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The top concerts in Toronto for June 2015

The top concerts in Toronto this June manage to squeeze themselves into an already jam-packed schedule of music festivals, so, so many music festivals.

Get ready for another round of Field Trip, Toronto Jazz Festival, Luminato, Digital Dreams and NXNE (courting controversy and generally making a mess as per usual), plus the addition of UK import Bestival this month.

In news of regular-size gigs, the British are coming (Ride, Paul Weller, Starsailor) as are some, uh, quirky pairings (Fall Out Boy with Wiz Khalifa, Robert Plant with The Pixies).

Nostalgia acts abound as always, but my favourite one flying under the radar is The Ataris, who'll be all tucked away in The Cave playing one of their old albums in its entirety (but not the one with "Boys of Summer" on it, which is a fascinating decision to me. C'mon guys).

Here are the top concerts to get excited about for June.

Drake (June 2, ACC)

Drizzy fans who missed out on OVO tickets got a second chance at happiness when he announced this show, part of the impromptu six-date Jungle Tour that will also feature rapper Future as an opener. Hopefully (or maybe hopefully not), Madonna's sweet musk will still be on him.

Lana Del Rey (June 3, Molson Amphitheatre)

Gorgeous sad sack Lana Del Rey is embarking on her first official concert tour in support of last year's Ultraviolence, and in her classic quirky fashion, managed to add some weirdness by making Courtney Love her opener. Sadly, us Torontonians will be deprived of their cosmic chemistry since Love's not on the latter half of the tour, but luckily Grimes is taking up the mantle.

Briefcasefest (June 5 and 6, Hard Luck Bar)

This burgeoning two-day blitz of local metal is moving to the Hard Luck Bar for its third year, but you can still expect the same abundance of inventive and experimental heavy music for crazy cheap. Day one brings Philadelphia's Starkweather to rub shoulders with locals such as Godstopper and IRN; day two welcomes the black metal vibes care of Akitsa, Volur, Occult Burial and more.

Wavelength 666 featuring Fresh Snow (June 6, Silver Dollar)

The Wavelength series has reached its momentous 666th show, but since Briefcasefest's stolen away all the satanic black metal that day, Wavelength's commemorating the dark milestone with less evil (but still kinda evil) electro-influenced music care of Fresh Snow, Corpusse, Several Futures and more.

Colin Stetson with Sarah Neufeld (June 9, Great Hall)

Saxophonist Colin Stetson and violinist Sarah Neufeld took time out of their main gig with Arcade Fire and paired up for collaborative LP Never Were the Way She Was earlier this spring. The evocative, film-like quality of their instrumental compositions will make for an intense experience at The Great Hall.

Sound Seance (June 12-14, Geary Lane)

It looks like the Geary Lane progenitors successfully cut through all that red tape threatening to shut the venue down, because their next concert experience is officially a go. This new weekend fest in the vein of Montreal's Suoni Per Il Popolo will feature tons of avant garde tunes from Suuns, Wrekmeister Harmonies (featuring members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor), Expo 70 and Mimico among others.


Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind (Echo Beach, June 15)

Get out the Kleenex and pull on a T-shirt over a long-sleeved shirt, because two bands from your youth are coming back to make you revisit some pretty heavy emotions. After a five-year break, Chris Carrabba is dusting off the old Dashboard Confessional moniker for a new tour that will be co-headlined with Third Eye Blind, which totally makes sense somehow.

KEN Mode and Fight Amp (June 16, The Shop at Parts + Labour)

Two awesomely loud bands are about to launch new releases with a joint tour that will bring them to The Shop. Winnipeg's KEN Mode puts out fourth LP (and Steve Albini-produced!) Success on the day of this show, while Fight Amp's Constantly Off comes out the week previous.

Rush (June 17 and 19, Air Canada Centre)

One of Canada's biggest musical exports is ending the spring (and their career, maybe) with a bang. Rush's 2015 tour is reported to be their last, so do everything you can to squeeze your way in to the ACC to catch the legendary rockers play one last time. Maybe.

Spoon (June 23 and 24, Phoenix)

Around this time last year, Spoon was cavorting around town for NXNE, treating fans to both free Yonge-Dundas and secret club sets. Clearly the indie rock icons love making summer plans with us, as they're back again for two nights still going on the strength of 2014's They Want My Soul.

New Kids on the Block with Nelly and TLC (June 28 and 29, ACC)

This summer blockbuster of a concert features some of pop's biggest heavy hitters of the nineties and early aughts. Entitled The Main Event, NKOTB's new tour brings along Nelly and TLC for a megahit-laden night that'll harken back to the days when butterfly clips were cool and music was profitable.





Sandra P.    6/1/2015


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