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Thursday, March 31, 2016

11 must-see concerts in Toronto this April

toronto concerts aprilThe top Toronto concerts this April offer an exciting grab bag of Billboard chart-toppers and underrated local bands, all of whom will pair nicely with the arrival of spring. Even the honourable mentions run a wide gamut this month.

Everything from fuzzy indie-pop (Moon King, Teen, Bleached) to guttural metal (Tau Cross, Iron Maiden, the Decibel Tour) is represented on the calendar. For old-timers, there's some stuff from the 90s you'd almost forgotten (The Dandy Warhols, Filter and Orgy), and whoa, one of The Who's much-rescheduled 50th anniversary shows might actually go down here.

Aside from those, here are my picks for the top shows coming to town in April.

Grandmaster Flash (April 2, House of Vans)
Far be it for me to throw free PR at yet another pop-up skatepark's #branded fun, but since the House of Vans is closing up their Toronto tenure with a DJ legend, it merits a callout. Grandmaster Flash plays (for free! bless you, rich sneaker companies) with Tommy Kruise and Bambii.

O-Town (April 3, Lee's Palace)
This ongoing reunion is a sign that the boy-band nostalgia trip has gone too far, but people of a certain age and reality-show upbringing will understand the intrigue of an O-Town concert listing in 2016. I almost disregarded it after learning of Ashley Parker-Angel's absence, but reconsidered; "Liquid Dreams" is just that hilarious.

Savages (April 4, Danforth Music Hall)
Mercury Prize-nominated outfit Savages have held fast to their brand of post-punk intensity with sophomore release Adore Life, an album that revels in the messy, flawed nature of love. Catch one of their only Canadian dates during an extensive North American tour.

Autolux (April 7, Lee's Palace)
Underrated L.A. trio Autolux may seem like the latest in the endless shoegaze reunion train, but the band never really broke up - six-year breaks between albums just seems to be their natural rhythm. Pussy's Dead comes out a week before this show at Lee's.

Junior Boys and Jesse Lanza (April 9, Phoenix)
Electro pair Junior Boys just returned with their first LP in roughly five years. Big Black Coat builds on their ever-evolving experimental sounds, though with a gloomier outlook. Fellow Hamiltonian Jessy Lanza, who'll put her own new album out in May, opens.

Iggy Pop (April 9, Sony Centre)
The punk legend's surprise garage-influenced collab with Josh Homme, Post Pop Depression, is hitting the road, with all the studio contributors (Homme, Dean Fertita and Matt Helders) in tow.

Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair (April 12, Massey Hall)
Billy Corgan's path to maturity is littered with unsatisfactory roller coaster rides, endless mystic tea-shop jams and so much literal wrestling, but could this simple, stripped-down acoustic tour be a sign he's entered "aging gracefully" mode? "In Plainsong" also brings Liz Phair along for a night of 90s alt-rock reflection.

Rihanna (April 13-14, ACC)
The queen of NSFW Instagrams, insanely anticipated album releases and sweaty grinds on Drake has finally embarked on the Anti World Tour. Rihanna will unfortunately not be joined by our boy The Weeknd as previously expected, but Travis Scott is still set to open.

Melvins, Napalm Death and Melt-Banana (April 19, Opera House)
The month's top prospect for ear-shattering mayhem features three of the best current purveyors of noise: longstanding sludge crew the Melvins, Brit grindcore legends Napalm Death and Japanese experimentalists Melt-Banana.

Hervana (April 20, Burdock)
Toronto's all-female Nirvana cover band is paying homage to the iconic grunge band's MTV Unplugged album, playing the whole thing from start-to-finish in the fittingly intimate environment of Burdock.

CATL (April 21, Horseshoe Tavern)
Arguably one of Toronto's funnest live acts right now, CATL are always worth checking out when they come back home for a show, even when they've only subtly teased new material. They'll host NYC's Daddy Long Legs on this run, kindred spirits in lo-fi punk blues.

What did I miss? Leave your suggestions for April's top concerts in the comments.

Photo of Grandmaster Flash by Matt Forsythe.

by Shazia Khan via blogTO

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