Plus: Holy Fuck, Finger Eleven, Sumo Cyco, DVSN, Dixie Chicks and more
Many musicians call Toronto home, but many others leave to pursue their dreams in Los Angeles, London or Berlin. That’s why statutory holidays are a great time for local music fans: everyone comes home for a festive family dinner, and many of them book a gig or two.
This year, Toronto’s music calendar in the lead-up to Christmas is looking especially busy. Jason Collett is bringing his weekly Basement Revue series to the Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington) for a 10th year. To mark the milestone, Collett once again hosts a star-studded special edition of the part-music, part-literary variety show at the Great Hall (1087 Queen West) on December 22.
Meanwhile, the 12th edition of Montreal pop-rock legend Andy Kim’s charity Christmas show takes over the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (190 Princes’ Boulevard) on December 7. The lineup is as eclectic as always and includes Nelly Furtado, Sloan, Ron Sexsmith, Roch Voisine, Finger Eleven and Bahamas, among others.
If you prefer a less civilized holiday revue, power-tool-wielding rockers White Cowbell Oklahoma return to Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West) on December 10 for their 13th annual X-Mess.
Joining the annual holiday show fray is indie pop quintet Stars, who marked the 10th anniversary of their landmark Set Yourself On Fire album with three shows at the Phoenix in 2015. This year they’re booked into the Danforth Music Hall (147 Danforth) for two holiday concerts that promise “the requisite amount of sex and death, of course” on December 20 and 21. Looks like the band, which is releasing a new album next spring, plans on making these gigs an annual thing.
Non-holiday local shows happening in December include rising R&B talents River Tiber and Charlotte Day Wilson’s co-headliner at the Great Hall on December 3, Etobicoke indie rockers Rheostatics’ gig at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West) on December 9, and Holy Fuck’s December 17 date at Lee’s Palace.
After opening for Drake and Future’s Summer Sixteen tour, OVO Sound R&B duo dvsn are capping off a busy year with a hometown headlining show at Rebel (11 Polson) on December 13. Their labelmate, Brampton rapper Roy Woods, hits the Mod Club (722 College) on December 18. Perhaps Drizzy will be overcome with the festive spirit and make a cameo?
If pounding EDM and dubstep are what you need most after pounding back red wine and high-concept sliders for three weeks solid, the two-day Solaris Winter Music Festival takes place at Rebel starting on Boxing Day. Lineup includes heavyweight Zedd as well as Marshmello, Shiba San, Mark Oliver and more.
FINGER ELEVEN, SUMO CYCO, LAUGH AT THE FAKES, TRAMPA at Mod Club Indie Week Showcase. Doors 8 pm, $8, adv $5. ticketfly.com. November 17.
RPM LIVE: ELISAPIE ISAAC, BINAESHEE-QUAE at Burdock doors 8:30 pm, $10 adv, $12 at the door. burdockto.com. November 17.
WALTER TV, 2 WET CREW, COLE KUSH at The Baby G doors 9 pm, $10. November 30.
JASON COLLETT’S BASEMENT REVUE at Daktoa Tavern doors 8:30 pm, $30. basementrevue.com. December 1, 8, 15 & 29.
SONNY FODERA, WALKER & ROYCE, CITY KID SOUL at Coda doors 10 pm, $20-$25. coda.wantickets.com. December 2.
RIVER TIBER, CHARLOTTE DAY WILSON at The Great Hall doors 8 pm, $15-$20. ticketfly.com. December 3.
ANDY KIM CHRISTMAS SHOW: NELLY FURTADO, RON SEXSMITH, SLOAN, ROCH VOISINE, DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS, TIM BAKER OF HEY ROSETTA!, FINGER ELEVEN, TOMI SWICK, BAHAMAS, THE KINGS at Queen Elizabeth Theatre doors 7 pm, all ages. $25.50-$39.50. livenation.com, ticketmaster.ca. December 7.
DVSN Rebel doors 8 pm, all ages. $27. ticketmaster.ca. December 13.
JINDALEE, HUSHPUP, DJ VIBRANT MATTER at Monarch Tavern Album release. 9 pm. December 14.
GOSH PITH, SAVANNAH RÉ at Drake Hotel doors 7 pm. $12. ticketmaster.ca. December 17.
STARS at Danforth Music Hall Holiday concert. Doors 7 pm, $35.50-$40.50. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketmaster.ca. December 20 & 21.
JASON COLLETT’S BASEMENT REVUE at The Great Hall 10th anniversary show. Doors 8:30 pm, $30. basementrevue.com. December 22.
SOLARIS WINTER MUSIC FESTIVAL: MARSHMELLO, ZEDD, SHIBA SAN, BOGORE, MANZONE & STRONG, JAUZ, MALAA, MARK OLIVER, DJ HATIRAS, DJ FLIPSIDE, GREG GOW, ADDY, DEKO-ZE at Rebel doors TBA, all ages. $99.50-$179.50. ticketmaster.ca. December 26 & 27.
MONEEN, THE FULLBLAST at Lee’s Palace doors 8:30 pm, $20. soundscapesmusic.com, rotate.com, ticketfly.com. January 4-7.
REEL BIG FISH, ANTI-FLAG, DIRECT HIT, BALLYHOO at Phoenix Concert Theatre 20-year celebration. Doors 8 pm, all ages. $27.50-$40. January 13.
KILLJOYS at Horseshoe doors 8:30 pm, $15. On sale November 11. soundscapesmusic.com, rotate.com, ticketfly.com. January 13.
AUSTRA at Mod Club doors 8 pm, $24.50. ticketweb.ca. January 20.
PRIESTS at Silver Dollar doors 8:30 pm, $13.50. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com. February 7.
SAMPHA at Mod Club doors 8 pm, $26. ticketweb.ca. February 12.
JAPANDROIDS, CRAIG FINN at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm, $22.50-$25. ticketmaster.ca. February 17.
BENJAMIN FRANCIS LEFTWICH at Mod Club doors 7 pm, $22.50. soundscapesmusic.com, rotate.com, ticketfly.com. February 23.
TENNIS at Horseshoe doors 9 pm, $17.50. soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com, rotate.com. March 11.
THE STAVES at Phoenix Concert Theatre doors 8 pm, $17.50. soundscapesmusic.com, rotate.com, ticketfly.com. March 17.
METHYL ETHEL at The Garrison doors 8 pm, $13. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com. April 15.
BUDDY GUY at Massey Hall 8 pm, $49.50-$99.50. masseyhall.com. April 22.
MOON DUO at Horseshoe doors 8 pm, $14.50. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com. April 23.
BONOBO at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm, $28.50-$35. ticketmaster.ca. April 24.
Get more Toronto show listings here.