Hi everybody. Long time no tip sheet. Apologies for the lack of them over the summer, but in my defence: between Governors Ball, Camp Wavelength, and everything in between – it was festival season and there was a whole lot going on.
Now that there’s only a couple more festivals on the horizon (I’ll get to that shortly), I’ll be moving away from long days spent in the sun to long nights spent in dark venues. Here are your Toronto concert highlights for September 2015.
Ratatat @ Sound Academy
Wednesday, September 2
Tickets: $28.50 | all ages
I managed to miss Brooklyn’s Ratatat earlier this year at one of those pesky festivals, so I’m glad it hasn’t been too long a wait for a second chance at it. The duo will bring their fifth album – 2015’s Magnifique – to Toronto’s least favourite venue: the Sound Academy. You might curse the journey there, but you’ll probably enjoy the end result.
The Tallest Man On Earth @ Massey Hall
Friday, September 4
Tickets: $39.50 – $49.50 | all ages
Sweden’s Kristian Matsson is a natural fit for Toronto’s historic Massey Hall – especially given his more recent turn to a full band on 2015 album Dark Bird Is Home. The folk musician has drawn praise for the effort from publications like Exclaim!, Drowned in Sound, and Paste, and it’s bound to sound even better ringing through this particular venue. As an added bonus: the talented Lady Lamb opens the show, too.
Jenny Hval @ Drake Hotel
Friday, September 4
Tickets: $11.50 | 19+
Thanks to her opening stint with St. Vincent, I’ve managed to see Jenny Hval seven times this year. While I’m unfortunately not going to make it to lucky number eight, the Norweigan artist (fresh off of big praise from fifth album Apocalypse, girl) is worth seeing live for her thought-provoking “sad dick rock”. If you do go – please let me know how that banana bit has evolved over the past couple of months.
Oddball Comedy Fest @ Molson Amphitheatre
Sunday, September 6
Tickets: $50.75 – $167.50 | all ages
While technically not a concert, Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer are two of the biggest names in comedy and are worth a mention on this list. Try not to be too mad when Amy mocks Toronto though. It’s bound to happen.
In-Flight Safety & The Autumn Stones @ Horseshoe Tavern
Wednesday, September 9
Tickets: $10.00 | 19+
Local night at the Horseshoe features two acts worth seeing care of In-Flight Safety and The Autumn Stones. The latter in particular is a rising band to watch – the dream pop four-piece recently releasing 2015 album Escapists.
AC/DC @ Downsview Park
Thursday, September 10
Tickets: $138.75 | all ages
If you need me to tell you who AC/DC is, the bad news is: I’m not going to do it and you are probably a newborn baby. This show is one for the bucket list.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at The Danforth Music Hall
Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13
Tickets | 19+
If you’re looking for a party on the weekend, look no further than these 2 nights of fun.
Years & Years @ Danforth Music Hall
Monday, September 14
sold out | 19+
Buzz band alert! It’s all looking up for this young act with England’s Years & Years all set to make their Canadian debut to a sold out crowd this September at the considerably-sized Danforth Music Hall.
Toronto Urban Roots Fest (TURF) @ Fort York
Friday, September 18 – Sunday, September 20
Tickets: $89.50 – $139.50 | all ages
If you’re not done with festivals by this point, you’ve got TURF to look forward to. While this one normally takes place in July, it was pushed back this year to September thanks to the Pan Am Games taking over Toronto. While unfortunately this puts it up against Riot Fest, fans of folk will have any easy decision thanks to a lineup that includes Of Monsters and Men, Pixies, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Wilco, The Avett Brothers, UB40, and many, many others.
Riot Fest @ Downsview Park
Saturday, September 19 – Sunday, September 20
Tickets: $89.98 – $249.98 | all ages
Riot Fest is back for another year with two days of considerably-louder-than-TURF offerings. While I’m still unsure about Alexisonfire needing a reunion so close to their “break-up”, they’ll likely get the mosh pit going with very little trouble. They’re joined on the bill by Weezer (doing Pinkerton and The Blue Album on Saturday and Sunday, respectively), Motörhead, Eagles of Death Metal, GWAR, The Prodigy, Wu-Tang Clan, Rancid, and lots more.
Alabama Shakes @ Air Canada Centre
Wednesday, September 23
Tickets: $77.00 | all ages
If, like me, you missed Field Trip and Alabama Shakes – rejoice! After headlining the June festival, they make a return to Toronto still high on the success and critical praise of sophomore album Sound & Color. Opening for the band is Toronto’s own July Talk who will definitely put on a much more lively affair at the Air Canada Centre than anything the Leafs could muster. And I say that as a Leafs fan.
Constantines @ Lee’s Palace
Thursday, September 24 & Friday, September 25
Tickets: $29.50 | 19+
To celebrate Massey Hall’s 30th anniversary, the local favourites led by Bry Webb play two nights at the equally as beloved Toronto venue.
A$AP Rocky @ Echo Beach
Friday, September 25
Tickets: $65.75 | all ages
If you’re looking for rap music, a fairly late-in-the-season show at Echo Beach will have your attention. It’s a pretty stacked lineup, too, with A$AP Rocky headlining the night and Vince Staples and Danny Brown on opening duties.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor @ Danforth Music Hall
Friday, September 25 & Saturday, September 26
Tickets: $32.75 – $35.35 | 19+
If you don’t have tickets for Godspeed You! Black Emperor yet, you’re going to want to get on it. The Saturday concert is already sold out and Friday isn’t likely to stick around for much longer. The reluctant 2013 Polaris Prize winners are going to put on a heavy, entrancing show.
Big Scary @ Drake Hotel
Saturday, September 26
Tickets: $11.50 | 19+
Australia’s Big Scary has picked up a pretty impressive collection of nominations and awards back home and has also released a fairly extensive back catalogue as well. Whether or not they’ll break in Canada remains to be seen, but seeing them for yourself at the Drake Hotel is a good place to start.
Thundercat @ The Hoxton
Sunday, September 27
Tickets: $15.00 | 19+
With so many collaborations to Thundercat’s name (notably Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Erykah Badu), the Los Angeles artist has proven his value to the music industry in general. His show at The Hoxton is a chance to see just how great he his on his own as well.
FFS @ Sound Academy
Wednesday, September 30
Tickets: $35.00 | all ages
If you don’t see me at this show, send help because something has gone terribly wrong. My favourite band in the history of bands returns in the form of a new band with this Franz Ferdinand + Sparks collaboration that’s well worth listening to. If you need to find me, I’ll be in the front row.
That’s it for September, so enjoy not having a coat at a concert while you still can. As always – if I missed a need-to-see-show on your list you can let me know @beets.