toronto concerts october

12 must-see concerts in Toronto this October

Toronto's top concerts this October aren't particularly scary, but they are packed with stadium-filling pop, raucous DIY punk and, duh, Drake. Always Drake.

There's no better way to celebrate Halloween's month than with evil music, and long-running hardcore festival Not Dead Yet will oblige with more than 70 bands ruining ears October 13-16. In direct competition is X Avant XI, the Music Gallery's annual new music extravaganza that's happening over the same four days.

Other honourable mentions include The Faint with Gang of Four, Our Lady Peace with I Mother Earth, Meshuggah with High on Fire and, swear to Satan, a real, live rickroll.

Here are the other top picks on the concert calendar this month.

Sigur Ros (October 3, Massey Hall)
The epically dreamy Icelandic band's output has lately been limited to the occasional soundtrack, some totally fitting (Game of Thrones), some less so (The Simpsons), but more substantial things seem to be in the works now. The current tour scales back on the pomp (strings and horns) for a more intimate evening with the trio, perfect within Massey Hall's confines.

Merchandise (October 3, Silver Dollar)
Though they've long been steady adherents to DIY, Tampa's Merchandise seem to be poised for something bigger now. They've partially recorded their latest LP in a studio (rather than just the home setup they've used for years), and somehow managed to get themselves on local morning television, literally the last place you'd expect to find post-punk mope.

Adele (October 3, 4, 6 and 7, ACC)
The patron saint of heavy feels is finally returning to our city. Adele is being generous with us for her 25 tour, sticking around for four evenings to help us grieve our exes with the help of her powerful voice.

Gorguts (October 6, Hard Luck Bar)
One of Quebec's most creative and ambitious death metal bands, Gorguts returned earlier this year with yet another unique offering: an EP that consists of one 33-minute song inspired by ancient intellectual Islamic Golden Age. They'll likely play the piece in its entirety during this gig with prog outfit Intronaut.

James Blake (October 7, Massey Hall)
Adele ain't the only heartbreak-anthem game in town this month. Melancholic crooner James Blake will visit after a prolific summer full of high-profile collaborations with the likes of Beyonce and Frank Ocean, not to mention his own well-received breakup opus The Colour in Anything.

Drake and Future (October 8 and 9, ACC)
Hey, look who's back - our beloved mascot is taking a break from putting up billboards all across Los Angeles to return home for round two on his Summer Sixteen tour, which is a bit of a misnomer now, but whatever. If you can't afford the resale and VIP tickets left for these dates, kick back at home and enjoy Aubrey's new cinematic foray and a game of Jumpman instead.

Teenage Fanclub (October 12, Lee's Palace)
Roughly a month after releasing their long-awaited tenth studio album, heralded indie Scots Teenage Fanclub will come to Lee's as part of a lengthy North American tour.

Japandroids (October 15, Horseshoe Tavern)
Taking loud-quiet-loud to some extreme long-form levels, Vancouver's Japandroids followed up the blistering Celebration Rock with three years of silence. Now, just as abruptly, these dudes have casually dropped a tour and cryptic studio photos, all "oh yeah we're back, NBD." They're only playing a handful of cities, but Toronto is luckily one of them.

G.L.O.S.S (October 15, Velvet Underground)
I can't list out all the must-sees for Not Dead Yet here, but one that no hardcore fan should dare miss is G.L.O.S.S's second-to-last ever set. In their short existence, the D.C. band has done so much for the queer/trans punk world, and now that they're breaking up, it's likely your last chance to pay respects.

Sia (October 22, ACC)
It's hard to believe that one of the most successful pop gurus right now hasn't done a blown-out arena tour yet, but Sia will finally sing to the masses on one this month, accompanied by Miguel and AlunaGeorge. Expect a lot of iconic wiggery, Maddie Ziegler and tunes getting stuck in your head for days.

Hinds (October 26, Adelaide Hall)
This young band from Madrid has burst into the indie rock world like a breath of fresh air, all sunny jams, jangly guitars and carefree attitude for their debut LP, Leave Me Alone. Pretend summer never ended at their Adelaide Hall show near the end of the month.

White Lung (October 27, Lee's Palace)
Unlike most of us, Vancouver punks White Lung have had a fantastic 2016 - their newest album spawned near-universal acclaim coupled with a Polaris Prize shortlisting, and the smoothed-out sound has introduced them to an even bigger audience. Celebrate with them at a boisterous Lee's set that includes local fellow noisemakers Greys.

Thanks to Big Rock Brewery for sponsoring this post.

Photo of Adele via Facebook.


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