The top concerts in Toronto this August span many genres, but seem geared towards artists with an overwhelming fear of being alone. From one-night parties to weekend-long festivals, much of the musical talent coming to town plan on doing so with heaping handfuls of fellow bands sharing the stage.
Of course, you all know that impeccably lint-free Toronto mascot Drake is bringing OVO Festival back for a sixth year with J. Cole, Big Sean and Kevin Hart. Will Meek Mill's lyrical "J'accuse!" inform Drizzy's stage banter? Will Norm Kelly be the secret guest and throw down in an epic 6 God vs. Tweet God freestyle? Will this beautiful nightmare never end?
Other fests keep summer alive with Caribana, Camp Wavelength and VELD scattered throughout the month. Oh, what's that? You thought Pan-Am was behind you? That's too bad, because Panamania continues unabated (at least until the Parapan Am Games are through), with The Roots, Tanya Tagaq, A Tribe Called Red and more playing for free.
Nevertheless, some brave souls are headlining their own nights, from hair metal (Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Lita Ford) to non-embarrassing metal (High on Fire, Thantifaxath), pop powerhouses (One Direction, George Ezra) to hip hop buzz-getters (Earl Sweatshirt, Troy Ave).
Here are my picks for the top concerts in Toronto this month.
Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson (August 4, Molson Amphitheatre)
I know - this seems like a prank, not only due to the names involved but the oddly amateur Photoshop poster job, but I promise it's (probably) not. The two princes of 90s disillusionment (with Jimmy Chamberlin back in the SP fold) plan to fit both their egos and thousands of adoring fans into the Amphitheatre.
Fat Wrecked for 25 Years (August 6, Echo Beach)
Fat Wreck Chords turns 25 this year, and to celebrate, the label's going on a North American tour that's everything Gen X-ers wish Warped Tour still was. NOFX will be joined by Lagwagon, Swingin' Utters, The Flatliners and more.
We Are Busy Bodies 10th Anniversary Party (August 6, The Garrison)
It's a battle of the indie record label parties on the 6th. If aging pop punk doesn't appeal to you, consider celebrating a milestone with Toronto's We Are Busy Bodies. The show's headlined by Limblifter and The Meligrove Band, the latter of which are calling it quits not long after this set.
Sheezer (August 6 and 7, Lee's Palace)
The members of beloved all-female cover band Sheezer are ready to hang up their lightning bolt guitar straps for good, playing a final pair of shows at Lee's Palace. Undoubtedly a sad day for those who appreciate punnily-named womyn-reoriented rock of yesteryear, but at least we still have Hervana and Vag Halen to subsist on.
Faith No More and Refused (August 7, Ricoh Coliseum)
Faith No More already made a long-awaited return to Toronto a few months ago, but what's extra exciting this time around is having them back with boundary-pushing rock reunion buddies Refused.
Ariana Grande (August 9, ACC)
Sentient Bratz doll and donut renegade Ariana Grande is ready to swing by Toronto for the second time on her massive international tour, which I'm sure is giving her much-needed time away from the country she apparently loathes so much.
TIME Festival (August 15, Fort York)
It had a rough go of things last year, but without Death Grips around to stress everyone out, the electronic focused TIME Festival should hopefully stay relatively on track this time around. Catch Die Antwoord, Mac DeMarco, total ladykiller Ariel Pink and others at Fort York.
Failure (August 18, Lee's Palace)
It's heartening to see this criminally underrated band of the 90s finally get their due, even if it had to come almost two decades after they broke up. New album The Heart is a Monster is getting surprisingly good reviews, so their Lee's Palace set should be a treat for fans both old and new.
Grand Analog (August 21, Yonge-Dundas Square)
Yonge-Dundas Square's free summer concert series continues to truck along, this time with inventive local hip hop crew Grand Analog. Their infectious, highly danceable (and yes, family friendly, put your petitions away) tunes are an ideal way to spend a Friday evening outside.
Mad Decent Block Party (August 29, Fort York)
Diplo's travelling EDM carnival is set to return for a third year, though it appears it'll do so without the founder on the bill himself. Instead, catch vowel-hating acts like CL, HRMXNY, TJR, XXYYXX and many more.
What did I miss? Add more concerts to the comments. Photo via the Smashing Pumpkins on Facebook.
by Shazia Khan via blogTO