The top concerts in Toronto for September 2015
Toronto's September concert calendar celebrates summer's end with some beachside and field-centric bashes, yet also mourns the inevitable death of fun-time weather with a good batch of dark and gloomy listening.
The overstuffed 2015 festival circuit is finally letting up; TURF and Riot Fest are the only majors in town this month, though they somehow still managed to book themselves on the same damn weekend, so sorry to music fans who still have to make a Sophie's Choice on that one.
The Polaris Prize is set to be given out again on September 21 in a gala that honours Alvvays, Drake, Caribou and other 2015 nominees. It is indeed turning out to be a good month for indie rock, which I'm sure will please our new Universal Music overlord of Arts & Crafts lineage.
Other than that, we've got hacker-approved AC/DC playing the biggest field they could find, a Tupper Ware Remix Party CD release, Low, Ed Sheeran, Wavves and a flock of others. But here are my top picks for September concerts in the city.
Chelsea Wolfe (September 3, Lee's Palace)
It's weird that a folk-based songwriter counts mostly metalheads amongst her fanbase, but one listen to a Chelsea Wolfe tune, and you'll immediately understand why. New album Abyss is her darkest and most doom-laden yet, something all of us goths at heart can get behind. Toronto's ANAMAI opens.
L7 (September 6, Danforth Music Hall)
I'm still crying about Babes in Toyland's reunion already kind of going off the rails, but luckily (hopefully?) the other 90s girl-band revival in town this month will hold it together long enough to make it to TO intact.
Old Man Gloom, Mare and HSY (September 7, Lee's Palace)
A real treat for heavy music lovers, this Lee's show features Old Man Gloom -- a metal supergroup of sorts featuring members of Isis/Converge/Cave In -- and a surprising reunion performance from Mare, one of our city's best (and shortest-lived) metal acts of all time.
Robyn Hitchcock (September 11-13, Drake Hotel)
The English singer-songwriter has been making an annual pilgrimage to what he calls his favourite Toronto venue since 2013, and continues the tradition with a three-night stand at the Drake.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (September 12-13, Danforth Music Hall)
On the heels of Straight Outta Compton's box-office success comes another chance for gangsta rap reflection, with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony touring in celebration of E.1999 Eternal's 10th anniversary. They'll be performing that breakout album in full, and I have no idea how serious they are about their next $10-million record being their last, so if you're a fan, maybe don't sleep on this.
Janet Jackson (September 15, Air Canada Centre)
Miss Jackson just announced her first new album in eight years, Unbreakable, and everyone of a certain age/MTV era is understandably kind of freaking out for both that and the accompanying world tour.
Sun Kil Moon (September 21, Opera House)
Wanna get yelled at? Mark Kozelek's one of the most eager musicians in the game to oblige. When he plays the Opera House in support of new Sun Kil Moon release Universal Themes, you can even hear some gentle acoustic folk in between the vicious barbs (except for when they're one and the same).
Alabama Shakes (September 23, Air Canada Centre)
Even though they already headlined Field Trip just a few months ago, southern rockers Alabama Shakes are coming back for a stadium gig at the ACC, because they are just that hot right now.
The Constantines (September 25, Lee's Palace)
Lee's Palace is celebrating their 30th birthday by bringing in the best Toronto-by-way-of-Guelph rock band for a good ol' fashioned rock show. The two-night stand doesn't note any other supporting acts yet, but considering the occasion, you can probably expect some other local indie faves in the fold.
A$AP Rocky (September 25, TD Echo Beach)
Like Alabama Shakes, A$AP Rocky just can't quit The 6 - even though he headlined the non-cancelled night of VELD a mere month ago, he'll be back for more at Echo Beach, joined by the incredibly charismatic Danny Brown and Vince Staples. Please don't sue.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor (September 25-26, Danforth Music Hall)
Just days after their Polaris Prize foes host another indulgent, ice cap-melting gala, GY!BE comes to the Danforth Music Hall in honour of this year's well-received Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress. The full tour hits many places throughout the fall, but this two-night TO stay will be the only time they're in the Troubled Motherland until next year.
Destroyer (September 30, Danforth Music Hall)
Dan Bejar's most recent effort, a horns-and-strings-layered double LP called Poison Season, just dropped practically moments ago. You can hear tunes from this New York-honouring epic, plus others from his vast back catalogue, at the Danforth near month's end.
What did I miss? Add your most anticipated September concerts in the comments.
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