I’m not sure how it’s October already, but here we are. While it’s getting colder outside, the concert calendar for Toronto is definitely heating up. Apologies for that cliche but also: goodness gracious, it’s a long show list this month. Unfortunately I can’t highlight everything or be everywhere, but here are my 22 top picks for the month.

Taylor Swift @ Rogers Centre

Friday, October 2 / Saturday, October 3
Sold Out | all ages
Speaking of 22: this is the big one. Before the Jays hit the playoffs (yay), one of the most influential artists in music stops by Toronto for two sold out shows at the Rogers Centre. Expect lots of screaming fans, plenty of well thought-out outfits, and a surprise or two.

The Growlers @ Horseshoe Tavern

Friday, October 2 / Saturday, October 3
Sold Out | 19+
Not to be outdone by Taylor Swift, The Growlers also set up camp in Toronto for two sold out nights at the (slightly more intimate) Horseshoe Tavern. They’ve garnered a reputation for being one of the best live acts around. Find out why – if you can find tickets.

Wolf Alice @ Adelaide Hall

Saturday, October 3
Sold Out | 19+
London’s Wolf Alice has been called “the band who could change your life” by NME. They’ve also been labeled the best new band in the UK. It seems Toronto is in agreement given the sold out status of their show.

CHVRCHES @ Danforth Music Hall

Sunday, October 4 / Monday, October 5
Sold Out | all ages
One of the UK’s other biggest new music exports is also in town and, like Miss Swift and The Growlers, they’ve also gone right ahead and sold out back-to-back nights. They’ll be at the Danforth in support of their recently released sophomore record Every Open Eye.

A Place To Bury Strangers @ Horseshoe Tavern

Monday, October 5
$13.50 | 19+
I’ve missed APTBS every time they’ve come to Toronto so far – though I’ve had my fair share of chances up to this point. I’m going to make it happen this time and I’m going to remember to bring ear plugs and prepare for liberal amounts of strobe lights/other people’s sweat.

Mew @ Lee’s Palace

Wednesday, October 7
$25.00 | 19+
The Danish band bring April’s +- to Lee’s Palace. Given Pitchfork’s lofty praise of their sixth album – noting it’s “magnificent” rock sound – except great things. As an added bonus, The Dodos are on the bill as support. All pluses in my books.

Do It For Ronnie @ Lee’s Palace

Thursday, October 8
$25.00 | 19+
If you haven’t been keeping an eye on Toronto’s music scene, you may have missed the sad news about controller.controller’s Ronnie Morris. He suffered a massive stroke earlier this year and the resulting medical fees are estimated to total somewhere between $50,000 – $200,000. To help raise some much needed funds, local musicians/friends like Tokyo Police Club’s Dave Monks, Fresh Snow, METZ, and more are playing this much needed benefit show.

Tobias Jesso Jr. @ Mod Club

Friday, October 9
$20.00 | 19+
He may not have won the 2015 Polaris Prize, but except to be wooed by his Goon offerings all the same.

Stevie Wonder @ Air Canada Centre

Friday, October 9
$49.50 – $149.50 | all ages
I’m not going to explain why you should go to a Stevie Wonder show, but you should.

Ezra Furman @ Silver Dollar Room

Saturday, October 10
$9.00 | 19+
I’ve spoken to a few people who are very very very excited for this show – myself included. It marks the Toronto debut of Chicago’s Ezra Furman. Even Iggy Pop is a fan, saying: “I really like Ezra Furman. I think the guy’s got something. He’s got a lot of wit and nerve.” Fair warning: don’t sleep on it. 

Nuns @ Drake Hotel

Sunday, October 11
$12.50 | 19+
Tulsa’s Nuns is like Tobias Jesso Jr. meeting Tame Impala with a side of the nineties and I’m perfectly okay with that. The project of Hank Hanewinkel III sees him bringing his 2014 Opportunities debut to the Drake Underground.

Titus Andronicus @ Horseshoe Tavern

Tuesday, October 13
$16.50 | 19+
There’s a reason why everyone I know loves their live show. This one’s almost sold out, so you better get on it fast.

BIGBANG @ Air Canada Centre

Tuesday, October 13
Sold Out | all ages
Finally! The chance to fill the void in your K-pop boy-band loving heart.

Catfish and the Bottlemen @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Saturday, October 17
$20.00 | all ages
I legitimately need to have a word with whoever books Catfish and the Bottlemen’s tours because literally every single time this British band has played Toronto, it’s been on the same day as another show I’m already committed to. Problems, am I right?

Paul McCartney @ Air Canada Centre

Saturday, October 17
Sold Out | all ages
Sorry Catfish – Sir Former Beatle wins out on this Saturday night plan. He’ll probably be ant-sized, but I hear he’s made some pretty good songs over the course of his career. Or something.

Disclosure @ Direct Energy Centre

Saturday, October 17
$68.00 | 19+
But in all seriousness I’m pretty sure we’re getting invaded by the Brits on October 17 with electronic powerhouses Disclosure stopping by within a month of releasing their second album Caracal, complete with collaborations between them and the who’s who of music: Lorde, The Weeknd, and Sam Smith to name a few. You kids and your love dancing.

Peaches @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Tuesday, October 20
$25.00 | 19+
The reviews are in and people really like Peaches’ 2015 album Rub. Given its hefty beats and her penchant for electronics, imagine how good it will sound/feel when you’re actually experiencing it live.

Purity Ring @ Sound Academy

Thursday, October 22
$27.50 | all ages
Is Purity Ring worth venturing to the Sound Academy for? Is anyone? These are the tough questions… but if it’s any consolation: I’m sure the room will be well suited for their light show anyway.

The Darkness @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Friday, October 23
$32.50 | 19+
If you’ve never seen The Darkness live, you should do it because it’s like walking into a time machine and seeing the heyday of glam rock. Plus you’ll get to shout loudly along to “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and that’s like 80 per cent of what makes a night great.

Leon Bridges @ Danforth Music Hall

Friday, October 23
Sold Out | all ages
After playing at the woefully small Drake Hotel last time around, Leon Bridges proves he can fill – and sell-out – bigger rooms with this October stop at the Danforth.

Kurt Vile & the Violators @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Sunday, October 25
$30.00 | 19+
Kurt Vile’s latest album (September’s b’lieve i’m goin down…) is really good – even earning the American rocker a “best new music” designation from the Pitchfork brigade. The only bad news is that you’ve got less than a month to grow your hair as long as possible.

Ought @ Horseshoe Tavern

Thursday, October 29
$13.50 | 19+
One of my favourite live acts is back for another live show which means you should go see them live. How many more times can I say the word live? I don’t know, but I’ll recommend this one to anyone that asks. The post-punk four-piece will be in Toronto supporting their newest record – 2015’s Sun Coming Down.
I know, I know, I know. I missed your favourite show. I’m sorry. Let me know what it is on Twitter or just yell it at me in a dark venue. It’s the month for being creepy, after all.
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.