It’s that time of year again! Venues shut down for a week leaving us all in the cold. Oh and there are some holidays or something. December is top to bottom one of the best months this city has seen for gigs and frankly it was hard to narrow it down to just ten shows. I’m trying to not over book myself and already have FOMO for only planning on covering four shows. There really is something for everyone! I’ll see you all later this month with out Top 50 Albums of the Year post!
Jessie Reyez @ Danforth Music Hall
December 3-4th, 2018
Sold Out | All Ages
The last few years have been great to Toronto’s own Reyez, and she just released her excellent second album Being Human in Public, which she will celebrate with two hometown release party shows. She also was featured on everyone else’s tracks included Eminem, Calvin Harris and Normani. Calling it now but 2019 will be the year of the Reyez!
Phosphorescent @ The Mod Club
December 6th, 2018
$23.00 | 19 +
After an agonizing five year break from Matthew Houck, he finally put out another Phosphorescent record and was it ever worth the wait. C’est la vie continued the warm and gentle songwriting with his unique voice accentuating his beautiful playing. A must listen to for any folk, alt-country or singer songwriter fans.
Gang of Youths @ The Phoenix
December 7th, 2018
$29.11-$34.24 | 19 +
Last year this Aussie band lunged into the number six slot in our top 50 albums of 2017 list, and the more times you listen to Go Farther into Lightness the better it sounds. Our own Katrina Lat constantly raves about seeing them and might well be the biggest word of mouth show currently. Go ahead and listen to Say Yes to Life and try not to cry, I dare you.
Marie Davidson @ The Garrison
December 7th, 2018
$18.00 | 19 +
Earlier this year Davidson released a more conventional electronic record under her duo Essai Pas, but she returned to her solo work with Working Class Woman and made a dark and disturbing record that can somehow also be danced to. I have no idea how wild or weird her live shows get, but I imagine they are memorable and should be checked out.
The Internet @ Rebel
December 9th, 2018
$46.30-$96.43 | All Ages
Singer Syd put out a solo album last year (Fin) and the group came back this year with the excellent Hive Mind. They expanded their sound and locked in on some serious grooves.
Jennifer Castle and Jeremy Dutcher @ Danforth Music Hall
December 15th, 2018
$32.00-$38.00 | 19 +
This year Jeremy Dutcher won the Polaris Music Prize and put on a breathtaking three-song performance continuing the streak of great Indigenous artists taking the top prize (Tanya Tagaq and Buffy Sainte-Marie) from recent years. Castle put out her fifth album Angels of Death this year and previous was nominated for the Polaris Prize back in 2015 (for Pink City). The pairing of these two artists with very different styles of music will be a treat.
Mumford & Sons with Maggie Rogers @ Scotiabank Arena
December 17-18th, 2018
$82.00+ | All Ages
The Sons are back with a brand new album Delta, after three year absence. The band took the Bob Dylan route and went electric after finding fame in the folk genre and while critics were initially very harsh on the band, most people have been won over by them. Getting Maggie Rogers to open this tour will be a huge boon for her career that already seems to be taking off like a rocket.
Jorja Smith @ Rebel
December 19th, 2018
$65.45+ | All Ages
This Brit singer blends RnB, Soul, Rock, Hip-Hop, Electronica and more into her music making her hard to pin down. Whatever you want to call the songs from Lost & Found, she is undeniably talented with a soaring voice.
Fucked Up with METZ @ The Opera House
December 22nd, 2018
$19.50 | 19 +
A double dose of Toronto hardcore bands with elder statesmen Fucked Up proving the versatility of the punk genre in the release of their fifth full length record Dose Your Dreams, possibly their best record yet. Noise rockers METZ put out their third album Strange Peace last year. Look for lots of mosh pits, blown out vocals and screeching guitars at this show.
Dwayne Gretzky @ Danforth Music Hall
December 31st, 2018
$53.25-$78.95 | 19 +
Once again you can celebrate ringing in 2019 with the greatest cover band/hockey parody this country has ever seen! The band just did a run of shows performing only 200’s era pop songs to great popularity and even hosted their own mini-festival where people got to stay in cabins alongside the band out in Haliburton. You will never hear a better version of Auld Lang Syne like the boys and girls of Dwayne Gretzky perform it.