12 must-see concerts in Toronto this June
The top concerts in Toronto for June are interspersed among a jumble of festivals - Field Trip, Bestival, Luminato Unsound and TD Toronto Jazz Festival will grab most of the headlines this month, but there are still other shows worthy of your attention.
All eyes are on the makeover of NXNE, and though the pared-down lineup is devoid of free gigs and generally meh, let's not bury the obvious lede: it contains a reunited Prozzäk. Buzz Records however is hosting a cool NXNE alternative called No Fest, with labelmates performing alongside the likes of Chastity Belt and Speedy Ortiz. Imagine, a rock fest with female headliners!
Aside from that, here are my picks for the top concerts to check out this month.
Wolf Eyes and Nadja (June 3, Garrison)
Detroit noise giants Wolf Eyes will make their first pit stop in Toronto in five years alongside some wonderfully weird Canadian-born company. Experimental expats Nadja, Winnipeg's Burden and our own Doom Tickler join the fracas at the Garrison.
I Mother Earth (June 3-4, Phoenix)
Yet another 20th anniversary album party is here to make us feel old, though this one's a bit unexpected. Original frontman Edwin, whose falling out with the IME crew always seemed fairly permanent, rejoins the group to pay Scenery and Fish tribute for two nights only.
The Pack A.D. (June 4, Lee's Palace)
The loud Vancouver duo are gearing up to release sixth full-length Positive Thinking, an album they say thematically hinges on the whole making lemons out of lemonade thing - no Beyoncé relation, although, the singer's name is Becky...hope I'm starting a wild rumour right here.
Brand New (June 9-10, Sound Academy)
Still no new album announcement, but standalone singles and surprise tours continue to trickle out in painfully teasing fashion from your favourite alt-emo dudes. Hit up Brand New's TO shows to investigate both what they're up to currently and whether Sound Academy really is less horrible now.
Florence and the Machine (June 10, Molson Amphitheatre)
Roughly a year out from her headlining Bestival appearance and the release of How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Florence Welch returns to Toronto, this time fully healed any playing the Amphitheatre.
Grandmaster Flash (June 18, Velvet Underground)
After cancelling last-minute at the final House of Vans pop-up, legendary DJ and victim of elderly Facebook tags Grandmaster Flash has scheduled a make-up date at the Velvet Underground.
Ellie Goulding (June 19, ACC)
The pop powerhouse from across the pond has been on a massive world tour for third LP Delirium all year, and will finally touch down in Toronto with Matt and Kim at the ACC.
Modern Baseball (June 19, Opera House)
The last time MoBo was in town, I saw their set get dramatically cut short when a tiny girl was knocked unconscious in the pit and removed via stretcher. I don't know if the band knows how much more insane Opera House shows have been since then, but they've at least set up a hotline in the interest of safer shows. Now please, mosh gently, children.
Against Me! (June 22, Phoenix)
The influential punk band's got a busy year ahead with a new album on the way and Laura Jane Grace penning her own memoir, but they're still managing to squeeze as much touring as humanly possible into the packed schedule.
Flag and DOA (June 23, Lee's Palace)
Fans of old-school hardcore, ready your denim vest patches: Flag, the Black Flag splinter that many argue is more like the original than Greg Ginn's current version, comes to demolish Lee's with DOA. War on Women and The Dirty Nil are along for the ride.
At the Drive-In (June 23-24, Phoenix)
Though it's not the perfect reunion we envisioned, At the Drive-In's return is definitely real and happening. Get out all the aggression you've repressed since 2000's Relationship of Command over two nights at the Phoenix.
Primitive Man (June 26, Coalition: T.O)
Kick off the first week of summer by getting your ears righteously obliterated at a DIY in Kensington. Doomy sludge masters Primitive Man headline, but the entire bill is stellar: see ex-Gaza guys Cult Leader, blackened hardcore Of Feather and Bone and locals IRN and John XII.
What did I miss? Leave your June concert picks in the comments.
Photo by Matt Forsythe.
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