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The must-see concerts in Toronto this April include a couple of high-profile rappers, an alt-rock icon we haven’t seen in 13 years and a ton of local talent, much of whom will help us bid adieu to one of the city’s most important music venues.
The month primarily belongs to Canadian Music Week, which happens April 18-23 with Earl Sweatshirt, Melissa Etheridge, Explosions in the Sky, Hollerado, Tanya Tagaq and hundreds more taking over clubs all over the city.
There’s also the annual Decibel Tour, John Mayer (who’s trying to stop being a punchline, but failing) and Papa Roach (who don’t mind being a punchline, and are succeeding).
Here are my top concert picks in Toronto for April.
The Detroit rapper continues to climb the superstar ladder with I Decided, his latest batch of hit-ready tracks that came out in February. The only Canadian stop on his current tour will be here at REBEL (he’ll also return for CMW’s iheartradio fest on the 21st).
On the flip side of the rap coin, there’s Kate Tempest, a spoken-word Brit artist who’s not as known this side of the pond, but has won heaping acclaim for her well-read poetics (she’s the youngest person to have won a Ted Hughes award). Check out her unique skills at Mod Club.
This is an exclusive treat for Pallett fans, as the acclaimed art-pop performer/composer is debuting brand-new music in an intimate Toronto performance (and the night before in Hamilton). What to expect? “[A]lmost entirely new songs" and "sheets of distortion” according to Pallett on Twitter.
East-Coaster Joel Plaskett has long been prolific in Canadian music, but his dad Bill also has a strong musical legacy. Father and son recently paired up for LP Solidarity, which pairs the younger’s trademark indie-rock with the elder’s celtic and folk roots.
It’s a rarity for the iconic UK artist to tour at all, let alone near us - the last time she played live in Canada was 2004, back when Facebook was just invented and Von Dutch hats ruled the Earth. She finally returns in honour of The Hope Six Demolition Project.
While Alexisonfire continues with this “are they reuniting for real or what” dance, frontman George Pettit trucks on with his hardcore offshoot Dead Tired, who'll celebrate the release of their Vol. Two EP at Hard Luck Bar.
Buzz Records duo Bad Channels have forged most of their output for others as either track producers or remixers thus far, but are forging their own identity in lo-fi sad synthpop. Catch the sombre electro vibes at The Baby G.
In the final days before the historic Silver Dollar Room shuts down indefinitely, booker Dan Burke has organized a fantastic sendoff to the space as we know it. The final show features METZ, but the lead-up nights also include ATL punks The Coathangers, the last “Crazy Strings” bluegrass night, Suuns, Dilly Dally, Blood Ceremony plus tons more. R.I.P.
The TO-based songwriter has a knack for strange and ethereal pop, with influences that seemingly range from dramatic film scores to Kate Bush to contemporary R&B. Her sophomore album, Darling of the Afterglow, is out March 31.
The UK grime originator put out his long-awaited, Mercury Prize-winning album last year, and most recently got a feature on Drake’s More Life. He’s now on his own “Banned from America” tour, which brings him to Drizzy’s hometown near month’s end.