toronto concerts march 2016

12 must-see concerts in Toronto this March

The top concerts in Toronto this March are playing it a bit more low-key - I imagine a lot of bigger acts are saving themselves for the impending summer blitz, but there's still plenty of punk, indie rock, electro and pop to look forward to as spring officially gets underway.

On the other hand, the Wacken Battle gets underway with qualifying rounds throughout the month, offering one lucky group a chance to rep Canada at the world's largest metal gathering. But it's not all sunshine and blood sacrifices for heavy music fans: there's an Abandon All Ships reunion, plus brokeNCYDE and Twiztid shows on the dark horizon. It's been pointed out to me that this is essentially one Mudvayne gig short of a four horsemen situation for music, so beware.

Anyway, enough pessimism. Here are the better options for live music in Toronto this month.

Wintersleep (March 4, Lee's Palace)
The day their sixth album, The Great Detachment, officially hits stores, Halifax indie darlings Wintersleep will be playing a sold-out show at Lee's Palace. The local branch of Dine Alone is putting it out, so it's apt that the release party of sorts can take place in T.O.

Fucked Up (March 4, Workman Arts)
Back in 2011, hardcore luminaries Fucked Up connected with the Images Festival to perform a live original film score for the 1928 silent film West of Zanzibar. It worked out so well that the band decided to commit it to record - it comes out on vinyl April 15, but they'll perform this encore sooner.

Ty Segall (March 4, Danforth Music Hall)
Yes, another one on March 4 -- I promise I will get to the rest of the month soon -- but before that, garage rocker Ty Segall, who is really committed to this whole lo-fi-retro thing, must grace the stage of the Danforth in honour of new solo release Emotional Mugger.

Beach House (March 5 and 6, Danforth Music Hall)
Dream pop is so big and good right now that this Baltimore duo struck while the iron was hot, releasing not one, but two acclaimed albums last year. A big tour similarly affords us a double dose over two nights at the Danforth. if you couldn't get tickets, try to sneak into the just-announced "installation" show.

Bell Witch (March 6, Soybomb)
The doomiest calendar entry, Soybomb's next party is the best bet for 20-minute songs, down-tuned everything and a general sense of suffocating, impending dread. Fun! Headliners Bell Witch are joined by Chicago's Wrekmeister Harmonies and Toronto's own one-man doom factory, Gates.

Daughter (March 7 and 8, Danforth Music Hall)
A secret part of me loves knowing someone searching for the dreamy, soft melodies of Daughter may accidentally download an acid-trip noise masterpiece under an almost identical name. But seriously, the English trio's new album is a stunner, and you can hear it at the Danforth over two nights.

Leon Bridges (March 10, Massey Hall)
The young Georgian crooner with retro charm generated a quiet positive buzz upon release of his debut LP last summer, but a Grammy nom and SNL appearance have pushed him swiftly towards next-big-thing status. And Massey Hall is an ideal setting for his nuanced, soulful sonics.

BADBADNOTGOOD (March 12, Danforth Music Hall)
Ghostface is sadly not in tow this time, but Canada's coolest (or only cool?) free jazz band - recently expanded to a four-piece with saxophonist Leland Whitty - are set to play as they wind down off of a Polaris/Juno nominated album cycle.

Tortoise (March 12, Lee's Palace)
Across town that night, fellow jazz-tinged instrumental genre-hoppers Tortoise have just ended a seven-year drought with new LP The Catastrophist, which features a variety of new sounds including (gasp!) vocalists.

Metric and Death Cab for Cutie (March 23, Air Canada Centre)
Two indie bands who steadily worked their way from late-90s obscurity to chart-topping success are teaming up for a key milestone in their music-industry mastery: a co-headlining arena tour. "Lights on the Horizon" will swing through the biggest venues in 10 Canadian cities, including the ACC.

Godstopper (March 23, Handlebar)
On the opposite side of indie notoriety, we have Toronto's own Godstopper, who released their second album last fall so quietly, I'm betting half their fans didn't even know it happened. But if you like stuff that sounds loud, and weird, and somewhat Melvins-y, you should be here.

Bane (March 26, Hard Luck Bar)
The veteran hardcore act is legit serious this time about ending their tenure, claiming this to be their "final final final and last tour." If true, this gig could be your last chance to hit up their merch table for hoodies and cement yourself in extremely niche tumblr history.

What shows are you most looking forward to this March? Let us know in the comments.

Photo of Metric by Matt Forsythe.

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