toronto concerts

14 must-see concerts in Toronto this August

Toronto's top concerts this August overflow with thrilling returns and final farewells across all Billboard categories. But not before festival season can take a last stab at our wallets: there's TIME, Diplo's Mad Decent Block Party, an impressively stacked Camp Wavelength and the charitable loudness of Doom over TO.

Just as many of today's radio-frendlies (Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor) are on the calendar as ones from 20 years ago (Goo Goo Dolls and Collective Soul, Counting Crows and Rob Thomas), furthering my theory that time is folding in on itself. But my fave find is Barbara Streisand performing the same night as Korn and Rob Zombie. I hope this is a tough choice for at least one weird music fan out there.

Aside from Babs and co., here are my top concert picks this month.

Disclosure (August 2, Echo Beach)
Consider this a chance at redemption after the disastrous denouement of Disclosure's last visit. The hit-making electro duo are back on tour in light of latest EP Moog for Love.

Gwen Stefani and Eve (August 4, Molson Amphitheatre)
Hopefully the tabloid stuff and sorta uncomfortable music videos of the last year haven't turned you off, because girl still kills it whenever she gets on a stage. Relive the glory of the early 2000s when she comes to town with Eve this month.

Dillinger Escape Plan (August 4-5, Hard Luck Bar)
It's apparently been more than six years since mathcore's finest brought their insane live rig to TO, but thankfully they've ended the drought and even honoured us as the kickoff city for their short summer run. Maybe they'll unveil a new tune or two; maybe Greg will revive his Jesus on water trick. You just never know with them.

Sturgill Simpson (August 6-7, Danforth Music Hall)
Any fears that a major label deal would sand down country songwriter Sturgill Simpson's gritty edges were effectively put to rest with this spring's A Sailor's Guide to Earth - it experiments with more genres than before and even throws in a left-field Nirvana cover for good measure. Catch the Waffle House fan over two nights at Danforth.

The Tragically Hip (August 10, 12 and 14, ACC)
The iconic Canadian band's final tour is well-ingrained into your knowledge by now, as much due to its tragic circumstances as the unfortunate StubHub controversy surrounding it. Rest assured however that those of us who remain ticketless can catch a CBC broadcast of the final show the week after.

Boris (August 11, Lee's Palace)
It's been just over a decade since Japan's revered noisemakers put out the groundbreaking Pink, an album that still ranks as one of the most surefire and satisfying ways to ruin speakers. As is the style now, they're celebrating with an anniversary tour, but sure aren't being lazy about it: the corresponding LP reissue features enough extra tracks for basically a new album.

Deftones and Refused (August 13, International Centre)
The long-awaited tour for Gore finally brings Deftones back above the border, though they've opted for a Mississauga venue? I'll try not to complain, as that's still a shade more accessible than an Icelandic volcano, but barely. The fact that they're bringing Refused along for the ride makes up for the difficult commute to the 'burbs.

The Go-Go's and Best Coast (August 16, Massey Hall)
After setting the blueprint for girls in bands almost four decades ago, the Go-Go's are saying goodbye with a final farewell tour. Best Coast, probably one of the strongest descendants of their musical legacy today, get to join them for their last run.

case/lang/viers (August 16-17, Danforth Music Hall)
Sucks that they've been denied the Colbert Bump, but three artists of this calibre shouldn't need it. Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs just finished combining their gorgeous voices and songwriting for a one-off album, so this could be your only shot to see the supergroup play Toronto.

Blink-182 (August 21, Molson Amphitheatre)
We vastly underestimated the enduring popularity of three dudes - who've just crested into their forties, wow - singing goofy pop punk about butts. But hell, good for them. Delay your midlife crisis (or trigger it faster, not sure) with Blink's newly formatted, less alien-obsessed lineup.

Prophets of Rage (August 24, Molson Amphitheatre)
Speaking of revived 90s angst, members of Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy saw electoral disaster in the air and promptly formed the ideal megagroup to combat it. Because 2016 is weird, Third Eye Blind's stealing their politically subversive thunder, but never mind that - these guys will still provide a good soundtrack for infuriating CNN coverage.

Weaves (August 27, Horseshoe Tavern)
The wonderfully weird Toronto band just put out their first proper LP and are currently touring like crazy for it, but will come home to celebrate their big debut with us near the end of the month.

Black Sabbath (August 29, Molson Amphitheatre)
The venerable fathers of Satan's Music say this is their last hurrah, as Ozzy apparently has more goofy reality TV to make, so this could very well be your last chance to pledge allegiance in person. As long as there are no more health issues, that is.

Kanye West (August 30-31, ACC)
The receipts heard 'round the world seem to have scared Nemesis Swift into hiding, just in time for the beginning of Ye's much anticipated victory lap/world tour. Whatever your opinion, he's an incredible showman (I still think a lot about that crystal mask, years later) and The Life of Pablo will probably be a totally different record by time the tour starts, so I hope you got tickets.

What did I miss? Add your top concert picks in the comments.

Photo of Disclosure by Alejandro Santiago


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