtuoso Owen Pallett thanks to an acclaimed LP, popular music theory lessons and everything from Emmy to Oscar nominations (he even handled that JG controversy like a pro). His gig with Jennifer Castle will feature the intricate compositions and deft musicianship that make him such a sought-after collaborator across the music world. SK

See also

The top 5 dance parties in Toronto January 2015
Just Shows

What did I miss? Leave the January concerts you're most excited for in the comments.

Contributions by Shazia Khan, Liora Ipsum

Photo of Zola Jesus by picksysticks on Flickr

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