toronto concerts

The top 10 concerts in Toronto for spring 2016

The top concerts in Toronto this spring offer the perfect reason to end one's hibernation. Things are heating up in this city - the weather, yes, but there's also a ton of awesome shows to check out over the next few months. There's a bit of everything, whether you want to jump around and get sweaty at Lee's Palace or you'd prefer the comfort of a seat at the ACC.

These are my picks for the top concerts in Toronto this spring.

Nap Eyes (April 7, The Garrison)
Nap Eyes hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their passionate, introverted brand of indie-rock appeals to those who would rather spend their night in quiet contemplation than go out and socialize. Don't get me wrong, though, their music is fun, and the intimacy of the Garrison will make for a great spot to see them play.

Junior Boys (April 9, The Phoenix)
Junior Boys are an electronic pop group from Hamilton, Ontario, who make some extremely dance-friendly tunes. Their last album, Big Black Coat, was extremely well received by critics and fans alike. Oh yeah, and fellow Canadian synth enthusiast Jessy Lanza is opening up for them. Sounds like a good night to me.

The Smashing Pumpkins (April 12, Massey Hall)
The Smashing Pumpkins, one of the best alt-rock groups to ever do it, are playing Massey Hall this April. It's just one stop on their 19-date North American tour, a journey they're advertising as a collection of "acousto-electro" performances. I don't even care what that means -- honestly, I just want to see them in person.

Rihanna (April 14, Air Canada Centre)
I've woken up every day for the past three weeks singing "work, work, work, work, work, work." It's actually becoming a bit of a problem, but I think I'll be alright. Rihanna's paying a visit to Toronto this April as part of her Anti World Tour, and with any luck, Drake might show up for a bit of on-stage antics as well.

Father John Misty (April 20, Massey Hall)
This show, unfortunately, is completely sold out, but there's always Craigslist and Stubhub. Father John Misty's last record, I Love You Honeybear, was hands down my favourite of 2015. The album gives you a bit of everything: love, cynicism, humour, and a charismatic narrator to guide you through the sonic landscape. You can expect the same of the live show.

Skepta (May 6, The Danforth Music Hall)
2015 was a big year for UK hip-hop. Seemingly out of nowhere, grime artists like Skepta and Stormzy burst into the North-American market with their witty lyrics and punchy deliveries. Skepta is definitely a pioneer in this new frontier of grime, forming a tight relationship with Drake that helped elevate the genre to new levels. This will be a high-energy concert.

Dilly Dally (May 7, Lee's Palace)
The first time I heard Dilly Dally's debut album Sore, it was like a breath of fresh air. The Toronto natives' grungy, '90s-esque vibe is something that I didn't even realize I missed until I heard the record. Katie, the lead singer, has such a unique and exciting voice, and she uses it to its full potential. This is another show that you can jump around and get sweaty at.

Floating Points (May 10, The Mod Club)
England's Sam Shephard, a.k.a. Floating Points, delivers something far different from your typical electronic music. The best way I can describe it is as electronic jazz, and yet it also incorporates a variety of influences much broader than that. It's orchestral, it's groovy, it's awesome -- not to mention the fact that he always has the coolest visuals to accompany his live sets.

Kaytranada (May 20, The Danforth Music Hall)
Kaytranada is a Canadian electronic musician, producer, and DJ, originally from Montreal. His music draws heavy influence from hip-hop and electronic, and his new album, 99.9%, will be released May 6th. If you go to this show you're sure to hear a big chunk of the tracklist. There's even features from Toronto's BADBADNOTGOOD and River Tiber!

The 1975 (May 20, Echo Beach)
The 1975... that escalated quickly, didn't it? The release of their debut self-titled album thrust the UK indie-pop group to previously unimaginable heights, yet somehow they've managed to take things a step further with their latest release, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It. Their upbeat pop ballads will be great to hear at a venue like Echo Beach.

What did I miss? Add your most anticipated spring concerts in the comments.

Writing by Adam Pugsley. Photo by Dennis Leupold via Rihanna's Facebook page.


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