cmw 2015 toronto

The top 25 shows at Canadian Music Week 2015

Canadian Music Week 2015 is almost upon us, meaning music fans are resting up before 10 days of shows take over Toronto's concert venues from Sony Centre to Burdock.

CMW is an industry event above all else, but the focus on conferences from the organizers is met with a glazed look from the city's concert-goers, who just want to figure out if a wristband is worth it or not. If you haven't made up your mind yet, we've broken the huge lineup of bands into headliners, local favourites, and emerging acts.

For those who like to explore, the entire festival schedule is available on the CMW website or, alternatively, on newly revamped concert listing site Showgopher.

Wristband information, including explanation of "Limited Wristband" events and "Concert Lotteries" can be found on the CMW festival website.

Here are my picks for the top acts to catch at this year's Canadian Music Week.


The Jesus and Mary Chain - The Phoenix - May 1st - 9pm
Scottish rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain bring their 30th anniversary tour of the timelessly cool 1985 release Pyschocandy to the Phoenix. Dress code: all black. Also performing: Gateway Drugs. *Limited Wristbands

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - The Sony Centre - May 3rd + 4th - 8pm
Noel Gallagher (from some band called Oasis) returns to Toronto for a two night stint at the beautiful Sony Centre in support of his latest release Chasing Yesterday. Expect less drama than the last time Oasis played Toronto. *Concert Lottery

Walk Off The Earth - the Danforth Music Hall - May 6th - 7pm
Walk Off The Earth have proven themselves more than just a viral sensation, and they'll be showing The Danforth just how tight their vocal harmonies are in person for CMW. *Concert Lottery

Death Cab for Cutie - the Sony Centre - May 7th - 9pm
Indie pop darlings Death Cab For Cutie (a.k.a. Seth Cohen's favourite band) have been churning out emotional, heartfelt albums since 1997. They'll be hitting the Sony Centre in support of their newest record, Kintsugi. Also performing: The Antlers. *Concert Lottery

Psychedelic Furs - The Phoenix - May 9th - 10pm
London rock group The Psychedelic Furs are still touring strong after over 30 years. The Butler brothers bring their trademark nostalgia-evoking sound to the Phoenix. Also performing: Ecca Vandel, Black English.

Faith No More - the Sony Centre - May 9th - 7pm
Highly influential five piece Faith No More will almost certainly be previewing tracks off their new release Sol Invictus, which is due to drop later this month. *Concert Lottery

Joey Badass - the Danforth Music Hall - May 9th - 9:45pm
With his debut studio album (B4.DA.$$) still fresh on playlists from its January release, Brooklyn-born hip hop artist Joey Badass will be a hot ticket on CMW's last Saturday night. Also performing: Hare Squead, Kaydee, Jazz Cartier.


Tre Mission - Rivoli - May 1st - 12:45pm
Juno nominated local grime musician Tre Mission (whose 2014 release Stigmata featured guest appearances by UK heavyweights Wiley, Skepta, and JME) helps kick off the festival on its opening night at the Rivoli. Also performing: OSIYM, Stay Out Late, LordQuest, Kaydee, Redway.

Metz - Lee's Palace - May 1st + 2nd - 11:30pm
Sub Pop locals Metz double up at Lee's just days before their sophomore album METZ II hits shops. Keep an eye out for yet to be announced openers. Also performing: Protomartyr, TBA. *Concert Lottery

Jully Black - The Phoenix - May 5th - 9pm
Juno award winning artist Jully Black headlines The Phoenix highlighting her two decade long career as the queen of Canadian r&b.

K-Os - The Phoenix - May 6th - 8pm
K-Os is one of many performing artists lending his support to UNISON, a non-profit charity that provides counseling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. Also performing: Finger Eleven, I Mother Earth, Kim Mitchell, Kardinal Offishall, Jason McCoy, The Trews, Tom Wilson.

Grade - The Horseshoe Tavern - May 7th - 12:00AM
Burlington-based Screamo innovators (since 1993) hit the 'Shoe as part of Dine Alone Records' 10 year anniversary celebrations. Also performing: Hounds, Solids, Broncho, Monster Truck, Acid Priest.

Jazz Cartier - The Garrison - May 7th - 12:00AM
Jazz Cartier just dropped his debut mixtape Marauding In Paraside a few weeks ago, but the buzz has been building for some time in Toronto. Catch him at his first local appearance since the release. Also performing: Jake Bluez, AKIDNAMEDPOLLO + SAMMYCITRUS, Gosh Pith, Lucki Eck$.

Harrison - Studio Bar - May 7th - 12:00AM
Hotly tipped producer Harrison has a new release on Last Gang and a LP in the near future, so the only direction is up - catch him at Studio Bar while you still can. Also performing: Glass Gang, Conrad Clifton, Daytrip, Obeson.

Brave Shores - Virgin Mod Club Theatre - May 8th - 11pm
With arguably one of the breakout radio singles of last summer, sibling duo Brave Shores will bring their blog-indie dance party to the Mod Club. Also performing: Diamond Bones, Midday Swim, For Esme, Lyon.

The Flatliners - Lee's Palace - May 8th - 1:00AM
Fat Wreck Chords signees The Flatliners have been pumping out Orgcore approved releases for over a decade now. Catch them headlining the Agency Group's showcase at Lee's. Also performing: The Dying Arts, Say Yes, Dead Tired, Single Mothers.

The New Deal - Opera House - May 9th - 11pm
Formed as a three piece in 1998, live electronic band The New Deal hit the Opera House for their first Toronto appearance in some time. Check out for a massive collection bootlegs to prep you for the gig. Also performing: Illitry. *Ltd. Wristbands


Mimico - Silver Dollar - May 2nd - 11pm
Members of Mimico have been playing in and around various groups in Toronto for years now, but it's very likely with recent releases such as Incantations (on Reel Cod) you'll start associating the word with the band and not the GO station. Also performing: Bam Thwok, Planet Creature, Vallens, Zoobombs, Surinam, The Leslie Spits, The Disraelis.

The Fight - Rancho Relaxo - May 5th - 9pm
Edmonton-based rock outfit The Fight have a new EP scheduled for release this August. Catch them ahead of the curve while they're in town or you'll be wishing for them to come back before you know it. Also performing: The Wicks, Stegall, The Spare Me's, Oh Malo, Lost Cousins.

TV Sets - Cherry Colas - May 5th - 10pm
Lo-Fi Toronto group TV Sets released the well received Gen Pop EP in January. Check them out with a slew of other acts at the intimate Cherry Cola's. Also performing: 1977, The Bloody Five, Autopilot, Sieraslave, Far Away Stables, Until Red.

Programm - The Garrison - May 5th - 10:30pm
Whitby psych group Programm play the Toronto Women In Music showcase at the Garrison fresh off a spring opening stint with Etiquette. Also performing: Megan Bonnell, The WAYO, Dirty Frigs, Maya Postepski (of Austra), DJ Bambii.

Champion Lover - Lee's Palace - May 6th - 8:15pm
Noisy, fast and fuzzy, Champion Lover kickstart a guitar-heavy night at Lee's. Fronted by twin brothers William and Edward (Bill & Ted?), the band is all the rage. Last year's self-titled release received global attention. Also performing: Dead Broke, Flint Eastwood, Port Juvee, The Orwells.

C R S B - Mod Club - May 6th - 11:45pm
Bevstmode producer/dj and Party Next Door DJ C R S B closes off a big night of future beats and r&b at the Mod Club. Also performing: The Bass6, G Milla, T.Y, Crossword, Jimmy B, DillanPonders, Post Malone.

Mune - Parts & Labour - May 6th - 11:50pm
Culvert Music signee Mune still have a bit of secrecy around them, with a debut album due sometime before the first half of 2015. Until then, you're going to have to check them out live o get a full taste of what they sound like. Also performing: Techromancer, Slow Down Molasses, Bravestation + secret guest at 11:10pm.

Glass Gang - Drake Underground - May 8th - 10pm
Opening in direct support before Mercury prize nominated East India Youth, Brooklyn's Glass Gang should have no shortage of onlookers in attendance to catch their polished synth-pop. Also performing: Necromonkey, Blitz Berlin, Whaleskin, East India Youth.

What are you excited to see at CMW 2015? Did you catch a band you've never heard of in a tiny bar that blew you away? Let us know in the comments.

Canadian Music Week runs from May 1 - 10, 2015.

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