September Toronto Music & Concerts Tip Sheet

Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m the newly appointed Music Editor at Live in Limbo. I’ve been told I go to a lot of shows. Occasionally I write about them and sometimes I photograph them. Most of the time I enjoy them. Nice to meet you!

Now that we’ve gotten those formalities out of the way… As part of my role as editor, I thought I’d start putting together a monthly Toronto music tip sheet. It will basically be a brief overview of what to look out for in terms of notable record releases and musical events happening in the city. If you ever wanted to stalk me (though I can’t imagine why you would think this is a good idea,) this is probably a good place to start.

Look out for this tip sheet every month and if you ever have any suggestions, feel free to send me an email at sarah@liveinlimbo.com.

September’s here and, if you’re anything like me, you’re asking yourself: “When did that happen?” Although summer’s come and gone (slash barely there if you’re basing it off your thermometer,) back to school season is looking pretty promising in terms of new releases to look out for and Toronto concerts you’ll want to be at.


Your headphones are going to be busy with a ton of highly anticipated releases scheduled for the month. Here are five of them that are worth paying attention to.

Sinkane – Mean Love (Sept. 2, 2014)

  • Label: DFA Records
  • Genre: Funk, soul
  • For fans of: Yesayer, Janelle Monae, Sade
  • Why you should care: After touring with bands like Caribou, Born Ruffians, Yeasayer, and of Montreal, Sinkane’s second solo effort promises to be grooving and soulful – sounding every bit like the obscure gem you found digging through a crate at the record store.
  • Listen to: How We Be

Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World (Sept. 9, 2014)

  • Label: Last Gang Records
  • Genre: Rock
  • For fans of: Les Savy Fav, Japandroids, Blood Red Shoes
  • Why you should care: After putting out You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine in 2004 and shortly disbanding, DFA1979 fans were left with an empty void and a single album to tide them over. A reunion tour between the Toronto duo eventually came about and with it the inevitable questions of: second album? Here it is.
  • Listen to: Trainwreck 1979

Interpol – El Pintor (Sept. 9, 2014)

  • Label: Matador Records
  • Genre: Post-punk, rock
  • For fans of: Editors, The Horrors, Echo & The Bunnymen
  • Why you should care: The band’s first new album in four years, a lot of people have been waiting to see if they’ll ever regain the glory of their 2002 Turn on the Bright Lights debut (sure, Antics came close but let’s hope El Pintor helps us all collectively forget about the last two duds.)
  • Listen to: All the Rage Back Home

Alt-J – This Is All Yours (Sept. 22, 2014)

  • Label: Infectious Music
  • Genre: Electronic, alternative
  • For fans of: Foals, Django Django, The xx
  • Why you should care: After winning the Mercury Prize for 2012 debut An Awesome Wave, expectations of Alt-J’s newest release are very high. Find out if they conquer that sophomore slump.
  • Listen to: Every Other Freckle

Aphex Twin – Syro (Sept. 23, 2014)

  • Label: Warp Records
  • Genre: Electronic, IDM
  • For fans of: Boards of Canada, Autechre, Burial
  • Why you should care: The highly influential Richard D. James hasn’t put out an Aphex Twins’ release in 13 years. When information about Syro was mysteriously rolled out in August, fans scoured the Internet for evidence of its validity. Fake leaks aside, it turns out it’s actually happening – and ahead of its official release, a select few will get to attend preview listening parties (including one in Toronto on Sept. 7.)
  • Listen to: Come to Daddy


It was a relatively quiet August in terms of Toronto concerts, with most bands spending their time playing festivals rather than venues. No complaints there – but it’s time to jump back in for headlining shows from up-and-comers and perennial big name draws.

Operators @ Horseshoe Tavern – Sept. 7, 2014

  • Tickets: $15
  • Genre: Rock, electronic
  • Why you should go: After a three night residency at The Silver Dollar during CMW, people were buzzing, tweeting, and generally singing the praises of Dan Boeckner’s latest band. Go find out why.
  • Listen to: True

Lorde @ Echo Beach – Sept. 12, 2014

  • Tickets: $62.50
  • Genre: Pop, electronic
  • Why you should go: The reining queen of underdog pop puts on a thrilling, hypnotic live show. Catch her on the final leg of her Pure Heroine tour because you probably won’t see her again until she’s got a second album to promote.
  • Listen to: Tennis Court

Clean Bandit @ The Mod Club – Sept. 15, 2014

  • Tickets: $28
  • Genre: Electronic
  • Why you should go: The British band combine electronic and classical, mixing keys and percussion with cello and violin. They make their Toronto debut at The Mod Club.
  • Listen to: Rather Be

The War on Drugs @ Horseshoe Tavern – Sept. 15, 2014

  • Tickets: Sold Out
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why you should go: Lost in the Dream picked up major acclaim for its classic Americana jams. The last time The War on Drugs played Toronto, a power outage almost derailed the show at Lee’s Palace. Thankfully the electricity was back up and running by the time they took to the stage, letting Adam Granduciel put on one heck of a show.
  • Listen to: Red Eyes

The Black Keys @ Air Canada Centre – Sept. 16, 2014

  • Tickets: $56.50 – $111.50
  • Genre: Rock, blues
  • Why you should go: The Black Keys is one of the biggest names in rock and Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney continue to put on some of the best shows you’ll see.
  • Listen to: Gold on the Ceiling

Ought @ Hard Luck Bar – Sept. 19, 2014

The Weeknd @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Sept. 21, 2014

  • Tickets: $44 – $111.25
  • Genre: R&B, dubstep
  • Why you should go: The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre closes out their season with mysterious hometown R&B star The Weeknd. Go for the feels, but don’t expect to see Drake there – he’ll still be on tour with Lil Wayne.
  • Listen to: Often

Fucked Up @ Horseshoe Tavern – Sept. 26 & 27, 2014

  • Tickets: $15
  • Genre: Hardcore, punk
  • Why you should go: Going to a Fucked Up show is like getting involved in a big sweaty hug. It’ll be loud, bodies will be flying, and you’ll go home happy.
  • Listen to: Blink

Chromeo @ Kool Haus – Sept. 27, 2014

  • Tickets: $36.50
  • Genre: Electronic
  • Why you should go: There’s bound to be dancing and plenty of reason to show off those legs with the Montreal funk masters back in town for another showing of White Women.
  • Listen to: Over Your Shoulder

Kasabian @ Sound Academy – Sept. 30, 2014

  • Tickets: $35.25
  • Genre: Rock
  • Why you should go: The English rock band come cocky – which means they put on an entertaining live show to back up all that “we’re so fantastic” rhetoric.
  • Listen to: Pistols at Dawn


After a busy summer of festivals, there’s thankfully a few more to add to your calendar before the cold weather rolls in and we all have to bundle up in parkas and resent the outdoors.

Riot Fest @ Downsview Park – Sept. 6 & 7, 2014

  • Tickets: $95 – $190
  • Lineup: The Cure, City and Colour, Metric, The National, Billy Talent, Rise Against, The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Death From Above 1979, Brand New, and more
  • Why you should go: If you’ve looked at Riot Fest lineups in the past and been less-than enthused about punk, their programmers seem to have erred on the side of diversity this year. If you’re all about punk, fear not – they haven’t forgotten about you either.

James Street Supercrawl – Sept. 11-14

  • Tickets: Free!
  • Lineup: Spoon, Charles Bradley, Arkells, A Tribe Called Red, Four Tet, Kevin Drew, Jessy Lanza, Operators, Rich Aucoin, Teenage Head, and more
  • Why you should go: Okay, so it’s not technically in Toronto but this free festival makes a pretty convincing argument about why you should spend a weekend in Hamilton. Personally, I can’t wait to see Spoon again – especially since they release of They Want My Soul, one of the best albums of 2014.

The Bloor Ossington Folk Festival – Sept. 19-21, 2014

  • Tickets: Free!
  • Lineup: Julie Doiron and the Wrong Guys, Brendan Canning, AroarA, Fiver, Army Girls, and more
  • Why you should go: A low-key weekend of local, talented musicians playing free shows? Why you wouldn’t go is the better question.

The Junction Music Festival – Sept. 20, 2014

  • Tickets: Free!
  • Lineup: The Sadies, The Beauties, Teenage Kicks, Ark Analog, Kashka, and more
  • Why you should go: With five outdoor stages and 30 participating venues, this festival boasts a big enough lineup to make you want to head west. Plus it’s got that whole “free” thing going for it.


  • Death From Above 1979 is going to be taking part in a few “small secret shows” in their hometown of Toronto to celebrate the release of the highly anticipated The Physical World. Rumours about where and when the shows are continue to circulate. September 3 & 4 are definitely happening and also confirmed is their participation in a Molson Live show a little later on at an “iconic Toronto venue.” Keep your ears to the ground, kids – or just go big and see them at Riot Fest.
  • Yeah, the Toronto International Film Festival means the city will be buzzing with celebrities, paparazzi, and eager star gazers (not to mention all those movies,) but it’s also bringing in lots of free concerts. Festival Street runs Sept. 4-8 with free performances by the likes of Maylee Todd, Rich Aucoin, DIANA, BADBADNOTGOOD, The Dears, Buck 65, and Jason Collett. They’ll also set up Festival Music House at Adelaide Hall on Sept. 7 & 8 – though you’ll sadly need an invite if you want to get in to see acts like Justin Nozuka, A Tribe Called Red, and The New Pornographers. Pepsi Canada will also get in on the TIFF action with a special pop-up venue at Richmond & John from Sept. 3-7. Performers include Dwayne Gretzky, Born Ruffians, Hollerado, The Elwins, USS, Kresha Turner, and Crystalyne.
  • The Polaris Music Prize shortlist will be whittled down from ten to one. Place your bets on Canadian album of the year and whether it’ll be Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat, Drake, Jessy Lanza, Mac DeMarco, Owen Pallett, Shad, Tanya Tagaq, Timber Timbre, or YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN that will be taking home the $30,000 cheque. Also fun: guessing what the winner would do with the money. The gala takes place on Sept. 22 at The Carlu in Toronto. More information here.

Did I miss something you’ve been counting down the days to? Leave a comment below or email me at sarah@liveinlimbo.com. See you at a show!

Graphic designed by Leslie Leung. 

About author

Former Music Editor & Concert Photographer at Live in Limbo. Sarah was born in Toronto. She's worked at some places that you've heard of (like NXNE) and some that you haven't. She is an Academy Delegate at the JUNOs (CARAS). You can usually find Sarah at a concert, on Twitter @beets, or on Instagram @sarahrix. She also likes dogs and cheeseburgers.