The top 10 concerts in Toronto for spring 2015
The top spring concerts in Toronto will bring together a healthy mix of regularly recurring faves and long awaited returns. The impending festival season deluge gives us a ton right off the bat with Canadian Music Week, Field Trip and NXNE to name a few (see our full list of spring festivals here), but even without them, the city's set to bustle with must-see headliners.
Reunion tours for cult favourites continue to be a hot ticket, and this spring we'll see both shoegaze icons Ride and emo pioneers Knapsack offer anticipated returns. In news of bands I thought were doing a reunion tour but have actually just been around this whole time, both The Muffs and Pennywise are also set to visit. Arcade Fire's Win Butler and MCR's Gerard Way will shake off their band identities for local solo debuts.
Pop music fans, look forward to Jessie J and The Script; metalheads, gear up for Big Business and Mitochondrion. If you're looking for a cross between those two genres, that's weird, but Babymetal a) exists and b) are coming, so you're in luck. Speaking of weird, spring's schedule additionally includes curious co-headliners like Fall Out Boy with Wiz Khalifa and Dashboard Confessional with Third Eye Blind (get out the hankies). Also look forward to Constantines, Manic Street Preachers, Saukrates, OK Go and Limblifter (good thing the weather's finally cooperating for all this).
Unfortunately, Iggy Azalea had to cancel her big tour - I know, sad stuff. But wipe your tears, because these 10 upcoming shows will surely help fill that void.
Here are my picks for the top concerts in Toronto this spring.
Shad (March 27, Massey Hall)
The newly anointed host of CBC's Q now has a lot of eyes on him for obvious reasons, so his upcoming show is sure to be an even larger draw than expected. It's is part of Massey Hall's live concert series, which offers cheap tickets and a filmed recording that's later broadcast online.
Belle and Sebastian (April 1, Massey Hall)
Though they chose The Great Hall as the setting for one of their most recent music videos, Belle and Sebastian decided to spend their next foray into town at Massey Hall, this time for a full-fledged concert in honour of new album Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (yes, Massey will be a popular choice this season; take advantage, since time with the prestigious space is a bit limited).
The Decemberists with Alvvays (March 30, Massey Hall)
The literary folk stylings of The Decemberists are also set to fill the air at - you guessed it - Massey Hall this month, and as a little source of pride, they've handpicked the Toronto-based "it" kids Alvvays to kick off shows across their whole North American tour.
Decibel Tour (April 8, Phoenix)
Metal magazine Decibel returns with its fourth annual tour featuring some of the biggest modern names of the genre. This time 'round, catch the reunited (again) Swedish death metallers At the Gates, hardcore innovators Converge, old-school doom crew Pallbearer, and the crushing riffs of Vallenfyre.
Screaming Females (April 10, Silver Dollar)
New Jersey trio Screaming Females have kind of sneakily become one of the best rock bands around over their decade-long existence, helmed by frontwoman Marissa Paternoste's raucous screams (band name is apt) and mind-blowing guitar solos. This cheapy gig at the Silver Dollar, on the heels of new album Rose Mountain, is a very economical way to get your face melted on a Friday night.
Earl Sweatshirt (April 14, Opera House)
Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt's had a lot of bad luck with tours, having to cancel past ones due to pneumonia and exhaustion, but it looks like he's mended enough for an extensive upcoming North American/UK jaunt. The "Not Redy 2 Leave" tour brings the rapper to the Opera House with openers Vince Staples and Remy Banks.
Sufjan Stevens (April 29, Massey Hall)
After years of quirky experimentation with electronic collabs and film soundtracking, it appears that Sufjan Stevens is ready to settle back into the folky stuff with new LP Carrie and Lowell. Exciting for fans is another rarity, a sweeping North American tour where his theatrical performance style and swell of live instrumentation can be witnessed in person.
Melt-Banana (May 17, Lee's Palace)
Japanese grind innovators Melt-Banana are still touring strong off the strength of 2013's Fetch and are planning another stop at Toronto's Lee's Palace. If it's anything like their last visit, expect core duo Yasuko Onuki and Ichirou Agata to play a spastic, deafening set all on their own, save for the drum machine.
Lana Del Rey (June 3, Molson Amphitheatre)
Gorgeous sad sack Lana Del Rey is embarking on her first official concert tour in support of last year's Ultraviolence, and in her classic quirky fashion, managed to add some weirdness by making Courtney Love her opener. Sadly, us Torontonians will be deprived of their cosmic chemistry since Love's not on the latter half of the tour, but that just means Lana fans (looking at you, Aubrey Jax) get more face time with the oft-controversial crooner.
Rush (June 17 and 19, Air Canada Centre)
One of Canada's biggest musical exports is ending the spring (and their career, maybe) with a bang. Rush's 2015 tour is reported to be their last, so do everything you can to squeeze your way in to the ACC to catch the legendary rockers play one last time. Maybe.
What did I miss? Leave the random concerts you're going to that are way better than all of these in the comments.
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