The top concerts in Toronto for March 2015
The top concerts in Toronto this March begin with Sleater-Kinney (this is not a dream) playing the pre-reno Sound Academy (this is not a nightmare) and cap off with Shad - not too shabby for a month that will undoubtedly be going through a slushy and gross identity crisis. In between are ample top shelf yet rent-saving local shows plus Italian noise, crowdfunded Kpop, and punk labels celebrating birth and death.
Don't forget Anamai is playing a free show tonight (March 1) at June Records. Then at Lee's Palace there's Gang Of Four (March 9) and Benjamin Booker (March 31), while Cancer Bats are at the Phoenix (March 12). Meanwhile the Decemberists and Alvvays will unite at Massey Hall (March 30).
As for love? Apparently you all looked too bundled up and depressed to catch anyone's eye at a concert last month, but Alvvays is still helping Toronto make IRL connections. Bless you, Alvvays.
Here are my picks for live music in Toronto this month.
Sleater-Kinney (March 2, Sound Academy)
In things I've been desperately hoping to say for the past decade: Sleater-Kinney have reunited. The much-loved riot grrrls are about to release their first album in 10 years and have just announced a major tour that thankfully includes one precious date in Toronto. The only downside is the venue, which I think we're all in agreement about. SK
St. Vincent (March 3, 4, Danforth Music Hall)
If you didn't get a chance to see Annie Clark headline NXNE this summer (either because you didn't go, or because you did go but the sight-lines at Yonge-Dundas Square are the worst), you'll get two more shots in March. She'll play back-to-back shows to continue her massive Digital Witness Tour. SK
Fresh & Future (March 5, Bassline)
The new Fresh & Future weirdo electronic music series is back on Bloor at Bassline. On this month's line up are Sexy Merlin, Zoo Owl, Kovacevic, and Baalam x S/ck F/sh. It's a steal - before 11pm both drinks and cover are $5.
Feast in the East (March 7, Jam Factory)
Speaking of deals, here's the show that feeds you and your ears for a mere $8 in advance. Feast in the East this month will bring HSY (Buzz Records), Shrines, Retired, and We Are Not Who We Are to the east end, with a Southern American dinner by Stephanie Fielding & Heather Rule.
TOPS (March 8, Smiling Buddha)
More great deals - Montreal synthpop band TOPS will be in town, performing along with local spine-tingling psych folk group Tasseomancy. Should be a dreamy $8 night.
Lust for Youth (March 9, Bambi's)
The first Toronto appearance of Sacred Bones artists Lust for Youth will be at Bambi's on Dundas West. Queen of trash Bile Sister and her band will open up. Capacity is limited, so get there early for the DJ prowess of two Toronto Josh's.
Unite the Mic (March 20, Massey Hall)
Before May's Toronto Kpop Convention, fans here have won the year's first KrowdPop event, which isn't a tweenie bopper krautrock program but rather an international site that allows fans to vote for and then crowdfund Kpop concerts. Ailee, Jay Park, and San E will perform in Toronto. Read more here.
Father Murphy (March 20, Dance Cave)
Father Murphy are bringing the doom and gloom back to Toronto - did you miss out on that "two one-sided 10" containing two movements each, meant to be played simultaneously - or maybe not"? Pick it up at Dance Cave this month and experience the screams and minimalism of one of the best goth duos Italy has to offer.
BA Johnston (March 20, Johnny Jackson)
If Kpop and Euro-noise aren't your thing, maybe some kitschy Canadiana grime rock is. This show will be a funeral of sorts for Toronto label Mammoth Cave, whose last release will be B.A. Johnston's Shit Sucks LP.
The Holy Gasp (March 21, Silver Dollar)
Rules are as one DIY label dies, another rises, and NO LOVE will celebrate their second tape release with the official party for The Holy Gasp's The Last Generation of Love. The must-see local jazz-influenced outfit exploring territory as strange and original as BADBADNOTGOOD will be joined by Friendly Rich & The Lollipop People.
Shad (March 27, Massey Hall)
Drake may be the spotlight (and our) darling, but Toronto never fails to show love to Shad. Massey Hall's large yet intimate-feeling elegance will be a perfect match, and it will be a chance to experience one of the city's best venues before its upcoming makeover (opposite of Sound Academy, right?).
What did we miss? Leave the concerts you survived the winter for in the comments.
Contributions by Shazia Khan. Photo of St Vincent by Matt Forsythe
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