12 must-see concerts in Toronto this May
The top concerts in Toronto this May feature pop powerhouses, indie reunions and the first major blast of music festival season. We'll also officially, finally live in a post-Views world, which will be tough to adapt to after an eternity of anticipation, but the continued steady production of Drake memes should help us feel normal again.
The big event of course will be Canadian Music Week, where Eagles of Death Metal, Tegan and Sara, Dilly Dally, Wintersleep and hundreds more will take over from May 2 to 8. Now that NXNE seems to be moving away from the city-wide club format (not to mention, like, any hype at all...this seems fine, I guess), CMW looks to be the most immersive opportunity to indulge in Toronto's live music culture.
Festival shows aside, here are my picks for the top concerts coming to Toronto this May.
Pearl Jam (May 10-11, ACC)
The legendary rock band's 2016 tour has them crossing North America and combing through their extensive back-catalogue live, from Ten to Lightning Bolt. This pair of Toronto dates are the last they'll play before a headlining slot at Bonnaroo.
Greys (May 13, Garrison)
The hometown grunge revivalists are already earning effusive praise for second LP Outer Heaven, and are throwing a release party at the Garrison with noisy compadres TV Freaks and Casper Skulls.
Sloan (May 14, Phoenix)
Sloan is celebrating the 20th anniversary of One Chord to Another, their signature break from major-label servitude, by re-releasing the album as a giant box set and taking it on tour. The band will play One Chord in it's entirety, followed by a set of "hits and fan favourites."
Justin Bieber (May 18-19, ACC)
Increasingly distracting hair decisions aside, Justin Bieber's Year of Redemption is trucking along. He's now taking the hit-laden Purpose on tour with a couple nights here at the ACC. Intriguing coincidence: Biebs' former flame Selena Gomez plays a few days later, adding another "will they or won't they?!?" wrinkle to their epic love story.
The Kills (May 21, Danforth Music Hall)
The Dead Weather declined to do many shows on their last album cycle, but if you're feeling deprived of Alison Mosshart's chain-smoking hair-flipping badassery, don't fret. Gearing up for their fifth full-length release Ash & Ice, lo-fi garage duo The Kills are back on tour.
Speedy Ortiz and Hop Along (May 21, Horseshoe Tavern)
The two ultra-cool and critically adored bands have teamed up for a North American spring tour; Speedy Ortiz continues to support 2015 LP Foil Deer, while Philly's Hop Along have just reissued their 2012 sophomore album, Get Disowned.
Wolf Parade (May 24-28, Lee's Palace)
Just over a half-decade since they announced their hiatus, indie darlings Wolf Parade have returned. The surprise reunion kicks off with multi-show residencies in a few cities, including five nights in a row at Lee's.
BeyoncĂŠ (May 25, Rogers Centre)
Have you recovered from the sneak attack of Lemonade yet? Of course not. We're all dead now. But you'll need to come back to life long enough to get to the Rogers Centre on May 25 if you wanna see Queen Bey on The Formation World Tour.
PUP (May 26, Phoenix)
Prism Prize nominees and one of our funnest punk bands PUP are gearing up to release their highly anticipated follow-up to their 2014 debut. The Dream is Over comes out the day after this sold-out Phoenix gig.
Mykki Blanco (May 26, Velvet Underground)
Experimental Brooklyn MC Mykki Blanco is perpetually punk AF and exciting to watch live. Though there's still no official release date for a proper studio debut, the prolific artist will still likely have lots of new hooks to show off at the revamped Velvet Underground.
Drone Therapy (May 28, Music Gallery)
National Drone Day is upon us once again. The musical holiday spearheaded by Weird Canada will be celebrated in various avant spaces, and accordingly the Music Gallery will offer a collection of melody-averse artists performing in their tranquil courtyard setting.
Courtney Barnett (May 30, Danforth Music Hall)
Despite losing out on a Best New Artist Grammy to Meghan Trainor (probably a blessing), the Aussie songwriter's had an incredible year; her debut LP made it onto to scads of critical best-of-2015 lists, and deservedly so. This is the first time she'll come to Toronto since her breakout.
What did I miss? Add your May concert picks below in the comments.
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