The top concerts in Toronto in October are full of big names and welcome comebacks right across the spectrum of genres. As we try to recover from September's unfortunate log of beloved venue closings and bands with dumb names, the upcoming month's selection of live music will offer lots to make us feel good again.
The festivals haven't totally dried out with the dawn of fall: there's still Not Dead Yet, the fifth edition of Toronto's biggest punk celebration which will feature Title Fight, Una Bestia Incontrolable, Destruction Unit, S.H.I.T. and swarms more bands that'll take over several DIY and full-size venues from October 22 to 25.
The hard-music hijinks doesn't even stop there; you can catch Cult Leader and KEN Mode this month, and if you feel like experiencing something akin to being yelled at by your drunk dad, there's Craig Finn and Protomartyr, too.
A heavy dose of nostalgia infuses this selection of hot tickets as well. Did you know that The Darkness is still around and rocking Captain Hook moustaches now? Or that Hanson is still powerful enough to force fans to buy tickets to a two-night concert? It's all true.
Aside from those excellent choices, here are my picks for the top concerts this October.
Battles (October 1, Lee's Palace)
Math rock dudes Battles are still whittling out brainy rhythms as a trio for much anticipated third LP La Di Da Di, which came out on September 18th. They've ditched the occasional guest singers and are going it fully vocal free for this round, and celebrating with a world tour.
Taylor Swift (October 2 and 3, Roger's Centre)
As critics tear themselves apart dissecting folk-rock covers and covers of covers of her work, true Swifties get to Shake It Off with their queen bee over two nights at the Rogers Centre.
Chvrches (October 4 and 5, Danforth Music Hall)
The Scottish group just released their hotly anticipated followup to 2013's The Bones of What You Believe (plus an infectious cover of Bieber's latest ditty), so hopefully you were able to scoop up tickets to their two-night stand at the Danforth in the mere minutes it took for them to sell out.
Madonna (October 5 and 6, ACC)
Did you know Madge was coming to town? I feel like this used to make bigger news than it does now. Anyway, she's making it to Toronto for two nights on her Rebel Heart world tour.
Do it for Ronnie, a Benefit Concert (October 8, Lee's Palace)
The story of Ronnie Morris - the controller.controller bassist who recently suffered from two major strokes and needed emergency surgeries not adequately covered by OHIP brought into sharp relief the shortcomings of the health care system. This benefit gig brings together a bunch of Toronto music-scene power players from Metz, Fresh Snow, Tokyo Police Club and others to help aid his recovery.
Titus Andronicus (October 13, Horseshoe Tavern)
Though their new album is an ambitious five-act, 29-song rock opera, Titus Andronicus still hold fast to a DIY-punk sound and ethos that's a riot to see live. Catch them at The 'Shoe with fellow New Jerseyans Spider bags and Brooklyn's Baked.
Dream Serenade (October 17, Massey Hall)
Last year, Hayden threw his first big benefit show for Toronto's Beverley School, and it looks like its success has spawned an annual event. This year's version features another lengthy list of musical friends with performances from Bahamas, Joel Plaskett, The Barenaked Ladies' Kevin Hearn and more. And, not to forget, Hayden himself.
Tyondai Braxton (October 17, The Music Gallery)
Weird coincidence: a couple weeks after Battles rolls out of Lee's Palace, their former lead singer sets up shop at The Music Gallery for an intriguing night of experimental music. Playing his own electronic orchestral compositions with visual accompaniment, he's joined by Toronto artists New Chance and Pantayo.
Chance the Rapper (October 19, Sound Academy)
Now a dad as of last week, Chicago native Chance the Rapper is celebrating his new identity with the aptly titled Family Matters Tour alongside D.R.A.M., Towkio and Metro Boomin'. Unfortunately it's at the Sound Academy, but Toronto was also spelled "Toranto" on the original poster, so it's safe to say Chance and friends aren't aware of how much we gripe about that place.
Peaches (October 20, Phoenix)
Provocative as ever, Peaches' freshly minted LP Rub touches on the same themes of sex, gender and debauchery that she's always been known for, though this time it's through the lens of a rough breakup. That doesn't stop her from having fun with it - just check that new video with Margaret Cho for reference. It'll give you an idea of the kind of wacky, NSFW spectacle you can expect at the show.
Garbage (October 26, Phoenix)
It's been 20 years since the band released their debut album, so as is apparently the fashion nowadays, they're heading out on tour to perform the whole thing start-to-finish in what they're calling their "20 Years Queer Tour." If the mere sight of that feathery pink cover brings back a flood of 90s angst for you, get yourself over to The Phoenix on the 26th.
Bloodbucket Metalfest XII (October 31, Coalition: T.O.)
This annual Halloween bash has traditionally set metalhead ears ablaze at the Hard Luck Bar, but this year, it's moving over to new Kensington Market digs Coalition: T.O. The lineup won't be available until October 1st, but past Metalfest guests of honour have included a lot of notable acts, such as Blood Ceremony, Piledriver and Thantifaxath.
Who did I miss? Add the concerts you're looking forward to the most this month in the comments.
Photo of METZ by Matt Forsythe.
by Shazia Khan via blogTO