1. Just John x Dom Dias
Catch Toronto’s hottest (and arguably, most prolific) underground hip-hop duo before they upsize to bigger venues. Hot off the release of two EPs and being signed to Warner in 2018, Just John x Dom Dias are at it again with a party to celebrate their freshest work: Don 3. Expect a high-energy show with Just John’s hard-edge flow and Dias’s fire production to match. They’ll be joined by DJ JAYEMKAYEM and rappers DillanPonders and Ty Senøj. Check out our recent feature on the duo from our Sound Of Toronto Right Now issue.
April 19 at Drake Underground (1150 Queen West), 8 pm. $10. thedrake.electrostub.com
Arguably one of Toronto’s most underrated artists, MorMor has largely flown under the radar at home. But that hasn’t stopped the vocalist and producer from selling out London’s Corsica Studios on his current European tour. He’s back this month, and if you don’t already have a ticket, know that the show is sold out. So you better start taking note of MorMor, and in the meantime, listen to Heaven’s Only Wishful on repeat.
April 24 at Longboat Hall (1087 Queen West), 7 pm. Sold out. eventbrite.ca
3. Earl Sweatshirt, MIKE
The curmudgeonly Los Angeles rapper earned strong reviews for his jazz-influenced Some Rap Songs album, which “feels specifically designed to keep casual hip-hop listeners out of its densely lyrical and experimental circle,” according to NOW reviewer Claudia McNeilly. Sweatshirt has devoted fans, though his idiosyncratic and angsty sounds haven’t always translated fully on stage. It will be interesting to see how his most challenging material goes over live at his biggest local headliner to date.
April 5 at Rebel (11 Polson). Doors 8 pm. All ages. $33 & up. ticketweb.ca
“What is your secret?” an interviewer asked a radiant and youthful-looking Cher last year. “It’s lots of makeup,” she responded dryly. “You just trowel it.” The reliably hilarious 72-year-old music icon’s Here We Go Again tour is coming to town this month (and again in November) and it’s bound to be an intergenerational dance party heavy on signature hits, empowerment anthems, ABBA covers off last year’s Dancing Queen album and her unfuckwithable wig game. Massive bonus: Nile Rodgers and Chic are opening.
April 22 at Scotiabank Arena (40 Bay). 8 pm. $112 and up. ticketmaster.ca
5. Ellevator, Ellis, Basement Revolver
On the heels of their 2018 self-titled EP, Hamilton indie rockers Ellevator bring their experimental pop to Toronto with openers Basement Revolver and Ellis. All three bands meld crunchy guitars with wistful female vocals. Ellis, aka Linnea Siggelkow, was featured in NOW’s recent cover story on the sound of Toronto right now. She’ll be performing songs from her debut EP, The Fuzz, which she self-released last year.
April 5 at Longboat Hall (103 Dovercourt), 8 pm. $15. ticketfly.com
6. Subtle Blend: Vaughn Robert Squire
The former electronic monthly producer showcase has reduced its frequency but that only means creator Mario Anzola can curate an even more impressive lineup. Headlining the April show is Vaughn Robert Squire, a godfather to many in Toronto’s electronic scene, whose latest project is called Block Univers. His DJ set at Subtle Blend is a rare occasion to see the celebrated DJ, producer and record collector on stage. Joined by producer Obuxum, who was named one of NOW’s 2018 electronic artists to watch, Sakiko Nagai and Anzola himself, there’s nothing subtle about the talent on this show.
April 20 at Handlebar (159 Augusta), 10 pm. $10 at the door. facebook.com
7. Orville Peck
One of the city’s rising indie music stars, the masked country crooner’s identity is not being revealed for some reason. (Would we be too distracted by his beauty?) His classic, reverbed sound is heavy on aching feeling and his stage look is heavy on fringe. “The initial assumption is that I’m trying to hide something about myself, or keep a distance between the audience,” he told NOW writer Jesse Locke recently. “I studied mask as a performance art form, and the interesting thing is… it lets me be more vulnerable on stage and in my songwriting.”
April 13 at Longboat Hall (1087 Queen West). Doors 8 pm. $13. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com
8. Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac know how to bring the drama. The group’s latest tour is making a second stop here, so if you missed this new configuration of the legendary California group last fall, now is your chance – and supposedly your last since this is billed as a “farewell tour.” If you’re a fan of the band, you already know singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham left following an apparent feud with Stevie Nicks, the details of which remain contested. He’s been replaced by Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and Neil Finn (Crowded House) so expect a couple choice cover songs in addition to the usual fan favourites, Mick Fleetwood’s epic drum soloing and Nicks’s epic banter.
April 8 at Scotiabank Arena (40 Bay), 8 pm. $99 and up. ticketmaster.ca
9. TR/ST and ionnalee
When Robert Alfons started TR/ST, it was a Toronto-based synth-pop duo with Austra’s Maya Postepski, who left the band shortly after their first album came out in 2012. Neither musician lives here anymore, but the pair reunited in the studio to record material for Alfons’s third album, The Destroyer. The record, a two-parter with the first half dropping on April 18, contains some of his brightest, pop-iest and obviously 80s-influenced songs yet.
April 26 at Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne), doors 7 pm. $25. ticketfly.com, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com
10. Beau Travail: Ciel & Jacques Greene B2B
In a night of Toronto versus Montreal, local DJ Ciel plays back-to-back with La Belle Province’s Jacques Greene. It’s rare to see two Canadian heavyweights play together on home turf, so head down to the grotto for a night of non-stop house and techno on the dance floor.
April 6 at Bambi’s (1265 Dundas West), 10 pm. Sold out. residentadvisor.net
11. Nikki Fierce, Kaleidoscope Horse, Luna Li
To coincide with the release of their Made For You music video, Toronto art-rock trio Nikki Fierce is headlining a dreamy little show at the Baby G. Let your hair down and sway to the drum-driven lead track from their 2018 EP, Man Made Woman, and dance to the ‘70s Heart-inspired My Shadow. Other bands on the bill include psych-rockers Kaleidoscope Horse and the hauntingly effervescent Luna Li.
April 5 at Baby G (1608 Dundas West), 9 pm. $10. ticketfly.com
12. Metric, July Talk
Named one of NOW’s most anticipated shows of the year, hometown heroes Metric and July Talk team up for the Art Of Doubt tour in support of Metric’s seventh studio album. While Emily Haines and her band have played Scotiabank Arena before, it’s the first time July Talk will be rocking in front of thousands. Count on big-stadium anthems and lots of Canadian spirit at this high-energy show.
April 26 at Scotiabank Arena (40 Bay), doors 6:45 pm. $26-$225. ticketmaster.ca
13. Parallel Minds Vol. 1 Release Party
We announced back in January the launch of new electronic music label Parallel Minds. To coincide with the release of their first compilation, PM001, local DJs Ciel, Yohei S and Daniel 58, are throwing a party in the grotto. Expect back-to-back sets from all three and Radiant Aura Faculty, a new alias of Raf Reza (one of NOW’s Ones To Watch), who also contributes a track to the album. Fingers crossed: they’ll have copies on hand to take home.
April 11 at Bambi’s (1265 Dundas West), 10 pm. $5 at the door.
14. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande ison tour in support of not one but two recent albums: Sweetener and Thank U, Next. While Sweetener was an ode to falling in love, the latter album found the pop singer reclaiming her independence after breaking off an engagement with Pete Davidson. The mashup of both albums will have you crying one minute to Ghostin and belting your heart out to God Is A Woman the next. Sweep your hair into a high ponytail and grab your girls for a night of 7 Rings.
April 3 and June 26 at Scotiabank Arena (40 Bay), 8 pm. $50-$500. ticketmaster.ca
15. Mister Saturday Night
Deep Gold celebrates five years of throwing dance parties in Toronto with a special edition featuring Mister Saturday Night, a series of parties organized and DJ’d by Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter in Brooklyn, New York. Locals Roberto S and Jaime Sin will help open what’s described as a “magical, golden discotheque.” Dressing on theme is encouraged.
April 27 at Velvet Underground (508 Queen West), 10 pm. $20. eventbrite.com