november concerts toronto

12 must-see concerts in Toronto this November

The lineup of concerts in Toronto this November is a bit on the gloomy side; maybe now that the wall-to-wall festivals and long sunny days have dried up, our music options have simply adapted to soundtrack the collective journey into Seasonal Affective Disorder. But don't worry - from trailblazing rap to blistering noise to lovable indie, it doesn't mean the choices lack excitement.

You know how I really know the summer party's over? All these serious "in conversation" engagements on the calendar. People such as Henry Rollins, Maynard James Keenan and Pussy Riot are all coming to talk to (or in Rollins's case, yell at) us - which will be wonderful thought-provoking experiences, but also a far cry from wildly fist-pumping to Robyn in a rainstorm, y'know?

Anyway, here are my top picks for concerts this November.

Mitski (November 3, Mod Club)
The NY indie songwriter has quickly built her profile with songs that contrast sweet melody against complex, at times disturbing themes - a bit like St. Vincent, but with bigger chords. This past summer's Puberty 2 features the song below, and by the way, the video's shock twist ending is right up there with the best slasher flicks.

Danny Brown (November 4, Phoenix)
Possibly the most punk-rock rapper around now, Detroit's Danny Brown is a powerful performer and just so hype live. You'd be doing yourself a fun favour by catching his upcoming set, likely to feature tons of last month's well-received Atrocity Exhibition.

Peeling (November 4, The Baby G)
Buzz Records band Mexican Slang quietly broke up for reasons unknown last year, but their leader Annabelle Lee just reemerged with this similar-sounding project flanked by other recognizable names in local noise (i.e. members of Dilly Dally, Odonis Odonis and Golden Dogs). The first EP release party goes down at Garrison-offshoot The Baby G.

John K. Samson (November 8, Mod Club)
The former Weakerthan and accomplished songwriter has quietly forged ahead with his own folk stylings since his band's kinda unofficial passing, most recently culminating in solo LP Winter Wheat. That title alone confirms his lyrics to still be the most Winnipeg-as-hell stuff ever.

Fight Amp (November 8, Coalition: T.O.)
After 12 years, the criminally underrated Philly trio are hanging up their patch cords for good. Fight Amp never really seemed to get their due the way some of their loud peers have in recent years, but at least they're going out with a final tour and promising to move on to new musical projects separately.

SAD13 (November 13, Smiling Buddha)
Speedy Ortiz frontlady Sadie Dupuis has long been a positive feminist beacon in a giant sea of indie dudes. Now, striking out on her own as SAD13, she's applying that messaging to pop, creating catchy tunes that discuss things like consent and female confidence in a refreshingly upbeat way.

Daughter (November 16, Massey Hall)
The English indie group is still touring intensely nearly a year after releasing Not to Disappear. If you missed seeing them this spring at the Danforth, check them out now at the beautiful and arguably better-sounding Massey Hall.

Conor Oberst (November 17, Massey Hall)
The next day, head back to Massey for ya boy in eternal sadness. Conor Oberst seems to have retired the Bright Eyes moniker for the time being and instead used his own name to release Ruminations, a collection of songs that perfectly capture the loneliness of an Omaha winter.

Emergents I: Völur and Wapiti (November 17, Music Gallery)
The Music Gallery's upcoming Emergents series is kicking off with the right vibe for impending dreary weather. Embrace the darkness with the post-rock and folk-tinged doom of Toronto's Völur, plus cinematic piano-violin duo Wapiti.

Tanya Tagaq (November 25, Trinity St. Paul's United Church)
Every performance with the award-winning Inuk vocalist is a thrilling experience; though she's slowly tended toward some mainstream connections (new album Retribution features a Shad collab and a Nirvana cover), it hasn't stopped her shows from feeling freakishly spontaneous, intense and cathartic. Even those who've seen her a bunch still get taken by surprise.

Age of Electric (November 25, Adelaide Hall)

Yet another group from the golden Big Shiny Tunes era is getting back together. Age of Electric's Make a Pest a Pet has turned 20, so naturally they're celebrating, though so far only with an exclusive gig at Adelaide Hall. These CanCon reunions are great and all, but let's try to hit the brakes before we get to like, Serial Joe or something, k?

Wintersleep (November 30, Danforth Music Hall)
Well-loved indie rockers Wintersleep, a band whose name offers a fitting end to the month that leads us to a snowy ice hellscape, will return to the Danforth as part of their extensive winter trek through Canada.

What did I miss? Leave your suggestions for Toronto's top November concerts in the comments.

Photo of Danny Brown via Live Nation.


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