Well 2018 was a thing, wasn’t it? We saw the demise of several festivals, venues changing their names a whole host of weird shit politically that makes you wonder if the end times are near. Hopefully you got your fill of concerts and are excited to check into the new year with style. There aren’t any major shows but plenty of hidden gems. Here are ten of the best to go along with you being the best version of yourself this year!
Noname @ Danforth Music Hall
January 3rd, 2019
After putting out her second record last year, the excellent Room 25 (which was our 26th best album of 2018), Chicago rapper Noname is ready to become a household name. Her smooth jazz vocals and word play is easy to marvel at. Her live band adds layers to her performance that make her so fascinating to see.
A Fellow Ship @ The Horseshoe Tavern
January 4th, 2019
This Toronto folk band is one of the best live shows you can see this month. Their infectious energy, roaring horns and foot stomping mandolin’s are a true pleasure to witness. You won’t be able to stop yourself from dancing as singers Forest Van Winkle and Joe Dent serenade you.
Kacey Musgraves with Natalie Prass @ Danforth Music Hall
January 11th, 2019
Alt-Country/Pop Queen Kacey Musgraves put out her excellent third album, Golden Hour, this past year. Building on her fuck you trailer park gal image she had the biggest hits of her career so far with Space Cowboy and High Horse. She brings along jazz vocalist Natalie Prass for the ride to give an ultimate girl power show.
A$AP Rocky @ Ricoh Coliseum
January 11th, 2019
Testing was Rocky’s weirdest album to date, showing he can mix a little bit of everything into his music. While it has some tracks I’m not fond of, seeing this wild man live is a treat. Watch as he throws his body around the stage, climbs speakers and wrecks havoc on the mic.
King Princess @ Danforth Music Hall
January 20th, 2019
The Mark Ronson signed artist from Brooklyn made a meteoric rise last year in music circles. While she hasn’t had a mainstream break out hit, she has plenty of jams and a very loyal following. Her show is already sold out as she headline’s at Danforth Music Hall.
The Lemon Twigs @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
January 22nd, 2019
These Long Island brothers look like they stepped out of a time machine from the 70’s. Their music and style are pure classic rock but with their own spin on it unlike another 70’s rock clone Greta Van Fleet. Their stage presence is way wilder than their music would suggest and makes checking them out, even if you aren’t a huge fan of their music a must.
MØ @ Danforth Music Hall
January 23rd, 2019
The Danish pop star just put out her second album in the fall and continues to dominate the world. While this record was more personal and didn’t have a massive hit like her appearances on Lean On and Cold Water it is still just as fun. Her live show is a blast and you won’t regret checking her out if you’ve never seen her before.
KONGOS @ Lee’s Palace
January 25th, 2019
While I’m planning on being elsewhere on the 25th (it’s my wedding), I would totally go to see the South African band KONGOS in such a small venue. Come With Me Now is 8 years old now, but still is an absolute banger.
Dawes @ The Horseshoe Tavern
January 30th, 2019
It is criminal that Dawes is playing in such a tiny venue. The indie folk rock band has six record to their name and are one of the most respected groups in the game. They are mainstays on festival lineups and just generally just make fantastic tunes. This one will be for the memory books.
Dan Mangan @ Danforth Music Hall
January 31st, 2019
The Canadian troubadour put out his fifth album last year and he is a good as ever showcasing his innate song writing abilities and fantastic musical direction. Look for More or Less to be an early contender for this year’s Polaris Music Prize shortlist and see the beautiful songs in person.