This week’s must-see shows: December 18-25

Alvvays, Blue Rodeo, TOPS, Austra and more


When Toronto synth pop outfit Austra broke through three years ago with their Paperbag Records debut, Feel It Break, all attention was on singer Katie Stelmanis‘s operatic training, thanks in part to soaring singles like Lose It.

Since then, Stelmanis, drummer Maya Postepski and bassist Dorian Wolf have refined their production chops on follow-up Olympia and expanded into industrial, techno and dub on this year’s instrumental-heavy EP, Habitat.

Fans nostalgic for Austra’s fluttering formative years are in luck. Opera will once again retake the spotlight at the band’s final show of 2014, giving Torontonians a rare opportunity to hear actual opera at the Opera House.

The gig features a performance by the Toronto Chinese Opera of Markham‘s Soong Kam Wing Music & Arts Centre, established 21 years ago with a mandate to educate Canadians in the art of Cantonese opera. Half the show’s proceeds will be donated to the Centre. Blue Hawaii and Petra Glynt open the bill.

Friday (December 19) at the Opera House (735 Queen East), doors 8 pm. $20-$25.

The Rural Alberta Advantage Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth), Thursday (December 18) Harder than average indie folk.

Junia T & Juice Money Collective, Tassnata, DJ Mensa, Silver Fox Drake Hotel (1150 Queen West), Thursday (December 18) MC/producer’s Eye See You LP party.

Jason Collett’s Basement Revue with a Tribe Called Red, Jennifer Castle & others Opera House (735 Queen East), Thursday (December 18) Concert and No More Silence funder.

Calvin Love, Jose Contreras, Will Kidman & more Silver Dollar (486 Spadina), Thursday (December 18) Exile On Main Street performance.

Jhené Aiko, Sza, The Internet Sound Academy (11 Polson), Thursday (December 18) Mystical R&B minimalism.

Midways, The Leather Uppers, Motorhome DJs Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen West), Friday (December 19) Surf-rock-garage with a festive twist.

Tops, For Esme, Hue, Christian Punk Band Tattoo (567 Queen West), Friday (December 19) See preview.

Nadja, Black Walls, Thisquietarmy Geary Lane (360 Geary), Saturday (December 20) See preview.

Alvvays, Moon King, Elsa Opera House (735 Queen East), Saturday (December 20) Dream-pop heroes’ homecoming gig.

Career suicide, S.h.i.t., Glue S.H.I.B.G.B’s (225 Geary), Saturday (December 20) It’s Shitmas 2014, y’all.

Zeds Dead Kool Haus (132 Queens Quay East), Saturday (December 20) Very much alive Toronto EDM duo.

Blue Rodeo Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth), Sunday (December 21) Daily Bread Food Bank benefit show.

Juicy J, Peter Jackson, DJ Dames Nellas Guvernment (132 Queens Quay East), Sunday (December 21) Memphis rap royalty.

Opeth, In Flames, Red Fang Kool Haus (132 Queens Quay East), Sunday (December 21) Intricate, proggy metal.

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